From intern to Denver Water pipe saver

Antonio Flori embraced career opportunities to grow into his current role as a corrosion control engineer.

January 14, 2019 | By: Missy Yoder
A ladder leans against a slab of rock and overhead is the underside of a giant bridge, with beams and other infrastructure dwarfing a man, roped in for safety, doing an inspection.
Antonio Flori inspects the underside of a bridge at Strontia Springs Reservoir. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

When Antonio Flori started at Denver Water as an engineering intern in 2009, he was lucky enough to spend most of his days in the field. As part of the team monitoring our cathodic protection program, which aims to decrease corrosion on pipes, Flori took measurements and recorded data from the underground pipes at test stations.

He spent much of his time driving across Denver Water’s entire service area, getting to know the water system extremely well. This was valuable experience for when, three years later, Flori graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden and secured a permanent position with Denver Water as an engineer.

Now, Flori works full time in the corrosion group, part of the electrical engineering and cathodic protection section, using the data collected by interns to engineer cathodic protection systems that help protect underground pipes from failing. He also provides recommendations for protective coatings and paints for pipes, helps with material selection for various engineering projects and has supervisory duties on his team.

A yellow pipe sticks out of the ground with a blue and white sticker indicating that the its a cathodic test station for Denver Water.
A test monitoring station that’s part of Denver Water’s cathodic protection corrosion prevention program. Photo credit: Denver Water.

“I work with a great team that is supportive, enthusiastic and positive about our work,” Flori said. “I also appreciate that every day is different and offers new challenges, so monotony is never a problem.”

One of the things Flori likes most about his position at Denver Water is the diversity of projects.

Corrosion is a naturally occurring process that causes metal to decay.

Flori and his group have worked to prevent or slow corrosion on projects in Denver Water’s treatment plants, hydroelectric turbines, pipelines, pump stations, dams and residential homes.

“Our group supports and works with a lot of people on many projects across the organization. It’s super fun,” Flori said.

For Flori, having the opportunity to work with experts across the organization allows him to continue learning from people with other specialties and training, something he’s been doing since he was an intern.

“There are many great opportunities at Denver Water, and they’ve rewarded hard work and a positive attitude,” Flori said. “I encourage people to keep following their interests to grow in their careers, especially to keep learning and to keep challenging themselves.”

See Flori and the cathodic protection team at work in the field.

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