Meet Our Students

Undergraduates

Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez

Civil Engineering 2021

Juan Lopez transferred from a community college. Before coming to the U, Lopez completed an Urban Scholars internship, working with Fleet Services in a municipal public works department. Another part of the program was learning public speaking. “I realized it is a skill to become accustomed to speaking with people.”

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Keane Nowlan

Keane Nowlan

Civil Engineering 2020

Keane Nowlan developed an interest in structural engineering while working in his father's cabinet shop. Keane was involved in many activities on campus and travelled to Tanzania to work on a water project.

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Kat Hetico

Kat Hetico

Geoengineering 2019

In addition to completing a rigorous major in geoengineering, Kat Hetico was a Division 1 athlete competing on the UMN Women’s Crew Team.

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Diego DeBedout

Diego de Bedout

Civil Engineering 2018

Diego DeBedout developed a personal philosophy that helped make him one of CEGE’s most successful students. Ironically, dealing with failure is his key to success.

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Mariah Dooley

Mariah Dooley

Civil Engineering 2018

Mariah Dooley grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where only about 4% of the population speaks Spanish at home (StatisticalAtlas.com), yet somehow Dooley caught a passion for studying Spanish language and culture. She has nurtured that interest and is now completing a double major in civil engineering and Spanish studies. At UMN, Dooley has taken advantage of programs that are preparing her to be part of a global workforce.

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Noah Germolus

Noah Germolus

Environmental Engineering 2018

Noah Germolus is an engineer and a performing musician (mainly saxophone); he loves being outdoors as much as working out solutions on a computer; he’s comfortable in the Boundary Waters and, relatively so, when making a speech at commencement. Germolus tries a lot of new things just in case he might like them. But one thing is consistent: Noah Germolus is committed to environmental engineering.

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Emily Erhart

Emily Erhart

Geoengineering 2017

Emily Erhart has been a rock hound since childhood. When she learned she could combine her interests in engineering and geology in a Bachelor of Geoengineering, she was all in! She completed her degree with minors in chemistry and geology. She continued into the Master’s program. "A geoengineering degree opens up so many possibilities — hydrogeology, mining, earth materials. I'm looking forward to exploring more areas during my master's program."

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Edwin Jarquin Martinez

Edwin Jarquin Martinez

Civil Engineering 2017

Edwin Jarquin Martinez earned an architecture degree in his native Nicaragua. He came to the US with experience in working with structural engineers, but due to differences in education and credentialing, he returned to school. He enrolled in the University of Minnesota to earn his second degree in civil engineering. He's enthusiastic about the role that engineers will play in the future.

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Rena Weis

Rena Weis (BEnvE 2017)

Environmental Engineering 2017

Growing up on a hobby farm in New Prague, Minnesota, Weis developed an interest in how things grow and how people interact with the earth. In eight grade, she began researching biochar, a charcoal-like soil amendment produced from organic waste products, and how it led to fertile crops in the Amazon Basin. Her parents helped her set up some test plots where she could grow corn with charcoal. Her homegrown research grew well and developed into a four-year project that carried her to several international science fairs and to a high school internship at a USDA Soil Science Laboratory on the St. Paul campus of UMN.

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Doug Novak

Doug Novak

Civil Engineering 2017

Doug Novak was successfully ensconced in a management career, which he achieved without finishing high school. He had worked in construction and, for 15 years, in restaurant management. His mother often urged him to go back to school, but Novak was not convinced until he found himself passing his mother's admonitions on to his own daughters. "I felt like a hypocrite telling them how important college is. So, I enrolled ...

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Robert Rudin

Robert Rudin

Civil Engineering 2016

Robert Rudin is the first in his family to become an engineer. His father and grandfather, in addition to passing along their name, passed on an affinity for science and numbers. He got another strong dose of technological ability from his mother, a computer systems analyst. It seems young Robert was predestined for the sciences. Rudin balancee his heavy technical studies with an equally demanding role as the drum major for the University of Minnesota marching band.

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Shelly Matsuda

Shelly Matsuda

Civil Engineering December 2015

Shelly became fascinated with bridges in high school while researching occupations. “My whole senior year I shadowed a structural engineer in Oahu, Hawaii, where I am from. For my honors program, I studied the Sydney Harbor Bridge. That experience sparked my interest in civil engineering and convinced me that I wanted to work on bridges. In the process, I came to really appreciate the beauty of bridges and the engineering that goes into them."

