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

Kimberly is a third year Ph.D. candidate researching approaches for strengthening local government collaboration to collectively sustain water and sanitation services as a part of the USAID Sustainable WASH Systems learning partnership. She focuses on the implementation and impact of these approaches in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Cambodia with USAID partners and programs, tasked with informing future USAID programming. She just earned a certificate in science and technology policy through the CU Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.

She has been involved in the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) since August 2015 and in 2017-18 she held a mandated position as Technology Focal Point for the Sustainable Development Goals, supporting MGCY engagement in the UN Science Technology and Innovation Forum 2018. Through June 2019 she was a Science Policy Interface platform facilitator, where she strengthened MGCY presence in science policy related streams within UN intergovernmental frameworks and allied processes, such as for the High Level Political Forum.

Her professional interests point toward collaborative decision-making and governance techniques that involve diverse actors for complex environmental issues such as water scarcity, sanitation, water reuse, wildfires, and climate adaptation. 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, 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