Published: Aug. 1, 2022
Sydney Litchfield

Name: Sydney Litchfield
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Major: Environmental Engineering
Year: Senior

I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and did not start taking interest in engineering until I was in college. An inspiration behind becoming an engineer was watching my city go from one of the dirtiest places in the country to one of the cleanest urban areas in the nation.

I never believed that I could be an engineer, so I pushed the thought behind me, but even still, the idea lived in the back of my mind.

Once I started college I realized I had no idea what I wanted to study. After my freshman year, I took a gap year and volunteered as an English teacher in Cairo, Egypt for 10 months.

While I was there, all I could see was the need for better water resources, structures, simple filtration, and overall better infrastructure within the city.

When I returned home, I decided that I wanted to pursue my once repressed dream of becoming an engineer.

I realized I wanted to make a difference for water quality in developing countries. I saw so many of my students getting sick all the time when they went home for breaks because in their villages, they didn't have a filtration system or access to clean water like we did at the school.

Although our water system was simple at the school, it quickly became an interest. I knew I wanted to work in water treatment facilities and wanted to make drinking water available to those who needed it.

I chose environmental engineering because I enjoy problem solving, and it was the track where I felt that I could connect with people in the community and help out.

I am now a senior, hopeful for Fall 2023 graduation!

I started my undergrad in Tennessee, but at the beginning of the pandemic, I moved to Colorado and decided to transfer to CU Boulder.

I had experienced Boulder through summer jobs in high school and during college working as a counselor at summer camps, including Glacier View Ranch camp in Ward, Colorado.

On my days off, I would travel around the mountains and go into town in Boulder. During my visits, I noticed that CU Boulder had a program in environmental engineering.

From going on campus tours and seeing the program highlights I knew that I would love to go to here.

Boulder also has great people and offers an outdoor lifestyle with everyone I have met along the way. I have the opportunity to spend what free time I have outside with some of my best friends.