Ethan Edwards — advocate for clean water

Lyles School of Civil Engineering junior Ethan Edwards says he chose to study civil engineering because of his interest in water quality. He wants to ensure everyone has access to safe and clean drinking water and has already been involved in multiple water quality studies — including the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.

Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia

Current year: Junior

Ethan aims to earn his PhD after earning his bachelors degree in 2021.
Ethan aims to earn his PhD after earning his bachelor’s degree in 2021.

Why I chose Civil Engineering

I've always had an interest in science and math, but I really got interested in civil engineering in high school after my family and I went on vacation to China. The air pollution was so strong that I got sick within days of being over there. I can't imagine what it must be like for people who have to live there every day. I knew then that I wanted to pursue a major — and career — that focused on improving the health for others around the world.

Ethan has been involved in several undergraduate research projects.
Ethan has been involved in several undergraduate research projects.

Emphasis area

My emphasis area is environmental engineering. I am very interested in water quality and I want ensure everyone has access to safe and clean drinking water. I have already been involved in multiple water quality studies — including the Flint, Michigan, water crisis — and I aim to be involved in even more in the years to come. I have also worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and reviewed environmental assessments and I was part of Purdue's EPICS program where I worked to deliver a working aquaponics system in Gary, Indiana.

Ethan is a member of the Purdue Running Club and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Ethan is a member of the Purdue Running Club and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon.

Marathoner

In addition to my academic interests, I am also actively involved with the Purdue Running Club. Recently, I had been training for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, which took place on Nov. 9. I managed to complete the marathon in 2:48:45, which qualified me for the Boston Marathon!

After I graduate

After I graduate in 2021, I plan to work toward my PhD. I believe it will be necessary if I want to continue my passion for environmental studies and research.

In addition to being a big fan of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering , Ethan is also a strong supporter of Purdue Universitys basketball team.
In addition to being a big fan of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering , Ethan is also a strong supporter of Purdue University’s basketball team.