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Environmental Engineering Success Stories

About me:
Caitlin McNeil
B.S. in Environmental Engineering (2009)
M.S. in Environmental Engineering (2010)
Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Research Engineer / Project Manager:
I work within research teams to investigate and solve energy issues including carbon dioxide emissions and future energy sources. My role also focuses on working to design, plan, and execute field, lab, and office work with other engineers and other science-based majors to develop technical solutions for clients' (industrial/commercial/government) issues.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
The key skills required include a general understanding of scientific principles like having controls in experimentation and having a good basis in technical/design thinking while being able to apply these concepts to all types of problems, whether in your area of expertise or not. Communication and connection with diverse (age and background) personnel and being able to translate the technical into common terminology as you would for someone with no technical experience in the subject matter.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Environmental Engineering?
If you learn engineering and scientific principles and have a good foundation to work from, you can work in almost any area and learn concepts as you go. The willingness and openness to learning new concepts and working in new areas is very beneficial – don’t box yourself in, there are lots of opportunities out there!


About me:
Jake Marzec
B.S. in Environmental Engineering (2015)
AECOM (formerly URS), Columbus, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as Graduate Water Resources Engineer:
As a water resources engineer, I am involved in projects relating to water conveyance/distribution systems, stormwater management, and water/wastewater treatment. My responsibilities include writing and editing technical reports and memos, using AutoCAD Civil 3D to create and edit design plans, and using ArcGIS and PCWMM to create hydraulic models for conveyance/distribution systems and stormwater management related projects.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
To  be a successful water resources engineer, it is important to be, or become, proficient in AutoCAD, ArcGIS, and PCSWMM. Also, great communication skills, and strong writing skills are important when working in the consulting engineering field.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Environmental Engineering?
Environmental engineering was the perfect major for me because it drew from chemistry, applied mathematics and even some biology. The major is suited for those that are interested in working in water resources engineering, environmental remediation and air pollution control engineering. I would advise those interested in majoring in environmental engineering to determine the impact they would like to make as they grow into environmental engineers. If this impact includes solving problems relating to air/water pollution and other environmental hazards, then the environmental engineering major may be the best course of study for an undergraduate. 


About me:
Jon Miner
B.S. in Environmental Engineering (2015)
B.S. in Environmental Science (2015)
ms consultants, inc., Columbus, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Design Engineer:
I provide engineering design for storm water, drinking water and sanitary sewer projects. This work includes but is not limited to: calculations, drafting, modeling, specifications, permitting, and field work.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Design engineers must be quick to adapt to a variety of projects. There is not one solution for every project, so a balance must be found between what the client wants and available technologies. Additionally, engineers need to be very detailed oriented. Catching a small error in a project can mean a difference of thousands of dollars.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Environmental Engineering?
I think the most important thing to do while in college is to really explore different engineering opportunities. Internships are the best way to do that. You may find that there are certain fields in engineering that you do not particularly like and it is much better to find that out in an internship setting than it is to find out once you're in a full time position. Follow your passions and don't settle. There is a perfect job out there for everyone.


About me:
Michael Irwin    
B.S. in Environmental Engineering (2013)
Arcadis, Columbus, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Water Resources Engineer:
In the big picture, my role as a design engineer is to develop an understanding of our clients’ (usually a water/wastewater utility) goals for certain projects, and then to design solutions that benefit the client. On a daily basis, this includes preparing drawings for construction projects, gathering information though discussions with clients or through site visits, contacting equipment manufacturers to make water/wastewater equipment selections, and coordinating with contractors during construction projects.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
The main skills that are required for my job include: hydraulics/fluid flow calculations, an understanding of water/wastewater processes, the ability to read and create construction drawings, being willing/able to learn how to use new engineering design software, and organization and documentation of engineering calculations and decisions.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Environmental Engineering?
If you are considering majoring in environmental engineering, my advice to you would be to join an on-campus engineering student group (SEE, ASCE, etc.) to find out more about what environmental engineers do in their jobs. Some of the most valuable things these student groups provide is the opportunity to attend professional panels (hear experiences from engineers, great networking opportunity) and facility tours (get a chance to see and become familiar with the actual treatment plants, landfills, and remediation sites that environmental engineers design).