Category Archives: Alumni

Environmental Engineering Alumna and the Tacoma Storm Water Treatment Facilty

Jessica Knickerbocker

Tacoma city engineer and ’02 Environmental Engineer alumna, Jessica Knickerbocker,  was the project manager on the $2.4 million Point Defiance Regional Storm Water Treatment Facility.  The facility was designed to improve the quality of storm water flowing into Commencement Bay by funneling storm water and filtering it before it enters the Puget Sound.  To watch Knickerbocker discuss the project, visit:

For more information on the Green Infrastructure Bill that Washington Congressmen Danny Heck and Derek Kilmer are proposing, visit:

Environmental Engineering Alumna Named ACEC New York New Principal of the Year

Josephine Zurica


Josephine Zurica has been named the 2016 American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) New Principal of the Year.  She is only the second woman to receive this award given to an ACEC New York member who has been a principal for less than five years.

Zurica received a Peace Corps International MS from Michigan Tech in Environmental Engineering in 2006 and joined Dagher Engineering in 2007 after serving in the Peace Corps in Panama.  She became principal for Dagher in 2013 at the age of 34.

For more information, visit:


Drewyor Re-appointed to Pair of State Boards

Gov. Rick Snyder has re-appointed Mike Drewyor (SoT), to the State Board of Professional Surveyors and the State Board of Professional Engineers. The boards regulate the practices of professional surveyors and engineers.

Drewyor is a professor of practice in the School of Technology and teaches in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Michigan Tech.

Read more at Tech Today, by UMC.

Civil Engineering Alumnus Elected President of the County Road Association of MI

James M. Iwanicki, 1989 graduate of Civil Engineering
James M. Iwanicki, 1989 graduate of Civil Engineering

James Iwanicki ‘1989 – BS, Civil Engineering has been elected President of the County Road Association (CRA) of MI.  James has been with Marquette County Road Commission for 17 years and recognized in 2014 as CRA Rural Engineer of the Year.

Delta Phi Epsilon Awards “Most Engaging Professor”

Civil and Environmental Engineering’s newest instructor, Michelle Jarvie-Eggart was awarded “Most Engaging Professor” by Delta Phi Epsilon this semester. She is teaching ENVE 4506, Sustainable Engineering Design.  Michelle earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering in 2007. Since then she has worked on sustainability and compliance issues for mining and other heavy industries in Marquette, MI. She and her family moved back to Houghton in November.

Environmental Engineering Alumnus selected as Bay Delta Office Manager for Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region

Michelle Banonis, an Environmental Engineering alumnus and PCA member
Michelle Banonis, an Environmental Engineering alumnus and PCA member

Michigan Technological University alumnus, Michelle Banonis, has been selected as the Bay Delta Office Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region effective March 21, 2016.  Banonis has most recently been serving as the Mid-Pacific Region’s Special Assistant to the Regional Director as well as leading efforts on California Water Fix.

Banonis obtained her Bachelor of Science in environmental engineering from Michigan Tech where she is also a member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA).  She also holds a Juris Doctor from Humphreys College Laurence Drivon School of Law and is a licensed attorney in California.

Michigan Tech/TUFTS Team Wins Prestigious ASCE Award

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has announced that Steven C. Chapra, Rasika K. Gawde, Martin T. Auer, Rakesh K. Gelda and Noel R. Urban will receive the Society’s 2016 Horner Award for their paper entitled, Sed2K: Modeling lake sediment diagenesis in a management context, published in the
Journal of Environmental Engineering in 2015. The Horner Award is made annually, recognizing the paper, published in an ASCE journal making the most valuable contribution to the environmental engineering profession. The award-winning paper is based on a mathematical model (Sed2K) developed by Dr. Chapra, the Louis Berger Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. Application and testing of the model was led by Rasika K. Gawde who recently received the Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech and is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Horn Point Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Rakesh Gelda, also received the doctorate in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech and is presently a Research Scientist with the Bureau of Water Supply, Water Quality Science & Research at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Drs. Auer and Urban are faculty in the Michigan Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.