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Personal Stories

Consulting. Construction. Industry. Government. Education. Not-for-profit/outreach. Military. Academia. Entrepreneurs. Our alumni have done it all. Their stories illustrate that you can do anything you want to do with a degree in civil or environmental engineering or earth sciences, and that you can make a difference in locally, nationally, and globally.

We have many stories to share with you about the cool things our alumni are up to. Here are a few to get you started. But be sure to check back often as we will be adding new stories throughout the year. You can also check out more alumni stories on our Alumni page.

In addition to their stories, some of them have offered their e-mails. So if you have a specific question for them, drop them a line. Be considerate of their time, but they're excited to share their journeys and their work with you. Not sure? Then talk to your department adviser, faculty, or chair. They can also answer any questions you might have.

Caitlin Burke ND '11 ENVIRONMENT Caitlin Burke ND '11 ENVIRONMENT

Caitlin Burke '11 was able to combine her civil engineering background and passion for the environment into a role as an environmental consultant.

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Zach Cobell ND '10 ENVIRONMENT Zach Cobell ND '10 ENVIRONMENT

At a time when strong hurricanes are increasing in frequency and intensity, Zach Cobell '10 is using hurricane models to understand their behavior and patterns.

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Michael McLean ND '16 ENVIRONMENT Michael McLean ND '16 ENVIRONMENT

Michael McLean wasn't afraid to step outside his comfort zone after graduating. He moved to a new city different from anywhere he had lived before and took on a managerial role on his third day of work!

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Emily Horton ND '16 ENGINEERING Emily Horton ND '16 ENGINEERING

Emily Horton was "greener than a blade of grass" when she started as a design engineer. Now, she has been able to work on exciting projects like the Texas High-Speed Rail system and the Plant Vogtle nuclear plant.

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James Herrick ND '16 ENGINEERING James Herrick ND '16 ENGINEERING

As the demand for civil engineers grows, James Herrick '16 says he feels privileged to be working in the profession for engineering and environmental consulting firm Langan.

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Alicia Czarnecki ND '17 ENVIRONMENT Alicia Czarnecki ND '17 ENVIRONMENT

Alicia Czarnecki '17 always knew she wanted to use her degree to help people. She decided to make South Bend her permanent home and is working on environmental and municipal improvements as an engineer for the City of South Bend.

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Daniel Surrett ND '06 ENGINEERING Daniel Surrett ND '06 ENGINEERING

From South Bend to the Big Apple, Daniel Surrett '06 has worked his way from the bottom to a senior associate position through hard work and an eagerness to learn on the job.

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Katie Barrett ND '05 CONSTRUCTION ATTORNEY Katie Barrett ND '05 CONSTRUCTION ATTORNEY

From construction sites to the courtroom - Katie Barrett '05 veered from the traditional civil engineering path to pursue a law degree and serve as a construction attorney.

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Andy Kioko ND '04 CIVIL ENGINEERING Andy Kioko ND '04 CIVIL ENGINEERING

Andy Kioko '04 studied civil engineering but says his time working on construction sites as a resident engineer transformed his future approach to design.

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Amy Schockling ND  '15: ENVIRONMENT Amy Schockling ND '15: ENVIRONMENT

Multiple internship experiences, including with the City of South Bend, helped guide 2015 graduate Amy Schockling to her current work as an engineer for the City of Madison Water Utility.

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Ellen Quigley '11: Project Manager at Clark Construction Ellen Quigley '11: Project Manager at Clark Construction

Ellen Quigley '11 has worked on several high-profile structures after graduating from the University of Notre Dame, most notably the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

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Tony Ayala ND '11: STRUCTURES Tony Ayala ND '11: STRUCTURES

Tony Ayala is a 2011 graduate of Notre Dame whose concentration was in structures. His career has taken him to Boston and Chicago where he has worked on several projects, including one of the largest residential buildings in Boston and the addition to the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium.

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Rinzova Renthlei ND '17 ENVIRONMENT Rinzova Renthlei ND '17 ENVIRONMENT

As a recent graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, Rinzova Renthlei knows all too well about the stress of finding and starting that first job.

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Elyse Stachler, ND '13: MICROBIOLOGY Elyse Stachler, ND '13: MICROBIOLOGY

Elyse Stachler graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is currently a Ph.D. student.

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Daniel Buonadonna, ND '03: ENVIRONMENT Daniel Buonadonna, ND '03: ENVIRONMENT

Daniel Buonadonna graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2003. He then served in the Peace Corps and now serves as the Regional Technology Lead with CH2M HILL.

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Brenna Mannion, ND ’08: ENVIRONMENT Brenna Mannion, ND ’08: ENVIRONMENT

I graduated from Notre Dame in 2006 with a B.S. in civil engineering and began working for the Chicago office of MWH. Presently I work for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies in Washington, DC. I lead our regulatory efforts in areas such as resilience, storm water management, water reuse and climate change.

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Genevieve Malone, ND ’11: PROJECT ENGINEER Genevieve Malone, ND ’11: PROJECT ENGINEER

Talk about the luck of the Irish, not only is the University of Notre Dame in the middle of the largest building initiative in its history, but the $400 million project also has a former Notre Dame student-athlete as part of the project team. Meet Genevieve Malone, a project engineer with the Barton Malow Company.

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Holly Michael, ND ’98: WATER RESOURCES Holly Michael, ND ’98: WATER RESOURCES

As a hydrogeologist, I study groundwater flow and solute transport as they relate to water resources, coastal zone management, and human and ecosystem health. My students and I work to understand how physical processes link to biogeochemical, ecological, and human environments.

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Andrew Seelaus, ND ’10: HUMAN WELFARE Andrew Seelaus, ND ’10: HUMAN WELFARE

After graduation I was hired as a project engineer for Skanska USA Building where I worked on school projects throughout southwest Michigan. In 2011 Bridges to Prosperity asked me to lead the formation of their new program in Timor-Leste. In 2013 I moved to Rwanda as country manager for Bridges to Prosperity's newest program in East Africa.

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Patrick Murren, ND ’12: HIGH-RISE DESIGN Patrick Murren, ND ’12: HIGH-RISE DESIGN

After graduating from Notre Dame, I worked as a middle school teacher in the Recovery School District of New Orleans, as part of the Teach For America program. I returned to Notre Dame for my master's and defended my research on steel frame design optimization. I have been with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, in San Francisco since that time.

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