Callan Driscoll, former Eck Institute for Global Health Fellow and member of the Shrout lab, shares details about her career as an environmental engineer and time as a doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your area of study. How and when did you first become interested in the field?
I am an environmental engineer who specializes in the cleanup of contaminated sites to protect human and environmental health. I implement innovative solutions to sites with impacted soil and groundwater.
As a native Montanan, I have seen the negative effect of private enterprise on the environment. I was born and raised near the largest superfund site in the United States. My hometown of Butte and the surrounding area have been severely impacted by copper mining and ore smelting. Residents struggle with the effects of heavy metal contamination as they deal with the ongoing superfund cleanup process. After completing an engineering internship with a local firm, I knew I wanted to be part of the solution. I wanted to be an engineer. I graduated from the doctoral program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Notre Dame and began my career as an environmental consultant.
Q. What are you doing now professionally?
Currently, I am an engineer with an environmental consulting firm called SLR International Consulting in Seattle, Washington.
Q. What are you currently working on, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?
As a consultant, I work on a variety of different projects. I’m currently working on a feasibility study to assess different cleanup alternatives of a historic manufactured gas plant. The objective of the project is to prevent contaminated groundwater from migrating or flowing off the property, so the property can be redeveloped and useable. I’m also managing a project to establish wetlands to compensate for a client’s unavoidable negative impacts to aquatic resources. Part of my job as a consultant is to design the right solution for my client that is protective of human health and environment as well as make land useable.
Q. What is your most memorable experience at Notre Dame and why?
Having a photo taken with a very tall gentleman outside “the Gug” during a football game and finding out it was the “Admiral,” David Robinson. I had no idea. I just knew he was someone famous and made me look short. I am the worst sports fan ever.
Q. Do you have any plans for the future? If so, what are they?
Complete my professional engineering license, drink a beer, climb a mountain, and keep moving forward in my career.
Q. Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself, or something you enjoy doing in your free time?
I am an avid ice curler and instructor. I took my first ice-curling lesson at the Compton Ice Rink on campus.