University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Alumni Honored During National Engineers Week


Erin D. McKenzie

Four University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering alumni were among those honored recently by area professional organizations as their 2010 Young Engineers of the Year.

The awards, which recognized both outstanding accomplishment and potential in engineers still in the early stages of their careers, were presented during a ceremony at the Intercontinental Houston Hotel Feb. 15 as part of National Engineers Week. Dedicated to recognizing engineers’ ingenuity, professional and educational organizations collaborate throughout the week to raise awareness about engineering’s benefit to society and promote education in math, science and technology. Four of the 17 honored were:

Archana Sharma (2007 MSEnvE) came to UH after earning her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 2005 from Anna University in her hometown of Chennai, India. Two years later, and with her UH degree completed, she joined CDM Inc., a consulting, engineering, construction and operations firm where she works as a design engineer with the company’s water and wastewater treatment group. While at CDM, she has earned her Engineer-in-Training and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) certifications in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

Outside of work, she is an active member of the Southeast Texas Chapter of the Texas American Water Works Association where she serves as their correspondence chair. This role has her aiding in organizing bimonthly chapter events, updating the Web site and communicating with members via a newsletter. Last year, she helped setup the Web site for the chapter—a contributor to why the TAWWA named her this year’s Young Engineer of the Year.

Julio Salinas (2004 BSCE) has been working with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) since graduating from UH nearly six years ago. Just last year, he not only became certified as a Professional Engineer, but completed the more than $200 million Katy Freeway Interchange, a project consisting of 14 bridges. Most recently, he has taken on the title of project manager for a $2.5 million widening project on U.S. 290.

After work, Salinas gives his time to the Houston branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers who named him their Young Engineer of the Year. An active member since 2006, he holds roles as the Student Chapter Chair and the Younger Member Technical Chair. In these positions he organizes technical tours for members with area companies and serves as the contact between the student chapters of ASCE at UH, Rice and Praireview A&M universities and ASCE’s professional board. Beyond ASCE, he is a member of the Texas Public Employee Association, the UH Engineering Alumni Association and the Young Engineers Society for TxDOT’s Houston District.

Ashish Bagga (2003 MSEnvE) came to Houston to earn his graduate degree after working two years as a civil engineer in his native country of India. Since graduating from UH, he has worked with the environmental consulting firm Malcolm Pirnie where he is tasked with mitigating environmental problems experienced by federal, municipal and industrial clients. A project engineer with the firm, he holds both his Professional Engineer (PE) license and his Construction Document Technologist (CDT) certification.

Since 2007, he has been an active member of the American Society of Indian Engineers—who named him their Young Engineer of the Year—where he now serves as vice president. For the last three years, he has served on the Eweek Committee for the UH Engineering Alumni Association.

Carol Schmidt (2007 BSChE) is a process engineer for Waldemar S. Nelson and Company Inc., where she works on offshore oil and gas platform design projects. Currently an Engineer-in-Training (EIT), Schmidt is working toward becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in 2011.

An active member of the South Texas Section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (STS-AIChE) as both a student and in her professional career, the organization named Schmidt their Young Engineer of the Year for 2010. Last year, Schmidt served as chair for their Young Professionals group, and continues to help as their advisor in 2010. At present, she is the secretary for STS-AIChE and is working with them to put together a review course at UH this fall designed specifically for chemical engineers seeking PE certification.


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