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Meet the CEAS Ambassadors

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Kevin Achieng

Kevin Achieng head shot

The University of Wyoming attracts students from more than 90 countries. One of the countries is Kenya, from where I obtained my undergraduate degrees. Kenya is about 8,780 miles from UW, and it is bordered by Lake Victoria and Indian Ocean to the west and east, respectively. This country, located at the equator is home to about 45 million people. I did my childhood education in a village near Lake Victoria (second-largest freshwater lake in the world), then relocated to Nairobi, where I pursued my engineering degrees. I’m currently working towards a Ph.D. in civil engineering, with a concentration in water engineering. So far, I have had fantastic encounters with fellow graduate students, professors and many more people in this department. This has helped me to continue to mold both my academic career and social life. I think the department has pertinent academic paraphernalia and stellar professors who are truly called to mentor students, both domestic and international. One of the student organizations at UW that I have ventured in is Engineers Without Borders. I think this is a terrific organization that helps students build their communication and leadership skills, while serving humanity both locally and abroad.

E-mail kachieng@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Civil and architectural engineering, international engineering, Engineers Without Borders, graduate degrees

Sara Bashir

Sara Bashir

I am a sophomore who studies civil engineering student from Egypt. I guess you can call me the scholarship hunter. In middle school, I got a full scholarship to study English for two years in the American University in Cairo though a program called “ACCESS,” sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. A year after, I got another full scholarship to be an exchange student in Kansas City, Mo. I stayed a year with an amazing American host family and got to graduate from Oak Park High School. Last year was my true turning point, as I earned a full scholarship from USAID to study at UW. My wildest dream has always been to study at an American university due to the quality education America has and here I am living my dream. I have been very involved at UW since Day One. I am part of American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI), SLCE (Service, Leadership + Community Engagement), SPURS (the sophomore service honorary), as well as being involved in the International Student Association, and very looking forward to being part of Engineers without Borders and Society of Women Engineers. I’m also looking forward to joining the Honors Program soon. Because of how great the quality of education is at UW, I earned  my first internship last summer while I was still a freshman at one of the very well-known engineering companies in Egypt (EGEC), and I just cannot wait to see what is coming next. My passion and motivation is to see how I can help my beloved country Egypt become one of the best nations.

E-mail sbashir1@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Civil and architectural engineering, international engineering, scholarships, ASCE, AEI, SLCE, SPURS

Emily Beagle

Emily Beagle

I am currently a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering. I graduated with bachelor degrees in mechanical and energy systems engineering with a minor in honors from UW in 2012 and completed my master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2014. During my time at UW, I have been involved with ASME, Engineers without Borders, Mortar Board, Energy and Sustainability Club, Tau Beta Pi and the UW Fencing Club. I worked as an undergraduate researcher supported by the Nielson Fellowship for Women and Minorities and interned in Washington D.C., through the WISE (Washington Internships for Students of Engineering) program studying engineering and public policy related to renewable energy. I am currently an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. My research looks at ways to utilize beetle kill biomass for energy applications.

E-mail ebeagle1@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Mechanical engineering, graduate degrees, UW honors program, ASME, Engineers without Borders, Mortar Board, Energy and Sustainability Club, Tau Beta Pi, UW Fencing Club, research, internships

Tayln Costello

Tayln Costello

E-mail tcostell@uwyo.edu to ask me about:

Connor Desmond

Connor Desmond

I am currently a junior in the computer engineering program. My academic interests are in digital design, mathematics, physics and computer science. I also have tutored in chemistry and computer science at the junior-college level. My current plan is to complete my bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and then get my master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Wyoming. I really have a passion for learning the topics associated with all STEM areas and want to further my education as much as possible. I really enjoy working with people and getting to learn about the things in their respective programs, especially in engineering. As far as extracurricular activities are concerned, I am a very avid pool player. In addition, I also like physical activity in general and will pretty much engage in any sport/activity if the opportunity arises. I really look forward to getting more involved within the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well getting to meet new and interesting people. 

E-mail cdesmond@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, STEM, campus activities

Brant Dolling

Brant Dolling

I am a Utah native, but a Wyoming Cowboy by choice. I am currently a senior in computer science and I have been given many amazing opportunities. I chose to study computer science on an impulse and I have never looked back. I have never found something as rewarding as writing code and getting it to run exactly as it should. This summer I worked as a software engineer intern with Echostar in Denver, which was made possible with the skills and knowledge I have learned through the University of Wyoming. I do many extracurricular activities such as intramural sports, frisbee golfing, hiking/camping, skiing, PCGamers club and strategic board/card games. 

