WCW Member Profile – Janusz Gawor

Working-in-Water-logoWCW Member Profile – Janusz Gawor works for the City of Calgary as a Science Liaison Officer. His core function is to facilitate and champion applied research and development in the city’s water business units.

Janusz-Gawor2Name: Janusz Gawor
Company/City: City of Calgary
Position: Science Liaison Officer, Water Quality Services, Water Resources
Janusz Gowor on LinkedIn

Core Function:

My role is to facilitate and champion applied research and development in The City’s Water business units. I am also the central spokesperson for the lab and monitoring groups, for routine and non-routine projects and other requests.

Born and raised:

I was born in Poland, in the Baltic coast city of Gdansk, and I immigrated to Canada at the age of eight.

Education/Training:

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, with a minor in Biology. After a few years in the private lab sector, I returned to school and attained an IT diploma.

Typical day on the job:

My job involves plenty of discussion and networking within and outside the organization to facilitate and strategize research for the Water business units. I also help streamline customer inquiries by being the central spokesperson for our division. I help ensure timely delivery on the request and help address any customer concerns. As part of my position, I also examine and review current business practices and advise or seek out continual improvement and efficiency in Water Quality Services.

What do you like about your current position?

There is never a dull day, as I am always meeting new people. I get to continuously learn and share new information with others, and in turn build a pool of contacts that I can rely on. There is also the ability to influence and help steer the direction of the Water business through timely, and business-needs driven research.

History in the industry:

I came to the City from the private lab industry, where I performed analyses on oil and water samples. By joining The City, I was able to combine my Science and IT backgrounds by helping operate the lab’s database and creating reports for regulatory and customer information purposes. A big part of my job was to automate data transfer in order to minimize transcription errors, and to help refocus our analysts’ time on data interpretation rather than data entry. About three years ago I got back into my Science roots with a newly created position that saw me interact all throughout the Corporation and especially with my water buddies!

Main challenges in current position:

The toughest part of my position is to get people out of their silos and into a collaborative frame of mind. You have to be diplomatic and patient with the many personality types that you come across. At times, people mark their work territory and you have to be able to convince them of the benefit of sharing information for the benefit of all.

Career highlights:

I enjoyed being able to combine my Science and IT backgrounds for the project that saw me automate data acquisition into our central laboratory database. We moved from having only 50% to having over 90% of our data stored in our central database. I am also recognized annually for various achievements and contributions to my work group, and this gives me pleasure.

Advice on having a successful career:

Be open to challenges. Be willing to always learn new things. Remain positive. I have found my career thrived when I took on new opportunities that at first may have seemed daunting. Also, I have found it wise but challenging to maintain a good attitude with people and be open to constructive feedback.

Leisure time away from work:

I believe in the healthy body, healthy mind philosophy, and spend much time outdoors with my family and friends. My role in preserving the environment helps me better enjoy my hobbies, too! I enjoy hiking, cycling, racquet sports, and above all, immersing myself in new cultures when I travel. I also love to read and educate myself on a wide variety of topics, from fiction to science journals, to psychology, and even food labels!

My hero:

People that inspire me are passionate and committed to what they do, and they lead by example. They are not afraid to rise to the occasion to make a difference, even if it means they may attract some negative publicity.

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