Saturday, May 19, 2018

Recent Engineering graduate Esteban Londono, from Lake Villa, IL, is the first to earn a Bachelor's of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. He received the degree at May 13 UI College of Engineering undergraduate commencement ceremonies at Carver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved the new degree in 2017. 

"Initially, I came to the University of Iowa determined to use my education in civil engineering to build bridges and wells for isolated peoples," Londono said. "I believed that I could give them access to the resources needed to not only survive but thrive."

Realizing in his second year of college that his goal to help others was actually a goal to help humanity live sustainably, Londono looked into what classes he could take to adjust his path. Seeing that the environmental side of civil engineering provided the best route to achieving that goal, Londono decided to pursue the environmental sub-track of civil engineering.

"I choose the sub-track because it provided the basis to understand how to integrate human systems with environmental ones, which in my mind was the best path to living sustainably," he explained. "When the new environmental engineering major opened up the start of my fourth year, I immediately checked the qualifications needed to graduate with one. I realized I could finish the degree without any extra time and took the opportunity."

"My time at Iowa has been amazing and I can say it has become a second home," Londono added. "Every aspect of Iowa and the College of Engineering was great. The faculty was open, helpful, and always encouraged me to take the opportunities presented to me and the student body was friendly and had a genuine desire to help others. I definitely feel prepared and inspired to tackle both the private industry and academia."

Londono will be attending Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to pursue a PhD degree in environmental engineering.

The goal of the UI undergraduate degree program is to prepare the next generation of students to address the complex food, energy, water issues of the 21st century. Establishing the program is based, in part, on the continual high ranking of the college's environmental engineering graduate program by US News & World Report.  For 2018, the graduate program was ranked 17th in the nation in the environmental/environmental health category.