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Meet a Badger: Anthony Heddlesten ’07

Anthony Heddlesten

Anthony was raised on a farm outside Pleasant Grove, Minnesota and attended UW from 2004 to 2007, earning a degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering.  He now lives in Riverdale, Iowa with his wife, Kyla and son, C.J.

What are you doing now, career-wise? ​
75% of the time, I'm an engineer and floodplain mgr. in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Section, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District; the other 25 %, I'm the Peoria Flood Area Engineer (and USACE).   I also serve as City Councilman for Riverdale, Ia.  ​

Describe a fond memory of your time at UW.
I was in an urban planning class, and we had to do a paper on some major urban planning feat.  My best friend was an exchange student from England and we were talking about the Chunnel that connects England and France.  As I was researching it, I saw that the father of the Chunnel was a professor somewhere in the UK.  On a whim, I shot him an email asking some basics about the project, just thinking there MIGHT be a chance I'd get a response from him before my paper was due.  About 30 minutes later I received a phone call from England.  It was Sir Peter Hall himself.  Just a total “geeking out” engineer moment for me! 

How would you describe your education at UW? ​ 
It's been life changing.  I had everything from mega classes to a landfill design class with only 2 students.  I am still in close contact with several of my professors.  What a resource to have a building full of PhDs available to answer questions for you 10 years out of school!!  I'm very grateful for my required extracurricular courses that pushed me outside my boundaries. 

Were you involved in any clubs, organizations or sports? If so, what?​  
I transferred into Madison after a semester at IIT in Chicago (originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer.)  Three of us co-founded the Transfer Student Organization.  It was a great way to meet people when I first started.  When I got into my major, a similar situation occurred and we didn't have a professional society student chapter, so a few of us co-founded the American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation Student chapter.  Of course, my favorite organization was just a fluke idea of submitting a cartoon strip to the newspaper and getting picked up by the Badger Herald.  I wrote comics for four years with one of my best friends and eventually became section editor at the Herald!  ​