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Civil and Environmental Engineering
› Alumni Profiles
Mixing Engineering, Architecture, and Wooden Coasters
Hunter Lawrence (BS ’18) has a fascination for the aesthetics of roller coasters. She grew up riding the coasters at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh. And she worked at the park as a ride operator for two summers–cementing her interest in the engineering and architecture behind wooden roller coasters.
Alumnus Inducted into National Academy of Construction
Seth Pearlman (CE BS ‘78, MS ‘79) has been named a new member of the National Academy of Construction in recognition of his leadership in ground improvement, environmental remediation, and soil investigation.
Building Better Water Infrastructure Across the US
Having grown up in an under-served area, Michael Borrero, PE, (CEE BS ‘97) entered Carnegie Mellon with firsthand knowledge of water infrastructure problems—and a drive to fix them.
Mentoring Program Matches Undergrads with CEE Alums
The Alumni/Undergraduate Mentor Program, which welcomed its first cohort in the fall of 2021, matched 21 student-alumni pairs with the goal to develop deeper connections between participants.
Yam’s Global Education Leads to Singapore’s Ministry of Transport
Singapore native Denise Yam (CiVE/EPP ’13) longed to explore the world before returning home to build her career. A strong believer in challenging herself and broadening her world view, Yam’s passion for international exploration led her to Carnegie Mellon.
New Scholarship Fund Honors Accomplished Alums DiGioia and Gray
The scholarship will support CEE undergraduates in pursuing their degrees, as classmates Anthony DiGioia Jr. (BS ‘56, MS ‘57, PhD ‘60) and Richard Gray (BS‘56) attribute much of their own success to the strong academic foundation and relationships forged at Carnegie Tech.
Waldvogel Works on LANL Sustainability and Zero-Carbon Plans
Genna Waldvogel (MS ‘17) took a somewhat non-traditional route to her current position as a sustainability program team leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. Prior to earning her master’s degree at CEE, she spent four years teaching high school science. She explains that the skills she gained as a teacher and during her time as a CEE graduate student have given her a unique ability to solve advanced problems.
Alumni Survey Reveals Strength and Variety of Options Available to CEE Grads
Backed by our CPDC career resources and CEE’s renowned programs, the data shows that CEE students can graduate confident that they are ready for what’s next.
Rebuilding the World Trade Center Site: Looking Back 20 Years after 9/11
Among those contributing to the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site were two CEE alumni, Seth Pearlman (BS ’78, MS ‘79) and John Wise (BS ‘84). Both men worked for Nicholson Construction Company, a firm that specialized in geotechnical engineering and foundation work, and, in total, Wise spent nearly a decade of his career working on and off at the World Trade Center site.
CMU Connection Leads to Success at eIQ Mobility
The years spent studying, researching, and growing at CMU forms a camaraderie between students that lasts long past graduation. For Emre Kara (CEE PhD '14) and Sila Berkol Kiliccote (CFA MS '95 and Tepper MBA 1999-2000), their shared CMU connection led to a business partnership at eIQ Mobility—where they work together to simplify and accelerate electrification of fleets. As VP of Engineering, Kara is tasked with building what’s now the leading software platform for fleet electrification assessments.
Martin Fertal Joins ASCE as New COO
Martin Fertal, BS Civil Engineering (BS ‘83, MS ’84) was recently named Chief Operating Officer at ASCE, an organization he’s proud to note was “founded in 1852 and is the nation’s oldest engineering society.” As COO, he’s responsible for managing the society’s 150,000 members as well as its nine technical institutes, publications department, continuing education, and career services programming.
Eybpoosh’s Works to Improve Renewable Energy Reliability
When Matineh Eybpoosh (MS ‘12, PhD ‘15) was presented with the opportunity to co-found her own company, she jumped at the chance. Her entrepreneurial motivation led to the development of WattLearn Inc., a company that builds software for energy storage batteries—and by extension, increases the penetration of renewables across the electricity grid. Eybpoosh founded the company alongside fellow CMU alum Julian Lamy (EPP ‘16) and has led the company as its CEO since 2017.
Peters Named CEE’s Distinguished Alumni
During CEE’s 2020 Alumni Awards reception, Catherine Peters (CE ’90 and '92) was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes CEE alumni who have one or more major achievements that have improved the work of professional engineers or have improved people’s lives in some way.
Lai Builds Location-Specific Climate Forecasting Tools for Engineers
Yuchuan Lai recently completed his PhD studies remotely, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lai’s second paper, co-written with his advisor Professor Dave Dzombak, “Use of the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) Model to Forecast Near-Term Regional Temperature and Precipitation,” was recently published in the AMS Journal of Weather and Forecasting.
