College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Edson Lopez: Dean’s Leadership Award winner


Environmental engineering


Rogers, Arkansas

Clubs and activities

I have been involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the ISU Boxing Club, and the Water Professionals Student Chapter. 

Leadership development

As president of the Water Professionals Student Chapter, I developed my leadership skills further. Managing a whole organization alone takes a lot of work, but fortunately, I had an incredible cabinet supporting me. I constantly communicated with the cabinet about things that needed to be done by a specific date, and sometimes, they needed help. Being president also helped me develop my communication skills with students and professionals. I frequently spoke to professionals when requesting that they come to talk about their professional experiences to the chapter.  

Being an undergraduate research student under Joe Charbonnet, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, has also allowed me to develop my leadership skills. Dr. Charbonnet helps me push myself by holding me to high standards to reach my goals. He motivates me to do well in my classes and offers help when I struggle. Dr. Joe has also connected me with opportunities I would not have known. I have learned much about presenting myself professionally, giving presentations, creating posters, and being a good mentor under Dr. Charbonnet. 

Cyclone Engineering community

The contribution to the Cyclone Engineering community I am most proud of has to be collaborating with the Society of Women Engineers for Girls Learning Engineering Day, in which we gave a presentation about the water cycle and had a small activity for 1st through 4th-grade girls. I am very proud of this contribution because we were able to give back to the community, and we were also able to inspire younger audiences to become engineers someday, hopefully. 

As a student leader, I always volunteer to give back to the ISU community. Recently, I volunteered on Admitted Students’ Day, where I got to talk to recently admitted students about the CCEE department and my undergraduate experience as an environmental engineer. This allowed me to reflect on my Iowa State experience and share all the fun times I have had here at Iowa State with prospective students. 

Making my mark on the world 

I plan to close the gap regarding social equity in engineering by providing safe infrastructures to underrepresented communities and mentoring people who want to have a more equitable society in the future. I hope to mentor students from different backgrounds to diversify the engineering field and bring more diverse ideas that will benefit the world in the future. 

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer 

Being an engineer at ISU has been a fantastic experience, from developing close friends to being close with faculty. Everyone in the College of Engineering and at ISU has always done everything to see me and my peers succeed. I have been able to experience that firsthand from having a circle that will encourage me to keep going in engineering and having faculty that will always help and did not get tired of me showing up to their office hours and also having faculty like Dr. Charbonnet, who has helped me find unique opportunities and continues to help me reach my goals. The ISU College of Engineering has created an environment that enables students to succeed and become engineers.