Courtney Doss

Staff Profile: Courtney Doss

Solving the “city-scale” infrastructure problems UC Davis faces is no easy task, but it’s just the kind of challenge Courtney Doss enjoys facing in her role as associate campus engineer at Design and Construction Management.

“The university is a complex machine with many moving parts,” Doss said. “It’s enjoyable to keep track of all these moving pieces and understand how each project will fit into the overall big picture.”

Doss’s passion for engineering started as an interest in building, fostered by stagecraft at community theater and volunteer homebuilding when she was a teenager. A So-Cal native, Doss moved up north to pursue an engineering degree at UC Davis, what she calls the “best university in California.”

“Campus was – and still is – such a welcoming place. It has always felt like a really happy place,” Doss said. Doss returned to UC Davis in 2018 in a position in Utilities and then moved to DCM in 2021.

“A lot of the work I did with Utilities is very similar to the work I do now – and in some cases the projects I am working on at DCM are projects I worked on previously at Utilities just in a different role,” Doss said.

Ever since her first civil engineering course, Doss has been “hooked” on wastewater engineering, an interest she’s been able to pursue in her work at UC Davis. One of her first projects with Utilities was updating the water and wastewater planning study. Since then, most of her work has been centered on how the university manages water.

I’ve been involved with implementing the projects that have come from [the waste and wastewater] study, including projects to manage the university’s water portfolio, and currently, the preliminary design of a water treatment plant,” Doss said.

The goal of the new water treatment plant, like many of the projects Doss manages, is to improve the university’s drought resilience. 

“Longer and more severe cycles of too much and too little water is the reality of California’s current and future climate,” Doss said. In order to continue to meet the campus’s demand for water, the "supply needs to be reliable and drought resilient.” 

Once constructed, it will allow water from Lake Berryessa, which is currently used for irrigation and research, to be used for domestic water. This will diversify the university’s domestic water supply with high quality surface water from Lake Berryessa – which research has shown will be less affected by drought than other sources available to UC Davis.

Doss’s hard work at DCM on this project and beyond, are invaluable in keeping the complex machine that is UC Davis humming along.

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