Kaitlyn Alvarez

Engineering Futures Scholar

Kaitlyn Alvarez is a gardening enthusiast who has a passion for protecting the environment. When she came to college, she figured Environmental Engineering was the path for her. Alvarez is an Engineering Futures scholar and will be starting her second year in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU this August.

“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do,” she said. “But I’ve always known that I cared about our planet and how we treat our planet and how humans can be better integrated into the environment.”

Last year, Alvarez began volunteering as an undergraduate research assistant with the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, and she will be continuing her research program throughout the summer and into the Fall.

“During the school year, I would go in probably around once a week, but now over the summer, I’ve been working on a project probably around 20 hours a week,” Alvarez said.

The project revolves around electro kinetic transport in soils, and is about figuring out the transport rates of different materials for bioremediation and bio segmentation.

“Like cementing sand so that during an earthquake, houses won’t collapse and things like that.”

She said her biggest struggle as a first-year student was finding study groups with people who have similar study styles, and her advice to others in engineering is something students often hear, but can never be stressed enough: “Be ready to ask for help. If you need it.”

Alvarez was impacted greatly by Professor Tirupalavanam Ganesh, the director of the Engineering Futures program, and also her mentor in the undergraduate research program, Stephen Hart, a graduate research assistant at the Swette Center who helped Alvarez learn new technical skills she could apply to her studies.

For the Fall 2019 semester, “I’m just looking forward to getting new classes and meeting new people maybe more in my major.”

By Summer Sorg, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
July 31, 2019