Environmental Engineering 50 years of excellence logo50 Years of Excellence in Environmental Engineering: proud of the Past, aware of the Present, and striving for the Future

To commemorate this event, members of the Environmental Engineering Department faculty and its esteemed Industrial Advisory Board will host a celebration and technical workshop on the Montana Tech campus on September 14th - 16th.

The event will kick off on Thursday, September 14th at noon with a keynote speaker, a presentation of alumni and student accomplishments, and a campus tour. We will cap off the celebration with an evening Gala to honor and celebrate 50 years of excellence in Environmental Engineering at Montana Tech.

Registration fee includes:

  • Access to all scheduled technical workshops (CE Credit)
  • Food and beverage (breakfast, coffee breaks, and lunch)
  • Dinner for one and two drink tickets for the 50th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, September 14th at the Front Street Station (guests of alumni may attend for an additional fee)
  • Alumni Tailgate Party before Homecoming on Saturday, September 16th

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The Technical Workshop (CE Credit) will begin on Friday, September 15th at 9 am and will include the following topics:

  • Role of Environmental Engineers in Natural Resources Industries
  • Environmental Challenges of the Future
  • Environmental Education to Meet Future Industry Needs
  • Sustainability in Natural Resources Industries
  • Restoration techniques for Air, Water, and Land
  • Waste As a Resource for the Future

Homecoming week will be running in tandem with our celebration and we encourage you to stay through Saturday, September 16th to join us for an Alumni Reunion Tailgate Party and to cheer on the Orediggers as they take on Eastern Oregon University! If this is an option you are interested in, please select yes when you process your registration.

For additional questions please contact Susie Anderson at 406-496-4311.

Discounted Reunion Hotel Rooms for Alumni

The Best Western Plus Butte Plaza Inn (20 rooms), Hampton Inn (20 rooms) and The Copper King Hotel & Convention Center (40 rooms) are offering discounted rates as follows:

  • Best Western Plus Butte Plaza - $98 per night.
    • To book your room at the Best Western, please call (406) 494-3500 and ask for the Montana Tech Environmental Engineering 50th Celebration Rate.
  • Hampton Inn - $104 per night.
    • To book your room at the Hampton Inn, please call (406) 494-2250 and ask for the Montana Tech Environmental Engineering 50th Celebration Rate.
  • The Copper King Hotel & Convention Center - $149 2 Queen Beds, $210 1 King Bed.
    • To book your room at the Copper King, please call 406-533-6960 and ask for Montana Tech Environmental Engineering 50th Celebration Rate.