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Lindsay Gaines

Lindsay Gaines

Civil Engineering December 2015

Lindsay has a passion for traffic engineering that started when she attended a seminar on autonomous vehicles and Intelligent Traffic Systems. “That was really interesting, and autonomous vehicles are just super awesome! It seemed that transportation would be a field in civil engineering that would be growing—not just in the sense of job security, but also in the sense of new technologies coming out and the whole infrastructure changing with the onset of autonomous vehicles."

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Jared Hartman

Jared Hartman

Civil Engineering December 2015

I’m really proud of being a student at UMN and being a civil engineer. I think it’s cool that civil engineers can do so much with math and science. Civil engineers have a hand in just about everything that goes on in the built environment. Driving around, I’ll say, ‘Yeah, you can thank a civil engineer for that!’ It’s a big responsibility, but I think it’s really cool.”

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Meaghan McGinn

Meaghan McGinn

Civil Engineering May 2015

When Meaghan graduates with her civil engineering degree in May, she will have a considerable amount of work experience. Before returning to school, she had earned a degree in Environmental Science and was working at the USDA in St. Paul. “I was doing a lot of lab work there. The other lab managers could tell I wasn’t 100% satisfied; they encouraged me to go back to school and get an engineering degree. I want to be less lab-oriented and more client-oriented.”

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Justice Harvieux

Justice Harvieux

Civil Engineering May 2015

Growing up, Justice was talented in many areas, including math, science, and even art. He decided to study Civil Engineering because it combined his interests and talents together nicely. Justice was drawn to Civil Engineering because it gives him ample opportunities to make an impact on the world, and has opened him up to a new interest in geomechanics. He has been challenged by the honors program, and has been given extra opportunities because of the exclusive smaller classes.

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Anthony Vecchi

Anthony Vecchi

Civil Engineering May 2015

In high school Anthony knew that looking ahead, he wanted to study something related to math and science. He got involved with ASCE because he was interested in Civil Engineering and wanted to learn more about it; now he serves as the president of ASCE. One of Anthony's favorite classes was Hydrolic Design because it was his first class in water resources that allowed him to make connections between class, his research, and his work at his internship. In the future, Anthony is considering attending graduate school for civil engineering or water resources engineering. He also has a personal goal to educate more young people about civil engineering, so that there is continued interest in the field.

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Kathryn Klarich

Kathryn Klarich

Civil Engineering May 2014

Kathryn participated in several research and travel projects in her time as an undergraduate.

I worked with Professor John Gulliver starting out as a freshman. He let me co-author the paper on our research project. He let me have a lot of independence, even though I’m sure he could have done things ten times faster. Having skills in research and writing helped me to advance. I attribute a lot of my success to having that really valuable experience early on.”

She travelled to Central Europe on a May term, and participated in the Acara program and worked on finding a business incentive for street vendors to improve food safety in India. Also through Acara, Kathryn was part of a team that developed a new business, Twin Fin Aquaponics, raising fish and greens indoors. She traveled to Tanzania to design a new drinking water system for a rural village. In her Capstone course she studied causes of excess nitrogen in a city waste water treatment plant. “Being a student at the U opened up a lot of opportunities I would not have had otherwise.”

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Noah Kimmes

Noah Kimmes

Geoengineering May 2014

Noah came from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to go to school in the big city. “Geoengineering is one of the coolest majors anyone could do and more people should know about it. I got to meet civil engineering people and geology people, and got to take classes with each of them. “The geology classes seem more theoretical and engineering more practical, although there is a balance in each. In geology a lot of theories cannot be proven in the same way that things can be tested in engineering. We cannot travel to the center of the earth for testing. Most problems in engineering, however, can be tested with research.”

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Steven Borntrager

Steven Borntrager

Civil Engineering December 2013

Steven came back to school after a career in the United States Air Force. On campus, Steven made specific efforts to connect with other students and get involved. He participated on the Steel Bridge Team, sought out study groups, and participated in the CSE Mentor Program. Steven brought his family to campus as often as he could; being on campus helped his kids understand what he was doing. “We give the CE department credit for my son Adam’s interest in engineering. He played with the department’s liquefaction table and his interest comes directly from that experience."

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Michelle Maciej

Michelle Maciej

Civil Engineering May 2013

Like many students entering the College of Science and Engineering, Michelle discovered in high school that she was skilled in the highly desired areas of math and science. When Michelle arrived at the University of Minnesota, she was open to exploring several options in engineering. She was deliberate and analytical in her exploration. After each course, she would consider her levels of interest and enjoyment, and how satisfying that field would be for her as a career. Being a curious sort, she found that most classes passed on the interest and enjoyment scales, so her vision of her future self often became the deciding factor. “I like to work with people. I like a challenge.” As she paid attention, the pieces began to fit together. Michelle declared a major in Civil Engineering. She found the program to be a great fit for her skills and interests.

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