Civil Engineering

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Jordan Burns

While civil engineering centers on the design and construction of physical environments, Jordan Burns specializes in a critical part of the discipline that isn’t often recognized—communication.

“I’m not an engineer who can just sit and do math. I like to interact with people,” said the civil engineering major, who is also president of the CU-Boulder chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA CU).

Edie Zagona

As she grew up in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Edie Zagona learned how important water and nature’s cycles were to the land and its people. The lesson never faded.

Diane McKnight

Diane McKnight’s research has taken her to some of the most spectacular places on Earth, where she studies relationships between freshwater organisms, trace metals and natural organic material. One year, a student described her travels as “visiting all the ‘A’ places,” when she embarked on field work in Alaska, Antarctica and Africa.

Christina Jones

CU-Boulder undergraduate Christina Jones decided to major in civil engineering because she likes construction projects. Little did she know when she made that decision that she would be selected as an intern to work on one of the largest and most significant projects underway in the whole world—the expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Panama Canal.

Joshua Kearns

A variety of public health issues plague the refugees from Burma living on the Thai border, not the least of which is drinking water contaminated by bacteria and pesticides. Yet, few low-cost, sustainable and appropriate treatment technologies are available to people in rural and developing communities to ensure water safety.

CU-Boulder doctoral student Joshua Kearns may have a solution involving a 4,000-year-old technology―filtering water through charcoal―made more robust through intensive research and development.

Frances Fierst

It takes a unique combination of skills and personality to do the work of Frances Fierst, a CU engineering alumna whose development work has taken her to some of the poorest and most war-torn locations on the planet. After several years of working as a mechanical engineer in the manufacturing sector, Fierst decided to change the trajectory of her career by pursuing master’s degrees in engineering management and civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Kristy Schloss

Like a lot of engineers, Kristy Schloss (CivEngr '86) was attracted to the field because she wanted to make a difference. That's also the reason she became an active volunteer in the college, where she mentors students and serves on the Engineering Advisory Council and other program and departmental advisory boards.

Nancy Thonen

Nancy Thonen (ChemEngr '88) works 12-hour days and is on call 365 days a year as the general manager of Suncor Energy (USA) Inc.'s Commerce City refinery.

Balaji Rajagopalan

For more than 100 years scientists have connected the variability of the summer monsoon rains in India to El Niño, a rise in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific having significant consequences for weather around the globe. But events in the last 25 years seem to have reduced forecasters’ ability to predict the monsoon to a mere roll of the dice.

Charles Glass

"At CU I learned how to think and create knowledge in my field of study," says Charles Glass, who earned his master’s in civil engineering at CU-Boulder in 1994 and his PhD in 1997. "I also learned how to work independently on a project, which gave me the confidence to know that I could solve problems using the tools that I learned at CU. I have applied that knowledge, or confidence, to study areas outside of my specialty, to start a small consulting firm, and to build wealth."

Bernard Amadei

Bernard Amadei has friends in Belize, Rwanda, Mali, Peru, and Nepal. And the list of countries doesn’t end there. His name is recognized in dozens of remote villages, from Asia to South America, as an engineer with a heart of gold.

Several years ago, the CU-Boulder professor of civil engineering visited a Mayan village in Belize, where he was struck by the fact that the girls could not go to school because they had to carry water all day from the river to their village. "It broke my heart, and I decided that I was going to do something about it," he recalls.

Dua Chaker

Dua Chaker has a gleam in her eyes when she talks about GoldShirt.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for me to be involved in engineering. It has really expanded my chances for a good career,” says the first-year student who is part of the first cohort of GoldShirt Program students at CU Engineering.

Abby Watrous

Graduate student Abby Watrous will study in China during the 2009-10 academic year to track a contributing factor in one of the world's worst environmental problems, a research endeavor that is being funded by a prestigious national scholarship.

Watrous, who is working toward her doctoral degree in civil engineering, received a Fulbright Scholarship for an intensive study of the Chinese language and development of hands-on teaching modules in renewable energy for Chinese and American elementary students.  

Mark Gould

An excavation project near Snowmass Village last fall by Gould Construction Inc. took on mammoth significance when a dozer operator uncovered a cache of ice age bones.

It is considered one of the most important fossil discoveries in Colorado history according to scientists with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, although the first reaction of Mark Gould (CivEngr '81, MS '82), the company's president and CEO, was concern about keeping the construction job on schedule.

Bill Reinert

Bill Reinert (MS CivEngr ’81) is on a quest to reduce the impact of the automobile on society. He is national manager of advanced technology for Toyota where he coordinates Toyota’s research, development, and marketing for alternative-fueled vehicles and emerging technologies. Reinert helped design the current generation Prius, perhaps the most iconic “green” vehicle on the road and he and his team launched the first hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles in commercial operation in the United States.

John Lund

A three-decade career promoting the development of geothermal energy has led John W. Lund (CivEngr '58, PhD '67) around the world and back to his own front yard.

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