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Team Members

Joana Sipe, Chair

Joana is a third year PhD candidate in Dr. Wiesner’s lab. She graduated with her BS in Chemical Engineering in 2016 from Arizona State University. She is studying microplastic generation rates and their fate in the environment and the effect of nano fillers in plastics. She enjoys playing violin, piano and painting in her free time.




Kimberly Bourne, Secretary 

Kim is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Systems, Risk, and Decisions group and a native North Carolinian. Her research focus is on environmental regulations for coupled human and natural systems, primarily surface waters. Outside of Duke, her hobbies include playing the banjo (not very well yet, unfortunately), meandering bike rides/walks around town or on one of the trails in Durham, drinking nice beers or coffee around Durham with other people, hiking, and eating (and sometimes cooking) good food.


Clay Sanders, Treasurer

Clay is a fourth-year Civil & Environmental PhD candidate in the Computational Mechanics & Scientific Computing track. His research interests lie in the intersection of structural dynamics analysis and numerical optimization methods in the design of new composite structures and materials. Clay graduated Duke’s undergraduate civil engineering program in 2015 and is a current DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellow. In his free time, Clay loves going to Duke basketball games, painting, and staying active.



Kelsey Deaton, Academic Events Coordinator

Kelsey is a third year PhD Candidate in Environmental Process Engineering. Her research focuses on biofiltration for air pollution treatment. As Academic Events Coordinator, Kelsey organizes SAGE-sponsored departmental seminars and coordinates with students and administrators to continually improve academic programs.



Paige Bippus, Social Events Coordinator

Paige is a second year PhD student in Dr. Claudia Gunsch’s lab. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2016 with a BS in Marine Biology. Now she is working on understanding the mechanisms of gene transfer in bacteria in order to improve bioremediation of PAHs. As the social chair of SAGE, Paige is looking forward to uniting students and faculty across the department during social events as well as advocating for clear program policies and increased departmental inclusion.



Siddharth Kawadiya, Webmaster

Siddharth is a third year PhD candidate in Environmental Process Engineering. He is working on odor control in reinvented toilets in developing countries under Dr. Marc Deshusses. As the webmaster of SAGE, he maintains the SAGE website and is the liaison between the department and Pratt IT. In his free time, Siddharth loves playing tennis, reading, and binge watching every Gordon Ramsay show ever created.



Meghana Kuppa, Masters’ Liaison 

Meghana is a master’s student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from India. She joined SAGE to advocate for the needs of master’s students in the department. In her free time, she likes to sing, read, and watch food shows on Netflix.




Yiwei Duan, Masters’ Liaison

Yiwei is a first year master’s student in Environmental Engineering. Her areas of interest include bioremediation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. As masters’ coordinator, Yiwei tries to help master’s students orient through their first years in the program and get their messages across to the department and faculty.