"I want to make a positive impact on our water usage as human beings. We tend to waste a lot of this precious resource (not always intentionally), but either way, I believe as time progresses, our need to protect and manage this resource will continue to rise."
Nick Sanoff-Mineo is a fourth-year transfer student from Santa Cruz who has been involved with the Cal Environmental Team for two years. Last year during the Cal Environmental team's MidPac competition at UC Davis, Nick was the builder who assembled the team's filter and treated the water. Nick is majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an environmental focus and is expected to graduate next fall.
Compiled by Pooja Nerkar
How did you get into Civil & Environmental Engineering?
I went into Civil Engineering because of a fond love for physics and math while at community college (Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA.). I realized I had more of a passion for water resources than structures while preparing to transfer to Cal, so I shifted focus to the environmental aspect of CEE.
Professor or course at Cal that made an impact on you?
Professor Cruz Carlos is awesome. Although I am not particularly interested in steel/concrete for structures, I found his CE 60 course (Structure and Properties of Materials) to be very fun, largely due to Cruz’s positive and infectious energy. Despite his busy schedule, he was willing to let me interview him for another course. All in all, Cruz is a great professor/person.
Advice for prospective students interested in getting into the field? What gives you motivation?
Focus on the fundamentals. Students (myself included) tend to forget many specifics in problem analyzing/solving. Basic fundamental building blocks should be given priority while learning than tips/tricks for certain types of problems. Also, try to make friends and reach out to people. Support systems can be immensely helpful in getting through school and can lead to a more extensive and robust professional network after college.
Future career goals?
I just want to make a positive impact on our water usage as human beings. We tend to waste a lot of this precious resource (not always intentionally), but either way, I believe as time progresses, our need to protect and manage this resource will continue to rise.
Fun fact about you
I am 5 inches taller than my twin brother.