Jesseri Jensen hugging an earth moundMy name is Jesseri Jensen, and I am excited to graduate with my bachelors in Civil Engineering in May 2019. I have been fortunate to land two summer internships during my sophomore and junior years by persistently emailing and sending my resume to companies that advertise open positions through CSU’s Civil Engineering Department. During my sophomore year, I interned with Colorado Department of Transportation for their C-470 Express Lanes project in Littleton, CO. I spent most of my days assisting with quality check/control of construction and filling out hold-point forms, which were tickets of authorization in order for the contractor or subcontractor to continue work. During my time in the field, I saw various transportation and geotechnical aspects such as construction and/or placement of manholes, pull-boxes, fiber cable for Intelligent Transportation Systems, soil-nail walls, caissons, concrete pavement, and mechanically stabilized earth walls. Thanks to Raymie Partington’s trust and confidence in me, I was assigned to be a representative for CDOT during construction work on Sundays.

My second internship was also with CDOT in Greeley, CO working for their hydraulics unit. I was fortunate to learn SMS, WMS, HEC-RAS, and other hydraulic and hydrologic software. Additionally, I conducted my own hydraulic analysis with the supervision of Steven Griffin to advise how much the maintenance crew could repave. It was a pre-scoping effort for State Highway 52 to determine how high CDOT could repave the roadway without causing a rise in the floodplain through four bridge structures. I also learned how to analyze and perform calculations for scour.

Through these two internships, I learned a lot about Civil Engineering in the real world related to transportation, geotech, and water resources. These internships also helped me land a job at RockSol in Thornton, CO as an Engineer in Training. I want to take this opportunity to share my gratitude and appreciation for Jocelyn Higashide, Raymie Partington, Jerome Estes, Steven Griffin, and Brian Varrella at CDOT. I would not be the successful engineer I am today without these inspiring and knowledgeable mentors.

stream gaugingMy name is Sam Pierce and I am studying Environmental Engineering with a concentration in Ecological Engineering at CSU. I transferred to CSU after completing one semester studying engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. I will be graduating in May 2019 with a research assistant position lined up at the Rocky Mountain Biological laboratory (RMBL) located in Gothic, Colorado. Following this job at RMBL I will be taking a position at Stanford University, working as a Research Associate in their biogeochemistry lab. I am able to have these fortunate opportunities because of my previous summer internship at RMBL during the 2018 summer.

During my internship at RMBL, I conducted independent hydrology research on the East River watershed and surrounding areas of Crested Butte, Colorado. My research aim was to identify first-order controls of soil and leaf moisture. Understanding basin-scale hydrology is incredibly important, yet incredibly challenging in alpine regions, for the purposes of predicting drought and areas of heightened wildfire risk. I began my internship my writing a formal research proposal and giving a proposal presentation. Once given approval, I conducted my research and wrote a formal paper outlining my findings. At the end of the summer I presented my research at a student symposium. My internship allowed me to collaborate with students and researchers from various institutions and organizations on a daily basis. Each day I was responsible for setting my own schedule, defining my own research sites, and getting my work done in a timely manner.

I gained numerous invaluable skills from my internship. I gained experience in the scientific research process and how to effectively communicate, both written and verbally. I also got experience with project management and setting my own goals to be successful. These abilities proved extraordinarily useful in completing my senior design project. My internship has undoubtedly prepared me for academic and professional success in ways that coursework alone could not have done.

My name is Nick Ritschard and I am currently a senior in civil engineering. Over the past few summers I have had several internships. I worked for Climax-Molybdenum at the Henderson Mill, just outside of Kremmling, Colorado, and for Tim Shenk Land Surveying in Granby, Colorado. During my first summer with Climax Molybdenum, I was a temporary equipment operator, responsible for dust control of the 1,400-acre tailings storage facility (TSF).

Tailings Dam

MooseThe next summer, I was a field surveying intern at Tim Shenk Land Surveying. I worked on a variety of projects from boundary surveys to construction blue-top staking. The most exciting project I worked on was in Grand Lake surveying to construct a foundation near Columbine Lake. While surveying, a big bull moose decided to come check out our work; he was about 20 feet from us. What an amazing animal! 

