Rebecca Ventura
PhD Candidate
Civil Systems • Global Engineering

428 UCB
ECCE 153
Boulder, CO 80309-0428

Rebecca is a fourth-year PhD Student in Civil Systems Engineering focusing on household-level sanitation system design and implementation.  Her research interests include design and implementation of rural and urban decentralized sanitation systems, increasing improved sanitaiton access and use, and the sustainability of community managed sanitation systems. She first discovered her passion for sanitation after visiting Ecaudor in 2015. After completing her PhD, Rebecca aspires to be a professor working in areas of sanitaiton and urban development. 

Why I chose to get a PhD: When thinking about my future career, I knew I wanted to pursue complex, interdisciplinary problems in areas of international development and wastewater. As an undergraduate student I loved the academic environment where I could learn, mentor, teach, and conduct research each week. I chose to pursue a PhD because I want to improve water and sanitation in the international context and develop the skills necessary to become a professor and mentor. 


  • BS in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017


  • Recipient of the Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship, 2019


  • Adding New Sanitation Services to Increase Access and Motivate Improved Sanitation System Use, Poster Presentation, CO WASH Symposium, March 2021
  • What makes a toilet aspirational? Identifying ways to increase benefits from sanitation to improve availability and accessibility, Verbal Presentation, CO WASH Symposium, March 2022
  • Identifying characteristics that lead to a perceived "modern" bathroom in the rural Peruvian context, Poster Presentation, UNC Conference, October 2022