E-mail bdolling@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Computer science, internships, outdoor activities, intramural sports

Katie Hopfensperger

Katie Hopfensperger

After graduating high school in Cheyenne, Wyo., I knew that the University of Wyoming would be the best school for me. I knew I would receive a good education in a more personalized learning setting. I am currently a sophomore undergraduate in chemical engineering, minoring in the honors program. The course load is challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to see what I’ve accomplished academically. The job I’ve been dreaming of for years is one within a cosmetic company, but I am more than open to exploring my options. I have recently accepted an internship with Western Research Institute at the Heavy Oil Technology Center here in Laramie. I’m very excited to be exploring this facet of chemical engineering. During my free time on campus I am largely involved in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  After previously serving as Joint Engineering Council representative and Vice President, I have now become the President. I love SWE because it is one of the few organizations within in the College of Engineering and Applied Science that incorporates all of the different majors. SWE enables members to network with both students and professionals in different fields of study while also improving the cohesion of women within the college through various outreach events. I strongly encourage anyone interested in SWE to come to meetings and join, because I have always found it welcoming to see the strength and intelligence of women in these primarily male-dominated majors. In addition to Society of Women Engineers, I am also an officer of both the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, and I’ve participated in volunteer events both within the College of Engineering and Applied Science and with University Honorary Societies. I look forward to chatting with anyone interested in engineering at the University of Wyoming.

E-mail khopfen2@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Chemical engineering, UW honors program, internships, Society of Women Engineers

Finley McIlwaine

Finley McIlwaine

I am studying mechanical engineering at the University of Wyoming. After graduating from high school in Cheyenne, Wyo., I explored several different programs at the university and decided that engineering was the best option for me. The opportunities for undergraduates in research and various extracurricular activities were unmatched by any of the other colleges, and were a huge factor in my decision to pursue engineering. Speaking of those opportunities, I am currently a member of the Belmont Energy Research Group, where we focus primarily on research into improved combustion technologies. I am still sculpting my ideas for what I want to do after I graduate, but thanks to the University of Wyoming, I feel fully prepared for any challenges and opportunities that may come my way.

E-mail fmcilwai@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Mechanical engineering, research, campus activities, undergraduate opportunities

Gabbie McMorrow

Gabbie McMorrow

I am a graduate student in architectural engineering at the University of Wyoming. I completed my bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in May 2016, and continued into a master’s program through the Quick Start program. My interest is in the sustainability and efficiency of buildings and I enjoy taking classes with an emphasis on building energy and mechanical systems. I participate in a number of extracurricular activities such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. In summer 2014, I participated in a study abroad trip to England, France and Spain with the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering. I have also participated in a summer internship with a local company’s preconstruction department and have worked on undergraduate and graduate research with faculty of the CAE. I have worked on projects with a wide range of topics including greenhouse mechanical systems, energy efficiency program measurement and verification, and building performance measurement.  After I graduate from UW, my dream is to live and work in England for an international engineering firm dedicated to advancing the sustainability of buildings and building systems.

E-mail gmcmorr1@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Architectural engineering, residence life, UW Honors Program, sustainability minor, campus sustainability, ASHRAE, AEI, Tau Beta Pi, internships, study abroad, undergraduate research, Quick Start program

Pourya Nikoueeyan

Pourya Nikoueeyan

I am an international student from Iran, and currently pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. My research focuses on the aerodynamics of wind turbine and helicopter blades. I conduct experiments at the University of Wyoming’s low-speed wind tunnel facility, and I work with lasers, high-speed cameras and state-of-the-art data acquisition instruments. My life as a graduate research assistant involves working with my adviser and teammates in coming up with innovative ideas, testing these ideas in the laboratory, and presenting our findings in conferences around the world. I am a member of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Golden Key Honor societies, and have received the UW International Scholarship award in 2013 and 2014. Beside aerodynamics, I am also interested in engineering as a broader discipline. Engineering is not just about design, testing and manufacturing products but about discovering needs, finding solutions, creating financial value, and having fun. I spend a lot of time studying, brainstorming, and writing about new ideas in different engineering fields. I am fascinated by almost all aspects of science and technology, and I am passionate about anything that involves a tool box and dirty hands. Since I was a little boy, my main hobby has been building and flying radio control airplanes and I still go out to fly small airplanes in the beautiful Wyoming sky. The University of Wyoming has world-class research facilities, scientists and educators who have helped me to learn new skills, and apply these skills in order to tackle challenging problems. UW has also given me the opportunity to share my findings with the outside world. UW is a great place to become a better engineer. Go Pokes!

E-mail pnikouee@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Mechanical engineering, graduate school, aerospace engineerin, experimentation in engineering, international students

