Portrait of Kimmy Pugel
PhD Candidate
Civil Systems • Science and Technology Policy
428 UCB
ECCE 153
Boulder, CO 80309-0428

Program analyst in practice and civil/environmental engineer by training, Kimberly studies international development programs that bring stakeholders and government together to collaboratively provide reliable, sustainable water and sanitation services in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Cambodia as a part of the USAID Sustainable WASH Systems learning partnership. She lives and breathes data on stakeholder diversity and engagement, civil infrastructure, life cycle costing, political economy, land use, watershed management, sustainability, and demographics and inequality. She has spent countless hours working alongside USAID and implementing partners to ensure that her work is relevant and meets a need. She knows that many of her generation's biggest challenges cannot be solved by any one entity and instead require a diverse set of stakeholders working collaboratively to address water scarcity, sanitation, water reuse, wildfires, and climate adaptation.

Kimberly is a third year PhD candidate in Civil Systems Engineering at CU Boulder. She received her Masters in Civil Engineering with a certificate in Science and Technology Policy from CU Boulder in 2019, and she received her B.S. from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Environmental Engineering in 2017 with a minor in Gender, Race, Culture, Science, and Technology. She also supported and coordinated science-policy related workstreams within UN intergovernmental frameworks and allied processes, such as for the High Level Political Forum, for the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) for four years (2015 - 2019). Previously, she worked in groundwater remediation and innovative solutions for water reclamation and energy reuse using algae biomass as the primary research assistant on projects for the National Science Foundation Global Waste Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy. Kimberly also makes time to learn new things – inside and outside – trying out new recipes, trails, gardening tactics, and music.


  • MS in Civil Systems Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, 2019

       - Certificate: Science and Technology Policy

  • BS in Environmental Engineering, California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, 2017 

       - Minor: Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology


  • Best Presentation Award, Engineering Projects and Organizations Conference 2018

  • University of Colorado Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science Doctoral Assistantship for Excellence Award, 2017

  • College of Engineering Top Graduating Senior for Academic Excellence, Cal Poly, 2017

  • Outstanding Woman in Engineering – Nominee, Cal Poly, 2017