Bob Domkowski’s career path was a bit unusual but one of stability.
“I’ve had but three employers in my life, and one was high school through college in a grocery chain,” the water and wastewater veteran said.
He was an avid softball player—fast and slow pitch.
But the 69-year-old Domkowski isn’t slowing down. His current position is engineering consultant, global amusement market manager and North American aquaculture manager at Xylem, Inc., Flygt Products. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Fairfield University in Connecticut with post graduate engineering-legal studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He has served on several committees and made numerous presentations over the years at organizations such as Hydraulic Institute (HI), the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and more.
Domkowski’s engineering career started after college as an environmental engineer with UOP’s Air Correction Division. The lifelong Milford, Connecticut, native did not want to uproot his family and move to Pittsburgh in 1983, so he was briefly out of a job. But soon he began his career with Flygt, then a division of ITT. Xylem was launched as a spinoff from ITT in 2011, taking the Flygt brand with it, and Domkowski remained with Xylem.
Domkowski has now been in the water and wastewater industry for nearly 40 years, and his best career advice was to get a mentor and be a mentor for someone else.
“Much of the early learning for me was gleaned observing supervisors and coworkers where they interacted with customers and successfully navigated solving problems,” he said. “I’ve found that some of the most valuable advice came from personal interactions. I learned to fully listen to customers regarding their needs and wants. You’re not always rewarded for doing a good job, but you’re never rewarded for doing a bad job.”
Domkowski also had advice for dealing with bad news. He said to research possible solutions, then tell the end user quickly. Work to mitigate the problem. Although, sometimes you will take a beating.
“Occasionally, you’re due for one,” Domkowski said. “I’ve learned to take the beating and then discuss how you can resolve your pain point.”
Over his career, Domkowski has been able to travel the world forming valuable business connections. It has taken away time from his family—a wife and two adult children, but he learned to manage his
Domkowski said that he’s proud to have supported the environment throughout his career, first with air and now water.
One other fun fact about Domkowski: in 2019, he was inducted into USA Softball’s Fast Pitch Hall of Fame in Connecticut.