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Environmental Engineering Students and Alumni

This page is devoted to the activities, endeavors, and interests of students and former students in the Environmental Engineering Program. Please send your contributions to our Program Coordinator, Joanne Uleau.

The EVEN program has 100 alumni as of August 2014. Many of these former students have completed advanced degrees, including M.S. and Ph.D.s in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Some have become Professional Engineers (PEs). A number of former EVEN students work for consulting firms, including CH2M Hill, RETEC, Trihydro, HDR, Richard P. Arber Associates, RTW, and MWH. Former students also work for industries such as Shell Oil and Texaco. Others work for government agencies such as the FAA, US Bureau of Reclamation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

If you would like to post an update of your current activities, please email our program.

Alumni Email List

We have an alumni email list,  We are using this list to keep EVEN alumni informed of Program news, to make requests for alumni surveys, and to allow alumni to share news among themselves.  If you want to join the list, send an email to with     "subscribe evenalumni Firstname Lastname"
in the body of the email.  After you subscribe, you can see who is subscribed to the list by sending an email to with "recipients evenalumni" in the body of the email.


Kate Dowdell

Kate (at right in photo) was selected as the Outstanding Senior of the environmental engineering program in 2011, based on a vote of the EVEN faculty. Kate was selected based on her diverse activities and outstanding academic performance. In fall 2009 Kate studied abroad at Syracuse University in Madrid, Spain. In addition to pursuing her BS degree in EVEN she is also minoring in political science. She has been conducting research with Professors Scott Summers and Fernando Rosario-Ortiz from August 2010 - August 2011, including participating in the REU program at CU. She also completed internships at Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, UT and at the Denver Water Reuse Plant in Denver.

Erica Brandt

Erica was selected as one of six award winners at CU's Discovery Learning Research Symposium in the College of Engineering and Applied Science in spring 2011. Erica was a junior in EVEN and conducted research for the 2010/2011 academic year with Professor Lupita Montoya.

Julie Korak

Julie was selected as the Outstanding Outstanding Graduate of the College of Engineering in spring 2009. Julie earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Engineering (EVEN) and Chemical Engineering (CHEN). In addition to her strong academics, Julie participated in a professional internship at Avon Products, worked on a research project studying zeolite membrane at CU with chemical engineering professor John Falconer, and is serving as a teaching assistant for GEEN 1300 Intro to Engineering Computing. She is also actively engaged in two engineering honor societies. Julie studied abroad at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Julie also served as a tutor with the Herbst Academic Center. Julie represents a wonderful balance of all of the positive attributes of an engineering graduate: academic excellence and participation in research, teaching, and service activities. Julie is continuing her studies at CU in the PhD program in Civil Engineering (environmental emphasis), and recently won the presitigous NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Dania Zinner

Dania was selected as the Outstanding Senior of the environmental program in 2009. Dania participated in the International Engineering Certificate Program, for which she conducted an international co-op at DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Cologna. She also worked as a physical science technician at the U.S. Geological Survey in Boulder, and interned at CTL Thompson in Colorado Springs. In addition to these activities she participated in the Norlin Scholars Program. In spring 2006 Dania also volunteered with Recyclmania at CU. Dania embodies a well-rounded education. She is planning to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Colorado - Denver.

Kevin Greer

Kevin earned his B.S. degrees in EVEN and CVEN from the University of Colorado in December 2004. He is a design engineer with Richard P. Arber Associates, Inc. specializing in water and wastewater treatment. He is active in the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association Young Professionals Committee and a professional member of Engineers Without Borders. In 2007 he was recognized as a recipients of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC/CO) 2007 New Faces in Engineering. He recently became a licensed P.E. in Colorado.

Hallie Bevan

Hallie was selected as the Outstanding Senior of the Environmental Engineering program in 2008. She received the Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 2008. Hallie exemplifies the commitment to community and global service that we value in our students. She integrated a semester in Chile into her B.S. degree. She worked with Prof. Joe Ryan on a research project studying the impacts of acid mine drainage on a Colorado community, and wrote her undergraduate thesis on this topic. For this project she won a Discovery Learning Research Symposium award in the College of Engineering. As part of the University's student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Hallie worked on the design and construction of a solar-powered public water system for the village of San León in northern Peru. Link to article
Hallie graduated in December 2008 and is working at Walsh Environmental in Boulder.

Brian Stephens-Hotopp

Brian worked on a service learning project for a Native American community in the EVEN capstone design course. The student team took water samples from the existing wastewater treatment lagoon in the fall and considered options to upgrade the lagoon using renewable energy powered systems. Brian returned in the spring to present the results from the study.
Link to article
Brian graduated in May 2004. He works for Calibre Engineering in Littleton, CO, and became a new dad in 2007.

Melissa Mora

Melissa developed curriculum for grade schools on renewable energy.

She graduated from the EVEN program in December 2006. Melissa works for CH2M Hill in Denver, CO.

First Place Award for Research Presentation

Bret Harper, who graduated in May, 2005, spent the summer of 2004 doing research on high altitude physics
through the SOARS program. His project "Using the TIEGCM to Estimate the Equatorial Vertical E x B Drift Velocity with Ground Magnetic Perturbation" won first place at the national American Indian Science and Engineering Society
conference, held in Anchorage Alaska in November 2004.

The research involved the the drift velocity of the ionosphere (see Brett's presentation).  Over the equator, the drift velocity is proportional to the earth's natural magnetic perturbation. Brett used a global circulation model of the thermosphere, ionosphere, and electrodynamics of the upper atmosphere (TIEGCM) to see if the modeled results matched observed results, and thus test how well modeling of the physics of the upper atmosphere succeeded.

Leading the Design of the "SolarBee" for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Erik Jorgensen, who graduated in May, 2005, worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to investigate ways of decreasing the size of evaporation ponds through enhanced evaporation.  One recent study helped determine the effectiveness of a SolarBee pond circulator. A SolarBee unit is a water circulation machine that is capable of drawing up to 10,000 gallons of water per minute from below the machine and spreading it across the top of the water surface in a near laminar fashion for continuous surface renewal. This unit is know for greatly accelerating biological and chemical processes that clean up wastewater and freshwater, while running on only a 1/8 horsepower motor driven by solar power. Test results from the Salton Sea show that the unit can increase evaporation by 150% during the night time, and 130% when operating 24 hours a day. Read Erik's SolarBee article.

EVEN Student Leads American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Bret Harper, who just graduated in May, 2005, served as president of CU Boulder's American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). He was instrumental in hosting the annual AISES Region III conference here at CU for the first time. About 100 participants from 8 universities, 4 high schools, and 20 companies attended this conference, the largest number in recent years. Bret also regularly tutored high school students on a monthly basis. He also worked with the Deans of Engineering in increase American Indian recruitment and retention.

Bret was also an active participant in the Aloha club. He coordinated the
Hawaiian band that ties their annual lu`au together, an event attended by over 500 people. This event has been recognized as connecting Boulder to the unique traditional and modern culture of Hawaii.  Bret also helped coordinate the indigenous student club's (Oyate) Native American Awareness week in April, 2005. The week included discussions and presentations of various native artists, comedians, and politicians from across the country.

To the right is a photo of Brett (second from left) and other students receiving an award in Alaska for a bone marrow drive.  American Indians have the lowest number of registered donors amongst the minority groups, but the highest rate of bone marrow related diseases.