Faculty Spotlight: Josh Sharp

For those pursuing an Environmental Engineering degree, Josh Sharp is either already a familiar name or soon will be. Professor Sharp is a newer faculty member in the environmental department and focuses on areas involving microbiology, biogeochemistry, and their relation to water treatment.

Sharp grew up in a small town in Delaware. He described his upbringing as academic, as his mother was his AP Biology teacher and his father an oceanography professor.

After high school, Sharp obtained his undergraduate degree in Geosciences at Princeton University. Of his experiences following graduation, Sharp said, “I did a quick internship with an environmental consulting hydrology firm. Before that I had already signed on with Schlumberger which is an oil services company, but I was able to push that back so I had four or five months to work with the hydrology internship. And then I worked for Schlumberger for about a year and a half. Then I worked for the US Geological Survey as a hydrologist for another six months or so before going back to graduate school at Berkeley.” At UC Berkeley, Sharp obtained a Civil and Environmental Engineering Masters and Ph.D. From there he went on to do a post-doctoral study in Switzerland. Afterward, Sharp came to CSM to be a professor where he has been working for the past four years.

When asked why Sharp picked the path he did he said, “I think the internships, the time I spent during the internships, and Schlumberger really calibrated what I was doing. Probably the thing that put me most in the direction I am right now is my senior thesis. It was on microbial arsenic respiration.” Research in microbial arsenic respiration can be applied to water treatment as a way to remove arsenic.

At CSM Sharp has taught a variety of classes some of which include Introduction to Environmental Engineering, Hydrology and Mining Impact modules, and the summer field environmental session course, as well as an Environmental Engineering Module class, Geo-microbial systems, and Watershed Biogeochemistry seminar.

Sharp said he wanted to work at Colorado School of Mines because “The location is fantastic, [and] I like the size of the school. I grew up in a small town and so I think being in a smaller town like Golden and [teaching at] a small school just feels a lot better to me. I also like the department that I am in. I just think that it has a lot of really good people and a fantastic trajectory, I like the strategy and the directions they are taking things. It just seemed like a good place to come as a junior faculty member and thrive as well as a great town for my family.”

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