February 21, 2020

Plumbing Engineering Leader Don Rosen Talks Clean Water Availability and Future System Design

Don Rosen, CPD, understands the importance of his discipline and is passionate about communicating how his team contributes to solving complex challenges our clients face. In celebration of Engineers Week, we talked to Don about his group and what trends he’s seeing moving into 2020 and beyond.

How many years have you been with CannonDesign?

Approximately three years.

How many years have you been in this discipline leadership position?

Since arriving at CannonDesign three years ago.

How many engineers do you have on your team?

At this time the Plumbing Fire Protection (PFP) group is approximately 18 in six locations.

What is your favorite thing about your role?

I enjoy working across the firm and developing the group. I also enjoy continued development and improvement of the processes involved in engineering documentation and implementation.

Given the ever-present climate crisis, how is your discipline advancing solutions to combat climate change?

One of my passions is the provisions for the continued availability of clean water. This concern is a result of being aware of the limited resource that we take for granted.  Water is currently being exchanged as a commodity in some regions and is traded on a market basis. It is foreseeable that the only “clean” water will be used for human consumption…all other uses will need to use recycled water, gray water or filtered water.

If you weren’t an engineer, what career might you be in?

I have a lot of interest in coaching, including the dynamics of team efforts, and motivation of individuals. I feel very fortunate to have a career that is in demand and continues to provide an opportunity to learn and progress as well as a mentor.


What has gotten you really excited to see recently?

The further development of the PFP group, with the ability of the group to work, learn and communicate. The willingness as a group, to work toward better engineering and understanding of the systems and the impact.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I am very proud of my family. My wife has put up with me for a very long time and she is still here. My four daughters are all doing well as adults and seem to be happy.  Now there are five grandchildren that could not be any more precious to me. They all live nearby and we can enjoy holidays, cookouts, and each other’s company.


As we head into 2020, how do you see your discipline evolving in the next decade?

The engineering design associated with our discipline will expand to other systems dependent on the needs of the clients and limited resources as well as costs.  In addition, those systems that were previously less common will become more of a standard requirement for system design.  Some examples of these are seen in the development of oxygen and nitrogen generators, water treatment systems, waste treatment, including water reclaim and filtered water to allow for uses other than consumption.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Some engineers create and design, while other engineers critique. Focus on what is required at this time and then worry about what’s next.”