CMU looks to train homegrown civil engineers

 Kelly Bevill, assistant professor of civil engineering, CMU.
Kelly Bevill, assistant professor of civil engineering, CMU. (KJCT)
Published: Jul. 20, 2016 at 1:31 PM MDT
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The fastest growing university in the state is expanding once more with the launch of a new civil engineering program.

"Building upon the wonderful success we've had with mechanical engineering, here we go…," said Tim Foster, president of Colorado Mesa University.

The new CMU program has employers, such as Anderson Consultants, excited about the possibility of hiring homegrown engineers.

“The unfortunate fact of living and working in Grand Junction is the difficulty recruiting talent with skill sets and degrees not offered locally,” said David Hartman, vice president of Anderson Consultants. "I could prattle on with anecdotes about hiring fresh-faced young professionals, moving them here and then seeing them off in two years.”

Hartman said civil engineers are the base of every community, providing the expertise that makes possible many of the things we take for granted.

“How many of you traveled here on a road, filled a coffee pot with tap water, live in a building...,” said Hartman.

Hartman said civil engineers are part of the teams that oversee nearly every major construction project.

“If not the leader of that team,” said Hartman.

Emma Gardner was the first CMU student to enroll in the new program.

"If it wasn't available at CMU then that would have me transferring somewhere else," said Gardner.

The new civil engineering program will be headed by Fruita native, and assistant professor of civil engineering Kelly Bevill.

“I did my undergrad at CU Boulder and then I went to Cornell and I got my masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering," said Bevill.

Bevill now has the opportunity to help frame a brand new program.

“There will be CU faculty that CU hires and they'll come over here and they'll work with us,” said Bevill.

Students will get the best of both universities, without having to leave the Grand Valley.

“It’s just nerve wracking starting it from nothing because there are so many different directions you can go,” said Bevill.

For now, it seems that direction is up— taking CMU to the next level.