Young Professionals Report on Their Developing Areas of Expertise

EM – August 2021: This month's EM is the first of what we hope will become an annual special issue that focuses on the work being done by young professionals (YPs) who are building their resumes in a range of technical areas.
by Gary Bramble, Lindsay Salvador, and Kerry Weichsel

The environmental field is changing. Baby boomers are retiring, coal-fired power plants are closing, and concerns of the recent past (like Acid Rain) are fading. In this special issue of EM, we place the spotlight firmly on young professionals (YPs)—A&WMA defines young professionals as aged 35 years or younger—featuring articles from a diverse group of YPs who are building their resumes in a breadth of areas. Our authors range in age from 20 to 30. Several are still in college. None have more than seven years of professional experience. And yet, they are involved with issues that are current and require timely solutions.

The first article is by Megan Ginn. This year, Megan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati (UC). She will soon complete her master's degree from UC, with a thesis developed alongside U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers addressing nutrient recovery and reuse. Megan recently joined the Fishbeck consulting firm as a water/wastewater engineer. She knows a great deal about stream quality, 3D printing, and is a talented musician. In her article, she shares her knowledge of aerosols and which types of musical performances are most likely to expose one to respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.

Next is an article by Shelley Koehn. Shelley is a senior environmental engineer at 3M Company in St. Paul, MN. She graduated from Purdue University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Ecological Engineering and minors in Spanish and Natural Resources and Environmental Science. After graduation, she worked for four years as an environmental consultant before moving to 3M, where she currently works as an environmental engineer within the U.S. and Canada Air Permitting and Compliance Team. Shelley has experience with air permitting in several states, air dispersion modeling, routine compliance reporting, and environmental auditing. She lives in St. Paul, and currently serves as the Chair of the A&WMA Upper Midwest Section and is a member of YPAC. Shelley's article gives an overview of air permitting options within the United States, including several state-specific case studies outlining rules and requirements in Wisconsin, Texas, and Minnesota.

Following this is an article by Karin Teuffer. Karin is a water resources engineer at Guernsey in Oklahoma City, OK. She was born in Mexico City, grew up in Miami, graduated from Cornell University in New York, and now lives and works in Oklahoma. Karin received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering in 2016 and a Master of Engineering, Environmental and Water Resources in 2017. She has considerable understanding of statistical analysis, soil organic carbon, pesticide runoff, peak stormwater flows in culverts, and solid waste from municipal water treatment. She is on the path to becoming a Professional Engineer. As an example of the challenge of dealing with drinking water treatment plant residuals, she presents her experience with a recent lagoon closure and reclamation project.

Last, but not least, is an article by Leah Dickerson. Leah is a recent graduate from the University of Cincinnati Environmental Engineering program. Her co-op experiences included diverse exposure to environmental regulations and reporting in Toledo, Chillicothe, and Louisville. Within the program, she focused on Air and Water Quality and is now an incoming engineer with a major Ohio consulting firm. Leah is the submitting author for this article on the potential for floating solar arrays at the Northern Kentucky Water District. Leah notes that her team included: Sean Clapp, Mary Beth Keppler, and Chase Neville; all fellow alumni of the Department of Environmental Engineering of the University of Cincinnati.

Continue reading the full August 2021 issue of EM.


There have been no comments made on this article. Why not be the first and add your own comment using the form below.

Leave a comment

Commenting is restricted to members only. Please login now to submit a comment.