Apr 29

Getting to Know Discovery Cove's Iulia Siemen

by Staff

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Design & Engineering Project Manager Iulia Lopez Siemen sat down with us to talk about what her role is with The Grand Reef project at Discovery Cove in Orlando.

From concept to reality in just five years, Iulia and her team are charged with making The Grand Reef as realistic as possible. From deciding where to house the animals to selecting the best location for the white, sandy beach, her work was cut out for her. Despite some challenges, Iulia remained true to the company’s conservation efforts by creating the look and feel of a coral reef without endangering any real corals. In fact, the Discovery Cove team created man-made coral that is vibrant in color and removable (for easy cleaning), a first in the industry.

Though Iulia overlooks all day-to-day construction activities, her favorite part of the project is participating in the creative discussions and brainstorming sessions surrounding the new program, SeaVenture, an innovative experience at The Grand Reef that will allow guests to actually be part of the underwater world of the reef. How is this possible? Guests will wear dive helmets with breathing apparatus that will allow them to walk on The Grand Reef floor to get a different perspective of the literally thousands of fish and exotic sea life surrounding them!

How did Iulia get to where she is today? She graduated from the University of Florida in 2002 with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. She joined Anheuser-Busch as Production Group Manager in various breweries before moving to SeaWorld Design and Engineering in 2006 to expand her skills.