Women in Engineering: Christine Frances Sednek
In December 2012, Christine Frances Sednek will graduate with a M.S. of Environmental Engineering with research focusing on anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is a microbial process in that any type of carbon based waste will yield energy in the form of methane, and is then contained, burned and utilized as heat energy. It is a process that is becoming common place in waste water treatment and is a large component of sustainable energy practices as it aids in the development of cleaner energy. Her research allows her to understand the process of meeting resource needs for communities and populations.
She completed her undergraduate studies at Colorado State University at Fort Collins where she
studied Environmental Engineering. After being accepted to CSU’s graduate program she made
the personal decision to relocate to Laramie to complete her graduate studies. This move
allowed her to become more independent by removing herself from the social circle of
familiarity. She established a new friend base through the joining of clubs and found a
community of dedicated athletes and multi-faceted talented individuals throughout the University
of Wyoming campus.
Christine, grew up on a farm in Kersey, CO. This environment exposed her to “hands on”
mechanical work associated with the maintaining of farm operations. During high school she
was also very interested in chemistry and participated in the International Baccalaureate Program
offered by her school district. This gave her access to levels of math and science that were much
more advanced than that of the regular curriculum. Collectively, this gave her a natural
inclination toward the field of environmental engineering.
On top of her academic achievements, Christine currently sits as the President of the UW
Triathlon Club. This opportunity has provided her with a means to develop greater leadership
skills while simultaneously developing into a better, overall athlete. It has also acted as a selfactualization
process in the discovering of her personal potential.
Despite the harsh winters of Laramie, the triathlon club trains year round whether the conditions
include rain, ice or snow. This past year, under Christine’s leadership, the team qualified for the
Collegiate National Championships competing against schools such as Duke, Penn State,
Colorado University, Stanford, UC Davis and Texas A&M. The team has evolved into a family
who train, travel and race together, establishing dedicated members and lifelong friends.
Christine also serves as a mentor with the Office of International Programs. This semester she
has been working with Etizaz Hassan Shah of Pakistan who is a student in the Global
Undergraduate Program. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and
administered by the International Research Exchange Board. Having experienced the exchange
process first hand in Valparaiso, Chile for six months during her undergraduate studies, Christine
jumped at the opportunity to serve as a mentor for incoming exchange students to the University
of Wyoming. She looks forward to visiting her former host family in Chile after graduation.
Through her accomplishments in the classroom, as an athlete, as a leader and as a mentor,
Christine continues to demonstrate the qualities associated with the student body at the
University of Wyoming. Coupled with her exuberant personality, Christine continues to set
precedence in all that she sets out to do.