Kevin Hickey '05, '07
B.S., Civil Engineering
M.S., Environmental Science & Engineering
Kevin Hickey ’05, ’07 (BS, MS) has a serious case of déjà vu.
As an engineer at CHA Inc. in Rochester, New York, Kevin Hickey plans, designs and inspects projects in the field of environmental engineering.
But if he feels like he’s done all this before, it’s because he has.
As an undergrad civil engineering major with a minor in environmental engineering at Clarkson, Kevin was able to participate in a number of hands-on experiences that almost mimicked his daily job duties today, including an internship, a co-op, and the SPEED (Student Projects in Engineering Experience & Design) Environmental Design team.
“The Environmental Design team project was a true “real-world” design problem that really helped prepare me for the types of projects I work on daily,” he explains. “We competed in a national competition to identify the best way to remove Perchlorate (a salt that can negatively affect the thyroid gland in humans) from a rural drinking water source. Going through the process was both fun and challenging.”
For the competition, Kevin’s team traveled to New Mexico to showcase their solution. They returned home with a second-place finish by using reverse osmosis to remove the Perchlorate, a process now often used to produce high quality drinking water.
Over two summers, Kevin also traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Cazenovia, New York, for internships and co-ops. After his sophomore year, he spent the summer in Cedar Rapids working for Cargill Sweeteners, one of the largest producers of corn syrup in the U.S.
“My job was to help keep the manufacturing facility in compliance with environmental regulations and to assist in process design throughout the plant,” he says.
His next internship led him to GHD International (formerly Stearns and Wheler), a consulting engineering firm in Cazenovia, New York, where he assisted with the design of a water and wastewater treatment system.
After receiving his B.S. in 2005, Kevin chose to stay at Clarkson to earn his master’s in environmental engineering. As a grad student, he won a Best Poster Award at the 2007 Northeast Agriculture and Biological Engineering Conference for his poster and subsequent research with Prof. Stefan Grimberg regarding laboratory scale anaerobic digestion of sand laden dairy manure.
In his current role, Kevin works on design projects such as water and sewer distribution systems, water and wastewater treatment plants and storm water treatment systems. These projects require interacting with clients, writing engineering reports, performing engineering calculations, sizing equipment and completing design plans and specifications – most of which he learned while an undergrad.
“I love seeing a project that I have designed on paper being constructed and operating as it was intended,” he says. “It reminds me why I chose this field and why this field matters.”
Hometown: Clifton Park, N.Y.
High School: Shenendehowa High School
Fun Fact: Pitcher on Clarkson’s varsity baseball team
Hobbies: Camping, hiking, fishing