Schedule of Events

September 14, 2023
Time Activity
1:00 PM Welcome & Introduction of Karen Helfrich, President of Montana Tech’s Environmental Engineering Industrial Advisory Board
Kumar Ganesan, PhD, Montana Tech
1:10 PM Karen Helfrich (Class of ‘09 & ‘11), Pioneer Technical Services
1:15 PM Opening Remarks
Chancellor Les Cook, Montana Tech
1:30 PM Keynote Address: The Boundaries of Environmental Engineering
Dave Vaccari, PhD, PE, BCEE, President, American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientist (AAEE&S)
2:00 PM International Aspects of Environmental Engineering
Provost Nosa Egiebor, PhD, Montana Tech
2:30 PM Angela Lueking, PhD, Vice Chancellor of Research & Dean of Graduate Studies
2:40 PM Ken Lee, PhD, PE, Dean, School of Mines & Engineering
2:45 PM Jaime Heppler, Chief Executive Officer, Montana Tech Foundation
3:00 PM Break
3:15 PM Keynote Address: Environmental Engineering’s Role in Improving our Landscapes
Elizabeth Erickson, Water & Environmental Technologies
3:45 PM Evolution of Environmental Practices in Montana
Chris Dorrington, Director, Montana Department of Environmental Quality
4:15 PM Montana Tech Environmental Engineering at 50 Years
Glenn Eurick (Class of ’77), Environmental Issues & Images Group LLC & Jeff Chaffee (Class of ‘77), Chaffee Consulting LLC
4:45 PM 50th Anniversary Plaque Ceremony
6:00 PM Gala at the Front Street Station (catered by Casagranda’s Steakhouse)
September 15, 2023
Time Activity
7:30 AM Registration & Breakfast Buffet
Morning Session 1: SUB Copper Lounge
8:30 AM Keynote Address: Clean Air Act at 50+ Years: Successes and Unfinished Business
Merlyn Hough, PE, BCEE, Past President, Air & Waste Management Association
Human Health & the Environment Session
9:00 AM A Brief History of Ambient Particulate Data from Butte, Montana
Hal Robbins, Bison Engineering, Inc.
9:30 AM Resilient Butte - Sustainability, Health, and Resilience Plan (SHARP): Climate Solutions for a Healthy Butte
Stephen Coe (Class of ‘93), PE, Water & Environmental Technologies
10:00 AM Break
Environmental Engineering Responsibilities Session
10:20 AM Value Added Opportunities: One Way to Make a Difference
Robin Bullock, Montana Tech
10:50 AM A 20-year-plus Journey in Consulting, Mining, Processing, and Recycling
Kevin Mitchum (Class of ’97), Sibanye-Stillwater
11:20 AM Update on Recent Environmental Law and Related Public Lands Issues
Jacob Dillon, Crowley Fleck
Morning Session 2: SUB Big Butte/Highlands Room
8:30 AM Keynote Address: Defining My Environmental Engineering Career
Beth Fifield Hodgson, PE, F.NSPE, Current PNWIS President
New Techniques of Environmental Assessments Session
9:00 AM Incorporating Cutting Edge Assessment Tools into Legacy Mercury Mine Sites: Blending the Old with the New
Steve Dent, PhD (Class of ’03 & ’05) CDM Smith
9.30 AM A Day in the Life of an Environmental Engineer
Casey Phillips, Nucor
10:00 AM Break
Water Session
10:20 AM sUAS-based Thermal Remote Sensing to Quantify Cold-water Refuges in Streams
Raja Nagisetty, PhD, PE, w/ Megan Olson, Nathan Cook & Alex Leone, Montana Tech
10:50 AM Waste as a Resource for the Future
Kevin McDonough, UCC Environmental
11:20 AM Climate-responsive Pollution Control and Resource Recovery using Water/Wastewater Treatment and Desalination Technologies
Jin Yong Choi, PhD, Montana Tech
11:50 AM Group moves to the Environmental Engineering tent located in front of the Library.
Noon Enjoy lunch while watching the Bed Races (lunch is provided)
Afternoon Session: SUB Copper Lounge
Groundwater Session
1:15 PM PCB Mineralization in Contaminated GW Using UV/AOP
John Haney, Haley & Aldrich
1:45 PM Using Geospatial and Geostatistical Models Created with Leapfrog Works and a Numerical Groundwater Flow Model with Groundwater Modeling System to Visualize Site Data and Inform Remediation Design
Karen Helfrich (Class of ‘09 & ‘11) & Ross Monasmith (Class of '19), Pioneer Technical Services
2:15 PM Groundwater Resources in Montana
John LaFave, Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology
2:45 PM Groundwater Simulation of Longwall Coal Mining Operation in Tongue River Member Strata of the Tertiary Fort Union Formation
Brad Rutherford, Chelle Carney (Class of '22), Rachel Hadley, Water & Environmental Technologies
3:30 PM Break
Environmental Engineering & the Mining Industry Session
4:00 PM Value of Montana Tech’s Environmental Engineers to the Mining Industry
Jack Stranda, Montana Resources
4:30 PM Role of Environmental Engineers in Natural Resources Industries
Kevin McDonough, UCC Environmental
6:00 PM Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner at the Butte Country Club
September 16, 2023
Time Activity
11:00 AM Tailgate Party! Enjoy food, drinks, and swag!
1:00 PM Football Game vs Eastern Oregon - GO DIGGERS!