Alum Helps Organizations Construct the Workplace of Tomorrow
As Carnegie Mellon alum Harvey Beckham, P.E. (CE and EPP ’90), left his office in March of 2020, everyone around him was also departing. His colleagues were preparing to work from home in response to COVID-19, but Beckham was preparing for something more. Before the pandemic began, he had decided to launch his own business, GPS Partners, offering conception-to-completion project advising services in commercial real estate construction and design.
The Multidisciplinary Way
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Michele Blazek (CEE/EPP BS ’87) and her team at Stanford Health Care jumped into action to keep their staff safe and their patients cared for—all while creatively tackling the challenges of limited space and personal protective equipment.
Babaei Identifies Lipid Rafts as Way COVID-19 Invades Cells
As the coronavirus pandemic continues its march across the globe, researchers—including CEE Professor Kaushik Dayal and recent graduate Mahnoush Babaei—are discovering new information that could help to fight the disease in the future. Their work examined how viruses utilize what they call lipid rafts to change the walls of human cells.
CEE Professor Samaras and Alum Francis Named to NASEM Committee
Hegglin Challenges Norms and Brings a Fresh Perspective
Miriam Hegglin knew she would be one of few women on the ExxonMobil offshore oil platform to which she was assigned in 2016 as part of a program for new employees. But she was determined to learn as much as she could during the six-month assignment, and to earn through hard work the respect of the platform crew she was joining.
Wall Premieres Film Festival Winning Documentary in Pittsburgh
Mary Wall’s (CEE ’98) career path has taken her in a direction she may not have expected. While at CMU, she minored in Creative Writing and Spanish to balance out the intensity of her engineering courses. She soon discovered a love for visual storytelling. Today, she’s preparing to premiere her first movie in Pittsburgh—a documentary titled The Fan Connection. The film has already been named the Audience Award Winner of the 2019 Buffalo International Film Festival and an official selection of the 2019 Film Festival of Columbus.
Leech Awarded ESWP Metcalf Award
CEE Adjunct and alumnus Thomas Leech, PE, SE (BS '69) was honored with the ESWP 2020 William Metcalf Award at the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) awards dinner on February 6th.
Using AI to Detect Energy Waste
Liu’s decision to work in asset management was in service of improving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) software he had spent years developing with Burcu Akinci, the Paul Christiano Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean for Research. That software, now offered through Liu and Akinci’s 2016 CEE spinoff LeanFM Technologies, provides facilities managers with the means to analyze data collected from existing sensors to identify, diagnose, and eliminate energy waste in their building’s HVAC systems due to faults. LeanFM is a PropTech, a company uses information technology for the real estate industry.
Divergent Path: Joining Engineering and Creativity
Jolita Mo (CEE BS ’13, MS ’14) works as a product designer with online high-end retailer Net-A-Porter. Her job allows her to merge both her engineering and analytical skills, with her passion for design
Modeling Excellence, Chatterjee Brings Skills and Collaboration to Engineering Solutions
When people comment on Sumon Chatterjee’s strong computational and modeling skills, he sees it as much a comment on what he learned at CEE as on his own innate abilities.
Pearlman to Receive ASCE’s 2020 Wallace Hayward Baker Award for Ingenious Innovation in the Field of Ground Modification
Alumnus Seth Pearlman (BS '78, MS '79), President and CEO of Menard Group USA, has been selected by the Geo-Institute Board of Governors at the American Society of Civil Engineers to receive the 2020 Wallace Hayward Baker Award for Ingenious Innovation in the Field of Ground Modification.
Supporting Environment by Designing Water Treatment Plants
Vignesh Ramakrishnan (CEE 2012) is working as an Environmental Engineer for CDM Smith in Chennai, India. His passion for water and the environment led him to Pittsburgh and CEE to earn his master’s degree. “When I knew I wanted to pursue a career in this field, I began looking for programs in the United States. It was an easy decision to choose CEE,” he says.
Building Global Successes: Jonathan Tanner
As a management consultant in the automotive, aerospace, travel, and information sectors for A.T. Kearney, Johnathan Tanner (CEE ‘15, ETIM ‘15) brings to bear his background in engineering and business to help clients control costs. The projects on which he has worked have ranged from helping clients develop research labs to developing new business units.
