Big Picture Thinker
Katelyn Denby helped build Missouri S&T’s latest entry into the Solar Decathlon and also studies ways to improve nutrition based on geographic regions
As a child, Katelyn Denby loved being outdoors and surrounded by nature near her hometown of Edwardsville, Ill.
“I chose S&T because it has a lot more to offer to students than other, larger engineering schools,” Denby explains. “It has a great environmental program and is known for its graduate placement.”
Today, as a junior in environmental engineering, Denby has kept her passion for the environment alive in both her academic and social circles — even bringing it home, as a resident of the Solar Village, a neighborhood of four solar houses designed and built by S&T students.
“I participate in monthly activities with the other Solar Village tenants to help raise awareness on campus of environmental topics,” says Denby, president of Eco Miners, a group of students interested in building a sustainable future. She was previously director of finance for the Solar House Team, which constructed the Chameleon House for the Department of Energy 2013 Solar Decathlon.
“Our student design teams are great ways to get involved and meet new people,” she adds.
Working under the direction of Daniel Oerther, the John and Susan Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering, Denby is studying how to fight obesity and poverty. She has looked at ways to optimize gardening by developing a decision-making tool to find the most economic watering system, type of soil and best nutritional balance based on geographic regions.