Vinay Ramakrishnaiah

Vinay Ramakrishnaiah

I am currently a Ph.D. student and research assistant at the Department of Electrical Engineering. I received master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in electrical engineering with a focus on optimization of antenna beams for energy efficiency, and a bachelor’s degree with a gold medal in electronics and communication engineering from the Visvesvaraya Technological University in India. I am a part of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key Honor societies, and also a recipient of the UW Engineering Excellence Fellowship. I am also a member of IEEE and MILAAP. I had two terms of internship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and have co-authored a package for the R statistical programming language. With experience as a teaching assistant at the UW, I have the ability to work with diverse groups of people. My research interests include applications of HPC to antennas and ad hoc networks. As a part of my professional development, I have attended several HPC training programs including the ones hosted by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Intel, and NVIDIA. Being passionate about HPC, I entered the John P. Ellbogen $30K Entrepreneurship Competition with an HPC business concept and won second place. I am also interested in sketching, hiking and playing racquetball. I’ve been involved in UW’s outreach programs since 2013. I’ve performed demonstrations on robotics and engineering for Discovery Days and STEM Saturdays, trained high school students and teachers during High-School Summer Institute (HSI) and Engineering Summer Program (ESP) and volunteered as a judge for the Wyoming State Science Fair. Inspired by the motivational words of Jim Rohn, who famously said “We are the average of people we spend the most time with,” I am grateful to UW for being such a great influence on me.  I think being a CEAS ambassador is a great opportunity to interact with passionate people and contribute back to the UW community.

E-mail vramakr1@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Electrical engineering, high performance computing, internships, outdoor activities, racquetball

Holly Ramseier

Holly Ramseier

I am a transfer student at the University of Wyoming. Being native to Cody, Wyo., I knew I wanted to stay in the Rocky Mountains while attending college. I first attended Montana Tech in Butte, Mont., for two years studying petroleum engineering. My sophomore summer, I decided I wanted to pursue chemical engineering. Being a Wyoming native, it was an easy decision to transfer to the University of Wyoming due to the financial support offered at UW. Throughout college I have been involved in Society of Women Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Engineers Without Borders, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as club and intramural sports. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering I plan to attend dental school. Although transferring schools has postponed my graduation date by one year, I am very happy with my decision as it has given an opportunity to see engineering with a different perspective. I have had several internships, mostly in the petroleum field working in industry. Most recently I conducted biomedical research in the INBRE program for Montana State University.

E-mail hramseie@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Chemical engineering, biomedical research, internships, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Engineers Without Borders, American Institute of Chemical Engineers,club and intramural sports, transfer students

Traci Reusser

Traci Reusser

I am a Laramie, Wyo., native and chose UW because of the engineering opportunities that it offers. UW has a great engineering program, especially if you are looking to be involved and get hands-on experience. I am currently a senior in chemical engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering. During my spare time at UW, I work as a teaching assistant for the Department of Chemistry and I have a research fellowship through INBRE working in microfluidics. As for extracurricular activities, I am currently the president of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and in the past I was vice president. I love EWB because we are one of a few engineering groups that allow students to use their engineering knowledge and implement projects, such as a dormitory built in Mbita, Kenya, this past summer.  I am also involved with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  SWE is open to all engineering majors and has provided me with the opportunity to be more engaged with other members of engineering.

Email treusser@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Chemical engineering, environmental engineering, internships, campus activities, RSOs, Society of Women Engineers, Engineers Without Borders

Dakota Roberson

Dakota Roberson

I am a native of Rock Springs, Wyo., and a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering with a graduate minor in statistics. I completed an undergraduate degree in 2013 in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics. I'm an artist, engineer, motocross racer, traditional archer and avid fly fisher at any given time. However, a passion for signal processing and electric power has given me guidance in my scholastic and professional career, which is how I found myself in my current position as a graduate student under Dr. John Pierre. I’ve had several internships, including a position at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., and as a research, teaching and peer assistant at UW. In addition to my work and scholastic undertakings, I devote much of my time to leadership roles in organizations on and off campus, including Tau Beta Pi, the University Fly Fishing Club, Laramie Dirt Riders Association, High Plains Archery Club and IEEE. I like to think that it is impossible to do great things without surrounding yourself with great people. I’ve been fortunate enough to find people who are not only eager to provide support and inspiration, but also put up with my quirkiness without protest. To those people, I’m most grateful.

E-mail droberso@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Electrical engineering, graduate degrees, outdoor activities, internships, Tau Beta Pi, University Fly Fishing Club

Brittney Wells

Brittney Wells

Before beginning my journey at the University of Wyoming in fall 2015, I attended a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) high school in Colorado Springs, Colo., where I fell in love with the complexity and constant challenges engineering presented. After many visits to a variety of schools and learning about the many possible engineering paths I could take, I found myself moving to a different state to pursue a major in petroleum engineering as well as a minor in geology and another in management. I do have to say it was one of the best decisions I have made thus far. After my first year of college I became a part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Association of Drilling Engineers. I am also the secretary of a new club on campus, The Petroleum Honors Society, known as Pi Epsilon Tau. A few classmates and I worked most of spring 2016 getting this club recognized nationally so that in the fall we can initiate our first class! Outside of engineering I have grown to enjoy the small town of Laramie and all that it has to offer, from hiking in the Snowy Mountain Range to the adorable locally owned restaurants. After one year I am beyond grateful that I have all the tools to build my future over the next three years at the UW but also that I can get to call it home.

E-mail bwells15@uwyo.edu to ask me about: Petroleum engineering, STEM, RSOs, campus activities


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