About Shauna Urlacher
Shauna Urlacher, PE, CFM, CPESC
It all began in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew devastated the town of Homestead, Florida and the surrounding communities. Although Shauna was only 12 years old, the event made a lasting impression on her. After reading about the integral role that engineers played in restoring the affected communities, Shauna’s passion was ignited. She began researching how engineers can design homes to withstand hurricane-force winds; how they construct levees to hold back floodwaters; and how they determine areas that are safe and unsafe to build. Growing up on a farm in Montana provided the perfect training ground for this young engineer. Shauna helped repair ranch equipment; designed and installed heated floors, as well as water and sewer lines; and solved many other problems on the ranch. Her fascination grew as she learned the effects soil, drainage, and hydrology had on her family’s crops.
When Shauna graduated with her bachelor’s in engineering from Montana Tech and took a job in the Chicago area, her colleagues quickly learned to rely on her understanding of hydrology and hydraulics. In 2008, she was working in the south suburbs of Chicago, where she saw catastrophic flooding firsthand. She knew she had to be part of the solution.
Over the next 10 years, as Shauna earned her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin (Madison), and built longstanding client relationships with various municipalities, she never forgot that storm. Driven by a desire to protect communities, she developed a reputation among colleagues and clients as the unequivocal expert in flood mitigation. As more and more clients continued to look to Shauna for their flood mitigation needs, UrbanHydro was born.
Today, in addition to running her business, Shauna volunteers as the Stormwater Management Committee Chair for IAFSM. Despite her achievements, she knows that this is just the beginning. Shauna is committed to making the world a better place where families are safe, infrastructure runs uninterrupted, and floods no longer cause billions of dollars in property damage every year.
The 2018 IAFSM Outstanding Service Award was presented to Shauna Urlacher because of her long history of service. Shauna has served on and chaired several committees over the years, including the Floodplain Management Committee and the Stormwater Management Committee.