Get to know Lynne Chicoine

Lynne ChicoineAlumna Lynne Chicoine (BS 78, MS 80) answers a few questions:

What are some of your favorite memories of of your time at University of Illinois? 

Like so many other young people, college was such a time of personal growth! It was my first time away from home (although home was only an hour away!). I loved (nearly) every minute of my time at U of I - the coursework was challenging for me, but I worked hard and felt a sense of accomplishment when I'd mastered a class. I liked the sense of independence I felt at the university, knowing that I alone was responsible for the outcome of a test or assignment. Among my most outstanding memories:

…walking into the college (of engineering) office to transfer INTO engineering from LAS (math) my sophomore year. Staff first assumed I was transferring OUT, and was very welcoming when I said I wanted to transfer into the college.  

…my first day in my first engineering class - drafting. I was the only girl and I took a deep breath and said to myself "ok, you got this!" And I did. 

…any of my many classes with Professors Randtke and Snoeyink. They were demanding but really so talented as instructors. I was mesmerized and I count myself lucky to have been their student.

…tackling TAM problems until the wee hours with the four other engineers in my sorority house in our 24-hour quiet study room. I treasure my lifetime friendships with some of these women. They are among my closest friends.  

…traveling to University of Texas as a Chi Epsilon delegate from U of I with our advisor Professor Narby Katchiturian. It was my first time on an airplane! I will always remember his kindness on the trip and though I never had a class with him, he always remembered me and said hello in the hallway.   

…working to put on 1977 Engineering Open House with students from other departments.

…my induction as a Knight of St Patrick. 

…in grad school, hanging out on the 4th floor CEB (Newmark). We studied constantly, only taking a break to play D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) every day at lunch.

What was your first job after you graduated?

I worked in Champaign at CERL for a short time, then moved to Chicago to work for Metcalf & Eddy helping with the planning and design of a regional 100 MGD wastewater treatment plant in Des Moines and the new regional potable water delivery system for Chicago's northwest suburbs. I was lucky to work with a talented group of people who remain my mentors and friends.  

What are you up to these days?

I've worked for 38 years as a consultant. The last 25 years have been in Oregon, where I've planned and designed wastewater treatment facilities around the state. The last few years, I've been working as the Capital Program Manager for Water Environment Services (Clackamas County, Oregon).  We are one of three wastewater utilities for the greater Portland metro area. I oversee the engineering and asset management groups and together, we plan and manage a conveyance and treatment capital plan which totals $200M over the next five years. We're growing our engineering staff to meet the demands of the program and I've enjoyed bringing on, and working with, engineers who share my passion for the water environment. Over the years, I've been active in professional organizations and served on the UIUC CEE Alumni Advisory Board. I am currently sitting on the University of Idaho CEE Alumni Advisory Board (as a non-alum) where I enjoy sharing my experiences at Illinois and spending time with students.