Meet Evan Lopez
, who earned his bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Rice University in 2018. He's now a data and business analyst at Key Capture Energy, which identifies, develops, constructs and operates energy storage solutions to foster greater deployment of renewable energy.
What are you doing now with your CEVE degree?
Data analytics at Key Capture Energy. It’s not directly related to my degree, but the problem-solving skills I picked doing so many problem sets have definitely been helpful.
What CEE courses were most relevant to your career?
481/480 & 307 have been directly relevant. Our senior design project dealt with a renewable energy system. The projects I did for 307 helped me land my original internship with Key Capture.
What is your favorite project related to your career so far?
A GIS visualization of the Texas power grid. It overlays a wide variety of electrical infrastructure, environmental data, and analyses I’ve done to help us figure out where it makes sense to put utility-scale energy storage systems.
What reasons would you recommend for pursuing CEE degree from Rice?
Flexibility. Because Rice’s CEE degree is so broad, you can do a lot with it (within civil engineering or otherwise).
Any advice for undergrads considering a CEE degree?
Do it. I don’t recall talking to any CEEs who wished they had done something else. I did talk to people in other majors who wished they had gone the CEE route.
Looking back at your time at Rice with a CEE degree, what is the most marketable skill or experience that has helped you in your profession?
That’s difficult to say. I have definitely picked up more marketable skills in the time at my current job, but I do work for a dynamic startup and I think that’s unusual. If I hadn’t already been on an internship-to-full-time track and was actively looking for energy jobs during senior year, I think my senior design project would have been quite helpful.
What experiences outside of the classroom did a CEE degree help give you exposure to?
Chi Epsilon was a good leadership experience. I think that gave me greater confidence leading a team of interns this summer.