The following summer, I was brought back to the Henderson Mill for a geotechnical engineering internship. My main project for the summer was a soils investigation study on the TSF. This included excavating and classifying about 80 samples using the USCS soils description method, performing laboratory analysis on the samples using ASTM standards, compiling the data, analyzing the results, and ultimately writing a closeout report.

My last summer, I was brought back again, but as a civil engineering intern. My main project was to design and implement two separate hydraulic structures that normalize the flow conditions to obtain accurate flowrate measurements. Utilizing the United States Bureau of Reclamation design standards, I designed two separate V-notch weirs for their respective locations. At one of the locations, I also installed instrumentation to provide continuous discharge measurements for the onsite operators.

Overall I was extremely happy with my three summers at the Henderson Mill and one summer with Time Shenk Land Surveying. I was able to make many new connections and learned lots of new skills that will help me both at school and in my future career.

Image Reference for Tailings dam picture.

Maggart, Lance. “Henderson Mill’s Plan to Haul 60K Tons of Material for Summer Project Could Cause Major Traffic Headaches.” Ski-Hi News, 4 May 2018,

Zacary Fry

My name is Zacary Fry, and I am entering my final year as a Civil Engineering major here at Colorado State University. I am originally from Odessa, Texas but I grew up in Parker, Colorado. I am involved with the CSU Steel Bridge Team and an officer for the American Society of Civil Engineers. I was able to participate in an internship both the summer of 2015 and 2016.

Summer 2015: Engineering Research Associate, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

My first internship experience was a research job at Virginia Tech. I worked with professors and city engineers in implementing a real-time water quality/quantity measuring device, known as the LEWAS Lab, into the stormwater system in Blacksburg, Virginia. My job was to research how to better improve the system as a whole as well as how to implement the system into real world applications. This internship allowed me to gain knowledge in civil engineering through learning about surveying and the design process. I was also able to learn computer programming and web development. Though these skills are not often thought of in the trade of civil engineering, they have turned out to be extremely useful in my professional and educational career. Some of the work that I did at Virginia Tech is now being used to implement similar systems across the world. An example of this is in Flint, Michigan, were the system is used to help monitor the recent lead outbreak that occurred there.

Summer 2016: Project/Field Engineering Intern, Garney Construction, Littleton, Colorado

This summer I am working for Garney Construction as a field/project engineering intern. I am assisting engineers and project managers in building the Roxborough Raw Water Treatment Plant in Littleton, Colorado. This water treatment plant is rated at processing 8 million gallons of water a day and pumping it to the new development of Roxborough. My tasks often involve reviewing submittals and drawings created by the engineer, and from that information obtaining the components needed to complete the project in a timely manner. This job often involves using problem solving skills to manage the ever-changing environment of a construction site. I also assist in layout and many other tasks that are performed in the field. One thing I have learned is that there is so much knowledge to gain from everyone you meet; whether it is your superintendent or a field worker. Through this internship, I also interact with many different engineering firms and subcontractors at the construction site. This allows for me to learn many different aspects of the construction process, giving me a total glimpse at how large scale civil projects are executed.

These internships allowed for me to apply my education and develop skills in engineering, communication, management, leadership, and team-organization. This real-world experience also allowed for me to expand my engineering knowledge outside of academia, and see how my education can be used in the industry. These experiences have made me excited to work in the career of civil engineering, as well as increased my focus for the remainder of my education at Colorado State.

Chandler Croneigh

My name is Chandler Croneigh and I am a senior Civil Engineering student, graduating this semester. I have really enjoyed my time at CSU among my peers and instructors, but I am ready to begin my career.

I have had two invaluable summer internships:

Summer 2014: Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. – Vernon Hills, IL

GHA is a multidisciplinary Municipal Engineering firm, reviewing plans for city/state authorities. I spent most of my time in the office, but also did some field work. I worked with project managers on a variety of projects regarding easements, drainage, grading, and construction observation. I worked with AutoCAD and GIS a lot, improving my technical skills. It was a great company to work for because they focus a lot of attention of their interns. They were very supportive and I enjoyed working with the other engineers and interns.v

Summer 2015: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. – Denver, CO

KHA is a civil engineering consulting firm that assists with both public and private projects. I worked primarily with the Land Development department. The majority of my time was spent in the office, working with AutoCAD on construction documents. I learned a lot about the elements of design for developments, particularly urban apartment buildings. It involved many aspects, including stormwater management, utilities, and signage/striping of surrounding streets. I also enjoyed my time with the other interns and engineers.

