Stephanie Bolyard

Stephanie C. Bolyard

Title
Research and Scholarship Program Manager
Organization
Environmental Research and Education Foundation
Location
FL, United States
Stephanie Bolyard
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Biography
Stephanie Bolyard is the Research and Scholarships Program Manager at the Environmental Research and Education Foundation. Dr. Bolyard received her PhD in environmental engineering at the University of Central Florida. She has eight years of academic and professional experience in domestic wastewater permitting, environmental compliance, solid waste management, and nanotechnology. Her research expertise, include solid waste management, analytical chemistry, advance spectroscopic techniques, biological and advanced oxidation processes, domestic wastewater treatment, and nanotechnology. Dr. Bolyard worked for Brown and Caldwell and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection prior to starting her graduate studies. Her professional background has allowed her to bring engineering experience into the classroom as well as understand firsthand how her research impacts not only industry but also society. She has built an extensive professional network due to her active membership and numerous leadership roles in the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, International Waste Working Group, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and the Water Environment Federation. She is an Environmental Research and Education Foundation doctoral scholar, ATHENA International Emerging Women Leader Fellow, and a former National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellow.
Education
B.S. Chemistry University of Florida M.S. Environmental Engineering University of Central Florida Ph.D. Environmental Engineering University of Central Florida
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Dr. Stephanie C. Bolyard

Environmental engineering and environmental science/biology will have different degree requirements. I obtained my MS in Environmental Engineering after completing a degree in Chemistry. During my undergraduate studies I was an engineering major for most of my undergraduate career but switched majors towards the end of my junior year. Therefore I had calculus I-III and differential equations, physics with calculus, thermodynamics, statistics for engineers, and other engineering core courses. One challenge you might have obtaining your M.S. in environmental engineering might be with articulation courses. Despite having the courses I previously mentioned, I still had to take 18 hours of senior level environmental engineering courses before I could start my MS work. These courses were vital to my success with both MS and PhD coursework. The ability for you to obtain your MS in environmental engineering will depend on the program you plan to apply to and what they will require you to take. One other aspect to think about is if you want to become a professional engineer on day. There are required coursework to be able to take the FE which is the first step to becoming a professional engineer. If this is something you'd like to consider than your engineering coursework will be very important. What you are proposing can be done but might require some extra time.  

I do not think "environmental engineering jobs" are on their way out. We are facing challenges relating to our environment therefore there is always a need for environmental engineers. For example, environmental engineers are integral in the management of our drinking water, waste water, and solid waste (just to name a few). 

Environmental engineering is a combination of math and science. Courses required in environmental engineering are heavily involved in science. I would consider why you do not like science when evaluating your decision to pursue environmental engineering. Since you are just taking general education it might be difficult to see the connection between your science courses and your career. If you really do like environmental engineering you will most likely enjoy your courses despite being related to science. 

Yes I think environmental engineering will give you an excellent foundation to pursue renewable energy. Courses covered in an environmental engineering curriculum will be beneficial as you will understand the full implications of various forms and applications of renewable energy. I believe your involvement in FFA, tire drive, and enrolling in college courses are all great steps towards pursuing an environmental engineering degree. I would assume you are already ahead of your peers preparing for your college career based on your involvement and preparation academically.

Madeline, 

Thank you for your questions.

1.What do you love about Environmental Engineering? Is there anything you dislike?

I’ve always had a fascination with water as a young child and was good at Chemistry in high school. I did not actually know about Environmental Engineering until my husband decided to dual major in civil and environmental engineering. After I graduated I wanted to work in environmental science but still wanted to get an engineering degree. Overall, I find all aspects of environmental engineering very interesting but have to say solid waste management and wastewater are my two favorite areas.

I do not have any specific dislikes within environmental engineering. It is a challenge sometimes for the public to understand environmental concerns or dealing with regulatory hurdles. 

2. Do you see the field growing in the future?

Yes I do see the future growing mainly due to more stringent regulations as well as our desire to be a more sustainable society. We are not going to stop throwing items away and using the bathroom. So to some extent I call that job security.  

3. What have your experiences as a woman in the field been like?

Environmental engineering seems to have the largest percentage of females (~50%) at the university level. I have not dealt with any negative issues being a “female” in a somewhat male dominated workforce. I actually enjoy the challenge.