College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Megan Hellman: Outstanding senior in biological systems engineering

Megan Hellman


Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Clubs and activities 

Iowa State University Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band, Iowa State Honors Program, and BSE Club. 

Hands-on learning in class 

The field trips in CE 326, Principles of Environmental Engineering, were extremely helpful. They provided context for the applications and importance of water quality, water treatment plants, and wastewater processing.  

Out-of-the-classroom engineering experience 

Being involved in Sara McMillan’s research team that focused on wetland water quality allowed me to learn various lab and sampling techniques and research principles. I loved collecting and processing samples because they provided substance and quality to my academic learning.

Most influential mentor 

Dr. McMillan has been my most influential mentor because she has guided me through the wetland water quality research process with patience and a strong background knowledge of everything water quality related.  

Best memory 

One of my favorite memories at ISU is parading into Jack Trice stadium every football game with the marching band! 

Plans after graduation 

I will be working for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as an environmental engineer in the floodplain and dam safety department.  

Making my mark on the world 

I would like to restore ecosystems to improve natural waterways’ resiliency, function, and beauty. My goal is to encourage and design these restoration projects equitably.   

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer 

Engineering at Iowa State is broad enough to expand your horizons. This is extremely helpful for people like me who are unsure which field to jump into. However, the agricultural and biosystems engineering department, specifically the biosystems engineering program, has several opportunities to work at a much deeper level on a topic that interests you. I valued this a lot because I was able to become familiar with water resources and ecological engineering processes that were only briefly touched on in class.