At both internships, I was fortunate to work with caring and supportive engineers who were willing to sacrifice their time to help me with tasks. As an intern, I think I was treated with more attention than the average company. Being immersed in the professional environment has given me an idea of what it means to be a civil engineer day-to-day and what to expect in my career. This is difficult to understand while only taking classes. I would highly recommend pursuing summer internships in addition to academia.

Natalie Thompson

My name is Natalie Thompson and I just completed my junior year of Environmental Engineering with a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU. In the summer of 2015 I was fortunate to have an internship with Antea Group, an Environmental Consulting Firm. I was first introduced to Antea Group at the engineering career fair in the fall where they were recruiting for the summer internship. Antea Group is a global company whose US headquarters is in Minneapolis, MN and they have over 25 offices around the country. I worked in the Loveland, CO office with two other interns from CSU.

This internship was geared towards introducing the interns to the different practices and clients at Antea Group. The first three weeks of my summer were spent training, two of those weeks were in Minneapolis. We got to meet the CEO and vice presidents of the company and learn more about the company’s values. Antea Group also had us go through the 40 Hour OSHA HAZWOPER training, which is a great class to take and put on your resume.

Once all the training was completed, I got to work in the Loveland office and in the field. I spent a couple weeks in Wyoming collecting ground water sampling at remediation sites and several days in Weld County performing air emissions test for oil and gas companies. In my picture, I am holding a camera that detects hydrocarbon gas leaks on oil and gas sites in Weld County. I also got to see a mobile sparge for a remediation project and drilling of new ground monitoring wells. While I was in the office I wrote a storm water plan for the oil and gas industry. I also worked on a project that involved reviewing Environmental, Health and Safety software for our clients.

My favorite part of this experience was the people I worked with. Every time I went into the field I was able to meet new people and hear about their experiences. Antea Group treats their interns very well I felt a part of the team and was given work that was challenging to me. Being able to network and learn more about people’s career path really helped me find my own career path. This is my second internship, and my internships have helped me tremendously to figure out what I like and don’t like for when I graduate from college.

Travis Bell

My name is Travis Bell and I spent the summer of 2013 working as an engineering intern for Kiewit Constructors. Kiewit is the 3rd largest contractor in America and had total revenue of around $11 billion in 2013. They build projects in almost every infrastructure sector all over the country. I was assigned to a pump station project in New Orleans, Louisiana. The job was a $360 million dollar project creating three pump stations along the lake front to help protect against hurricanes. I spent time working both in the field and the office. In the field, I assisted with project oversight, surveying, determining material quantities, quality control, and site setup. While in the office I focused on preparing cost estimates, client relations, and helping design the projects cofferdams.

This experience was incredibly beneficial and I learned a ton about the real workings of industry. Being in the field and office showed me a variety of possible paths I could take in my career and exposed me to what I would enjoy and might not enjoy in the future. Also, having the opportunity to work on such a big project was just cool. I can say I helped build the pump stations that will save New Orleans from the next big hurricane. I learned a lot, applied my knowledge from school, and had a blast. I would suggest interning to every engineering student, especially since it will help you find a job.

Tim Medearis

This summer I worked as an intern for Drexel, Barrell & Co. as a civil engineering intern. Drexel, Barrell & Co. has offices across Colorado and I’ve been working at their headquarters in Boulder. Drexel, Barrell & Co. prides themselves on being an “A-Z” civil engineering and surveying company so I truly have gotten a wide range of experiences. I did da lot of work in AutoCAD or the “language of civil engineering” as it’s known around Drexel. I was able to work and create everything from details of manholes and inlets to neighborhood planning documents. It was also neat to see how the company is working on different infrastructure projects right around my neighborhood. Site visits to different projects such as bike trail tunnels, spillway reconstruction sites, and others were very enlightening, hands on experiences. I even got to brush up on my surveying skills which I luckily still recalled from my first semester freshman year! Being an environmental engineering major I also got to work with the water resources area of the company. Seeing how the rational formula and other environmental engineering concepts were used in the “real world” just like in the classroom was very rewarding and made me very grateful for my professors.

