Updated July 3 at 9:03pm

Peter Cottrell

When last year’s devastating flooding crippled much of the state’s wastewater-treatment infrastructure, Peter Cottrell sprang into action.

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A PBN SPECIAL SECTION: 2011 40 UNDER 40

Peter Cottrell

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When last year’s devastating flooding crippled much of the state’s wastewater-treatment infrastructure, Peter Cottrell sprang into action.

Without being asked, Amgen’s director of facilities and engineering utilities oversaw a plan to divert wastewater from the company’s West Greenwich site to an out-of-state treatment facility.

Over a 20-day period that began less than 36 hours after the start of the flooding, teams loaded tanker trucks with 1.6 million gallons of wastewater.

Thanks to his leadership, the company was able to ease the burden on the local wastewater treatment facility and ensure no loss of production during the crisis.

That the 39-year-old Cornell University graduate, who holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering, would be at the head of such a successful response to a significant environment challenge was no surprise to colleagues.

Since joining the company’s Rhode Island operation in 2003 as a project engineer and project manager, he’s been recognized as a champion of environmental sustainability.

As a leader of the company’s local energy team, he’s developed several programs that have helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions and water usage.

Since the team was organized in 2006, the company has installed efficient light fixtures and programmable lighting-control panels. It’s also modified control systems for boilers and water generation to improve efficiency.

Such efforts earned his team a 2008 conservation award from the Environmental Council of Rhode Island.

Cottrell also plays a key leadership role as a mentor within his department and is executive sponsor for the local company’s Amgen Black Employees Network. •

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