Environmental Engineer, Isha Shaw, Provides Air Quality Expertise

UltraSystems is a leading environmental consulting firm in Southern California that is committed to delivering exceptional results for their clients and teaming partners. They employee highly trained scientists and engineers who are experts in their field and are dedicated to developing new talent to ensure the very best in technical analysis and reporting for their clients.

Environmental Engineer, Isha Shah, is no exception. Isha completed her undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Chaennai, India. She joined UltraSystems as an intern while working on her master’s degree in environmental engineering at UCLA. Three years later, after being mentored by fellow UCLA alumnus, Dr. Michael Rogozen, Isha is performing complex air quality, greenhouse gas and noise analyses for clients.

Those clients are both companies and local or state agencies that need to understand the impact that their planning and development projects have on the environment.  By law, these companies and agencies are required to keep their projects in compliance with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and NEPA (National Environmental Quality Act) guidelines.  Enacted in the early 1970’s, both CEQA and NEPA were developed to help manage the impacts of urban development on our environment. The team of experts at UltraSystems prepare all the necessary environmental documentation to demonstrate a project’s compliance with CEQA and NEPA guidelines.

As an Environmental Engineer, Isha is responsible for conducting highly specialized computer modeling that examines the impact of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions on our environment. Her projects can vary from residential and commercial development to infrastructure improvements (i.e., roads and bridges). Complex analyses and subsequent reports produced by an environmental engineer like Isha, help our clients to design better projects and mitigate environmental impacts before they happen.

For Isha, each project begins by establishing a clear understanding of the client’s goals for the project. She, then, develops a project plan with distinct milestones, which in turn, allows her to anticipate potential issues while also managing timelines and staying within budget. She has found that this process allows her to produce the best possible product for the client and ultimately for the general public.

Her work process proved successful when she found herself on a complex project earlier this year involving the construction of a warehouse facility in Calexico, California. Together with Dr. Rogozen, Isha completed a detailed Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study that included an examination of Carbon Monoxide (CO) “hotspot” conditions and a Health Risk Analysis. Her mastery of computer modeling programs, such as CalEEMod and EMFAC, are highly valuable on a project like the one in Calexico. These programs can quantify emission levels of toxic air contaminants, greenhouse gas emissions and inhalable particulates, as well as help Isha generate mitigation measures specific to the project.

For the Calexico project, Isha shared that, “We needed to find out about the construction of the facility as much as we could – precise location, grading, total building construction, parking stalls, etc.” Getting a full understanding, in this case, also meant researching Federal, State and Local regulations and policies using a variety of resources including the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD), meteorological data and air monitoring stations. Although working within the ICAPCD jurisdiction was new for Isha, she rose to the challenge and quickly incorporated their rules and regulations into her analysis. Once complete, Isha used all the analyzed data to prepare the final technical report for the client. Keeping such a complex project on schedule is always difficult, and thanks to Isha’s project planning skills, no delays were encountered.

It may not surprise you that when she’s not at work, Isha spends her days hiking and exploring area mountains including California favorite, Yosemite, enjoying that air quality that she has worked so hard to protect.


About UltraSystems

UltraSystems, founded in 1994, is a multi-disciplinary, full service environmental consulting and planning firm serving both the public and private sectors. The 27-year-old firm provides expertise in development planning; site selection and analysis; CEQA and NEPA compliance; technical studies, and environmental compliance during construction. UltraSystems Environmental is certified as a WBE, SBE, DBE and WOSB company and is headquartered in Irvine, California.



Tina Freeman, MBA, is the Marketing Specialist at UltraSystems working on social media, newsletters, and proposals at the Irvine Headquarter office.