engineering students visit water resources

Cal Water Gift Funds Students Research

Civil engineering students on a field trip to field trip to Los Gatos Creek and Vasona Reservoir (courtesy of Juneseok Lee).

Civil engineering students visit Los Gatos Creek and Vasona Reservoir (courtesy of Juneseok Lee).

Media Contact:Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Scores of San Jose State engineering students will have the opportunity to conduct applied research on a critical natural resource, thanks to a five-year, $450,000 gift commitment from the California Water Service Company.

“This gift will allow students to apply theory-based knowledge to solve real-world problems facing California now and in the future,” said Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Juneseok Lee, who has been named the California Water Service Company Chair.

Having this direct relationship with Cal Water is very exciting because our students will receive the opportunity to get their hands dirty in the field, working alongside the technical staff. I can’t think of anything more amazing than that.”

Juneseok Lee

Juneseok Lee

Professor Lee of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering created a list of 60 potential projects, and is in the process of selecting the top 10 for efforts that will begin later this fall.

Best and brightest

“This opportunity allows our industry professionals and academia to work together on real business issues facing the water industry,” said California Water Service Group President and CEO Martin A. Kropelnicki, ’85 ’92 Economics.

Having the best and brightest of Cal Water and the university working together on one team will create many opportunities, and I look forward to the enhancements in efficiency and service that will result from our collaborative approach.”

Each project was carefully designed to enable undergraduate and graduate students to conduct hands-on research with a focus on one or more vital themes at the intersection of civil engineering and water services in the West.

These themes include:

  • water infrastructure asset management
  • drinking water quality
  • drinking water infrastructure systems operations and performance
  • sustainability of water resources and infrastructure under climate change/ effective utility management
  • implementation of hydroinformatics
  • water economics and finances

Alumni network

The gift also exemplifies the power of SJSU’s network of alumni, a group that is over 200,000 strong in the Bay Area and supportive of its alma mater’s efforts to continue providing the theoretical and practical training that has been SJSU’s hallmark for generations.

Cal Water’s gift to SJSU was championed by retired Cal Water Vice President of Engineering, Water Quality and Operations Robert Guzzetta, ’77 ’84 Civil Engineering. Kropelnicki was named a Graduate of the Decade in 2002 and is one many Cal Water employees with SJSU degrees.

Cal Water is the largest subsidiary of California Water Service Group, which provides regulated and non-regulated water service to approximately two million people in more than 100 California, Washington, New Mexico and Hawaii communities.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.