With two degrees from UNLV under her belt – a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering (2014) and a master’s degree in public health (2017) – Radke was able to parlay her interest and a part-time internship into a career that makes communities a better place to live.
What experience or skill did you get out of your Senior Design that you were able to apply in your work?
Senior design is an opportunity to identify a real-world problem and develop a solution to it. The experience taught me how to work in a group on a long-term project. I learned how to collaborate with my team, assign tasks, communicate, and develop a schedule for project completion. These are essential skills for working in the engineering field.
Since graduating, I have learned that an event of the caliber of Senior Design is a unique experience offered by UNLV. While most of my colleagues did have a senior project, none of them had a college-wide competition that culminated with an awards ceremony and cash prizes.
What is one tip you would give to other engineering/computer science students to enjoy their experience at UNLV?
Some of my favorite memories from UNLV were participating in the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter and the Concrete Canoe team. I met some of my closest friends while participating in those activities (including my husband). I would encourage students to get involved in student organizations. Not only do they offer a great learning opportunity, but you can also meet some lifelong friends.
What is one project or design you are most proud of? Why?
At my current job (at Stantec, a sustainable design firm), I’m working on finishing up the construction phase of a design-build groundwater treatment plant we started almost three years ago. As I look back on this project, I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. I’ve been with this project since almost day one and I’ve helped it develop from its conceptual phase to reality. Along the way, we faced many challenges but we were always able to work together with the client and contractor to come up with a solution. I think this project helped me grow as an engineer and gain a level of confidence that I’ll take with me to my next project.
What was a class you remember taking that correlates directly to your career today? What was your favorite aspect about it?
I work in the water/wastewater treatment world, so my favorite class at UNLV was unit operations with professor Jacimaria Batista. Besides the fact that she was a great professor on this topic, I particularly enjoyed the hands-on lab portion of this class. I also liked learning the thought process behind developing a treatment train, which is something that directly applies to my career today.
What brought you to your career?
My current career all started with a 10-hour per week internship that my friend convinced me to apply for so we could work together. That was nearly eight years ago and I’ve been working at Stantec ever since.
Tell us about a class, club, or experience at UNLV outside of engineering that shaped your career today.
In addition to being in the College of Engineering, I was also in the Honors College. One of my favorite classes in the Honors College was when I had the opportunity to co-teach an introductory Honors College course to freshmen. I loved coming up with the lesson plan for every week and helping the students navigate their first semester of college. This class helped provide me with leadership skills and taught me how to collaborate with my co-teacher to plan for the class every week.