Olivia Harmon is a second-year Environmental Engineering Research Based Master's student at the University of Colorado Boulder and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering. Her research is assisting in the development of a low-cost fluorescence sensor for the detection of E. Coli in water distribution systems in LMICs.
Olivia received her undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama (UA) in Chemical and Biological Engineering. At UA, she worked to develop new experiments for the unit operations lab for undergraduate students and helped manage the spectroscopy lab for the chemistry, biology, and all engineering departments. She also started and participated in Engineering Outreach, talking with high school students around the state of Alabama about career paths for engineers. In addition, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant, fabricating nanopores and nanowires to be used in a nanochannel device for DNA detection.
Her experience with global engineering began as the innovation engineering intern with the non-profit Water Mission, where she worked to improve the backwash of the media filtration system and applied those improvements to help provide clean water to a refugee camp in Tanzania. In Fall 2021, Olivia completed her Practicum with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, where she worked with Alaskan Native communities on projects centering around the Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS).