This week during Engineers Week, we are celebrating our engineers who are making a difference in our world. Nicholas Warrens, water engineer who works at CH2M HILL’s Boston, MA office, shares why he picked a career in engineering and what he loves about working at CH2M HILL.

By: Nicholas Warrens, CH2M HILL Water Engineer

Across our nation, the number of students choosing to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related (STEM) careers is dwindling. Engineering companies and firms, like CH2M HILL, are joining together to celebrate Engineers Week, February 16-22. All week, there will be a variety of activities taking place around the country to inspire students of all ages to think about the cool projects engineers are working on to make a difference in the world.

This year’s theme, “Let’s Make a Difference”, is meant to inspire kids and adults to learn more about what engineers do—from building roads and flying satellites to advancing healthcare technology and  ensuring we have clean water to drink, engineers are tackling some of the world’s most challenging issues.

When I graduated high school, I remember initially being stumped on what to choose for a college major (let alone what I wanted to do for a career). But after some reflection, the choice was obvious. I had always been good at math and science, and perhaps more importantly, I had an inquisitive mind. Case in point, when I was a kid, I would create dams in the creek at my grandmother’s cottage to see how the flows would change.

Fortunately, my job at CH2M HILL allows me to put my problem solving skills to work every day, as I model water conveyance systems and develop solutions to the problems some of our clients face.  I’m excited to continue working on fascinating projects with the latest up-and-coming technology and for the opportunity to work alongside incredible people who share my passion for engineering.

So during Engineers Week as I reflect on what inspired me to be an engineer, I would offer this advice to students studying engineering or another field: keep dreaming; one day you’ll be living that dream.

Nicholas Warrens is a water engineer at CH2M HILL specializing in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. He particularly enjoys using radar imagery to simulate rainfall with high spatial and temporal resolution, as well as determining the optimal placement of green infrastructure for stormwater management. Nicholas received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois and Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and 2011, respectively.