Farming Data, Improving Production
or Arvind Murali Mohan (MS ’10, PhD ’13), the opportunity to use technology to help farmers compile previously siloed data into one central platform means the chance to help them even the playing field in an industry where so many inputs are beyond their control. As a co-founder of foris.io, a Silicon Valley-based precision agriculture startup that helps farmers with field management and crop performance, Mohan heads up research and development for the company.
Recent Alumni Participate in MIT Rising Stars Workshop
Three recent CEE PhD graduates recently participated in MIT’s Rising Stars in Civil and Environmental Engineering workshop, a competitive program the brings 20 women together to prepare them for careers in academia and as leaders in civil and environmental engineering.
Cousté Steps Into Role as Site Superintendent for DC Metro Extension
Michelle Cousté (BS '15) is a site superintendent for Clark Construction on the Silver Line project, a 6-station, 11-mile extension to the DC metro.
Breaking Ground: Slavsky Helps Clients Build for the Future
Kseniya Slavsky (CEE MS, BS ’03) wears many different hats for her clients: engineer, financial analyst, manager, contract writer, negotiator. It is the variety in her workday, the opportunity to solve problems and the reality that, in the end, she can see the physical manifestation of her efforts, that makes her job so rewarding.
Using Connected Vehicles and Traffic Signals to Improve Transportation Safety
CEE graduate, Navin Katta (MS ’09) from Savari, Inc., develops hardware and software for vehicles to improve road safety.
Bringing Science to Communication, Ong Translates for the Future
When Siri is asked what the weather is doing in Kalamazoo, there is a pretty good chance Leneve Ong has helped deliver the answer. Ong, who earned her Masters of Science from CEE’s Advanced Infrastructure Program in 2011, is a data scientist who helps Apple Inc.’s Siri understand spoken queries and deliver correct responses.
Beyond the Surface: Bringing Beauty and Structure to Light
David Bott (CMU BArch ’97, BS CEE ’98), grew up fascinated with the idea of creating spaces, how things were designed and how they were built. While his career path may be slightly different than he had envisioned as a young man, there can be no doubt that he is creating a legacy of iconic and unique spaces.
Hemming Welcomes Students for Real World Engineering Program
Dorian Hemming (CEE ’11) understands the value of professional networking. And to help the next generation of CEE grads transition into the workforce, he was excited to host CMU students Charyl Tan, Andrew Thompson, and Annie Hu in Washington, D.C.—and show them a day in the life of a civil and environmental engineer.
Duplan Named CEE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni
Neno Duplan (CEE ’84) has earned many awards during his career, but few have had the personal impact of being chosen CEE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni. Duplan says that when he learned of the commendation, he immediately felt honored. “I know how many great CMU alumni are out there, especially here in Silicon Valley.”
Marszalik Connects Native Alaskan Villages to Critical Sanitation Infrastructure
When Agnes Marszalik (BS '13) decided to focus her job search on areas near mountains, she had no idea that she’d end up in an area reeling from the impacts of climate change. Working as an engineer for the Division of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, she sees first-hand that native communities are relocating—or planning to relocate—due to the changing environment.
Leading the Way on Corporate Environmental Sustainability
As Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM, CEE alumn Wayne Balta now leads the environmental efforts he helped to start nearly 30 years ago.
Adam Incorporates Strategy, Sustainability into Chase Center
When the NBA’s Golden State Warriors plays its first game in the brand new 18,000 seat Chase Center, CEE alum Véronique Adam (BS '15) will be cheering them on—not just as a fan, but as an engineer who helped to make the center a reality.
Alum Turns Battery Acid into Fertilizer – While Exceeding EPA Standards
When John (Jack) Richardson, P.E. (BS ’87) is currently working on a project to convert industrial battery acid into fertilizer, an initiative born out of the EPA’s industry mandates to reduce emissions.
Kutchko Named SPE Distinguished Lecturer
Alumna Barbara Kutchko (PhD ‘08) named a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) distinguished lecturer.
Hancherick Returns to Campus as Project Engineer for ANSYS Hall
Carly Hancherick (CEE '14), is bringing her unique perspective to the project thanks to her familiarity with the school and campus. She’s working as the project engineer for the construction management team, Mosites Construction.
Building Bridges to Success
Civil Engineering alumnus W. Logan Dickerson always imagined building bridges would be in his future. His father had founded a bridge construction business in 1929, and Dickerson knew from the start that he wanted to earn a degree that allowed him to follow in his father’s footsteps.
CEE Alum Paul Murphy Oversees Nation’s First Offshore Wind Farm
As Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Deepwater Wind, CEE alum Paul Murphy has a job unlike any other in the United States.
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