Everyone I worked with was very friendly and willing to answer any of my questions as well as explain all the minute details and processes that go into large civil engineering projects. The importance of communicating with the client, as well as the city council and city planning office was intriguing and really showed the need for engineers to be great communicators.

All that I learned there, outside of the classroom, I feel I could not have learned anywhere else and for that I am very grateful. I definitely have a little more confidence in myself and have a much better picture of what I want to do when I graduate in a year!

Sean Brustuen

My name is Sean Brustuen and I am a junior civil engineering major at Colorado State University. I had an internship over the summers of 2013 and 2014 for West Central Environmental Consultants, Inc. WCEC is a Minnesota-based company that specializes in the design and operation of large-scale remediation systems to eliminate contaminants from groundwater, surface waters, soils, and polluted air. WCEC has environmental remediation systems in Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and several other states.

Over these two summers I gained experience both in the field and in the office. My time in the field involved traveling to contaminated sites and assisting in the operation and monitoring of multiphase extraction systems and in-situ chemical oxidation systems to eliminate volatile organic compounds from the groundwater. Fieldwork included the collection of pressure influence data across underground piping networks and the collection of water samples for laboratory analysis. In the office I assisted project engineers with system data analysis that included geospatial influence mapping and the preparation of technical reports.

My favorite part about the internship was getting involved with the separate departments of the company and learning how all the people from different divisions came together to accomplish a unified goal of project completion. Working with West Central Environmental Consultants was a rewarding experience that exposed me to aspects of civil engineering that haven’t been matched in the classroom.

Rachel Frisz

This last summer, I was fortunate to get an internship at the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver, Colorado. The Bureau of Reclamation is huge, so each intern gets put into a specific group and gets matched up with a mentor in their field. I was placed in the Water Treatment group, which is split into two sides: design and research. My internship has been more on the research side, where the Department of the Interior is focusing on desalination and membrane science for new water treatment processes. As you can imagine, desalination is basically taking the salt out of seawater to make it drinkable. Membranes help us to filter out particles like bacteria, colloids, and even viruses.

Many membranes systems are two-step: usually some kind of filtration to get bigger particles out (Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, etc.) and then either forward osmosis or reverse osmosis to remove smaller ions, such as salt ions. In forward osmosis, the water, called the solvent, moves from an area of low concentration through the membrane, to an area of high concentration. After the solvent is done moving through the membrane, both the right and the left side have equal concentrations of the solvent floating around in it. In reverse osmosis, we apply a pressure on one side to reverse the flow and push all of the solvent (water) to the other side. In the membrane, the raw water enters in to the membrane layers, which consist of the outer wrap, a spacer, the actual membrane, the collection material, and the central tube. We apply a pressure to the raw water to force it to move across the membrane layers into the product tube. As the water moves through the membrane layer, the salt and other unwanted items are rejected by the membrane and do not enter the product tube. The rejected salt (called the concentrate) then all exits together on the other end.

With the Bureau of Reclamation, my main project has been traveling this summer to Alamogordo, New Mexico to work in the Brackish Groundwater and National Desalination Research Facility (where I saw the world’s largest pistachio!). Here, we worked with a “smart” Ultrafiltration- Reverse Osmosis membrane system that can repair itself and stop itself from fouling. Fouling is the main problem with membranes and is the process where particles from the solute stick to the membrane surface and in its’ pores so that the membrane gets clogged. Our main project was to test the limits of this machine, and see how nasty of water we could put in before the membrane would start fouling. So far, we have tested blue-green algae, humic acid and sodium alginate.

I am so thankful for the opportunity that the Bureau has given me, and I have learned so much about Desalination and Water Treatment! Also, shout-out to the other CSU intern, James Waller, in the Materials Engineering: Soils Lab!