Embodying the true meaning or “coming full circle,” Dr. Kristoph-Dietrich Kinzli stepped back onto the Mines’ campus this year after touring as a prospective student almost two decades ago.
“When I applied to colleges, I actually applied at Mines and at CSU and CSU gave me more scholarship money,” Kinzli stated.
CSU proved to be an excellent fit, and Kinzli studied at the university for ten and a half years, earning a B.S., M.S., and PhD in Civil Engineering, along with an extra master’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology.
Upon starting a family, Kinzli and his wife Anna decided that they wanted to move from Florida, where Kinzli was teaching at the time, to Colorado to be closer to family.
“When I read the Mines’ job posting, I thought ‘They wrote this for me, this is perfect!’” Kinzli recalled.
Dr. Kinzli officially joined the Civil and Environmental Engineering department as a Teaching Professor in Fall 2016.
While he teaches Hydrology and Water Management this semester, Kinzli’s main role on campus will be teaching and overseeing the Civil and Environmental Engineering portion of senior design for the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences.
“I’m going to be teaching two sections of senior design a semester for the foreseeable future, which is really exciting,” Kinzli explained. “In senior design students apply all of the tools they have learned to a real life project. This approach prepares students to seamlessly enter the engineering profession.”
As a leader in senior design, Kinzli will be coordinating and delivering lectures and activities on design components.
Kinzli has nearly twenty peer-reviewed publications in the field of hydrology and water resource management and has worked on projects with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and Colorado Parks and Wildlife as well as many others.
He found teaching after an enthusiastic fluid mechanics professor at CSU inspired Kinzli to pursue teaching during his first few years of college.
“I want to teach. I want to be in the classroom with students and foster the next generation of engineers,” he stated. Kinzli has been extensively involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) ExCEEd Teaching Workshop, which is a weeklong workshop that provides new engineering professors with the resources necessary to instruct students more effectively.
“You actually end up teaching three lessons during this week using advanced techniques that you learned,” Kinzli described.
The American Society of Civil Engineers also awarded Kinzli the national level ExCEED New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.
Kinzli encourages Mines’ students to pursue balance in their lives in order to keep things in the right perspective. For instance, he devotes most of his time outside of teaching to being a dad to his three young children, hiking and skiing the state, and taking camping trips around the country with his family in a VW bus.
“It’s not just the end goal,” he expressed. “It’s the whole process so if that involves more skiing or rafting or whatever, do it!”
Dr. Kinzli started teaching in CSM’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department this semester.
Photo courtesy Mines newsroom.