Published: Jan. 26, 2018


Why did you choose engineering at CU Boulder?

I've always liked learning how things work through math and science. I am also passionate about preserving our environment and public health. When I heard I could combine those two interests into environmental engineering, it seemed like the program for me!

What does the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag mean to you?

It means to not let school get you down. When there are so many brilliant minds in the College of Engineering, it's easy to think that you don't fit in, especially when school gets hard. #iLookLikeAnEngineer shows students that they can push through adversity and have a community to support them.

What are three things that make you unique?

  1. I once stayed up all night in front of a pizza place to get free pizza for a year.
  2.  I've had my middle name legally changed twice.
  3.  I like cats.

What are your career goals?

I would like to make a positive impact on the environment and public health through engineering. It's definitely cheesy, but I want to save the world! As of now, I'm thinking of achieving that by working in environmental remediation.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and the shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman
 "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" - Sheryl Sandberg

What are your hobbies?

I love hiking in the beautiful Colorado mountains, reading, and cooking interesting recipes.

What do you enjoy most about engineering?

I love learning how things work, questioning why they work that way, then figuring out new ways to make things work better. I also love how great of an impact engineers have on our world's more pressing issues. The idea of having an influence is exciting.

What is your favorite engineering experience?

Attending engineering conferences has been a really impactful experience. I have attended five SWE conferences and one conference through the National Academy of Engineering, and each one has broadened my mind in a different way. I always return from conferences feeling re-inspired to make a difference through engineering.

Do you have any advice for freshman who are pursuing an engineering major?

Have the courage to ask for help. It's uncomfortable to raise your hand in class or go into office hours. To me, the hardest part is admitting to myself that I don't know what I'm doing. It's okay. You are in charge of your education, so have the courage to speak up.

Katie McQuie, Class of 2018, Fairview High School Graduate, Environmental Engineering