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Civil Engineering Success Stories

About me:
Amanda Schimmoeller
B.S. in Civil Engineering (2012), Minor in Surveying and Mapping
Turner Construction Company, Columbus, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as VDC Preconstruction Engineer (VDC – Virtual Design Coordination):
A VDC Preconstruction Engineer prepares and uses models for estimating, schedule simulations, logistics planning, constructability studies, sales support, and other preconstruction activities as a project requires.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
I am proficient with BIM based computer applications such as Navisworks Manage, Trimble SketchUp, Autodesk Revit, etc. My role also requires the knowledge and understanding of all components that go into constructing a project (concrete, site work, exterior envelope, steel, temporary protection, etc.) in order to create an accurate budget/estimate for a project. Other skills that are required to be successful include strong interpersonal and teamwork skills, desire to learn, and ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Civil Engineering?
There are three pieces of advice that I would recommend to any student. First, gather as much exposure to hands-on applications/experiences, so you can have a better understanding of what you are managing/designing. Second, network - this is a key strategy in any industry you choose to pursue. Lastly, work hard for what you want in lieu of feeling you are entitled to what you want.

About me:
Ian Houston
B.S. in Civil Engineering (2010)
M.S. in Civil Engineering (2015), Cleveland State University 
Nelson Stud Welding, Elyria, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as Construction Engineering Manager:
I manage the Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA) program, maintain building code compliance and represent company on code writing committees (AWS, ACI, PCI, etc), project management; new product development and design aid development, perform focused presentations to a wide variety of groups. My role also entails marketing, customer service, and inside sales.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Flexibility, problem solving skills, people skills, high level organization and time management are all required in being successful in my role.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Civil Engineering?
Work on your people skills by taking a public speaking class. Learn as much as you can from everyone you meet, they will know something you do not. Always, always be flexible. Do not be afraid to fail. Do not be afraid to come out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges/opportunities because you never know where your career will take you.
About me: 
Jibin Liu
B.S. in Environmental Engineering (2012), Hunan Agricultural University
M.S. in Civil Engineering (2014)
AKRF, Inc., New York, NY


Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as an Environmental Engineer:
My role focuses on field work such as soil/groundwater sampling and monitoring. I collaborate with Project Managers/Senior Engineers in working on site assessment and remediation. My responsibilities also include office work such as data analysis, GIS/CAD, and reporting.

Please explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Strong analysis skills, writing/reporting, and GIS/CAD knowledge are required to be successful in my role. You need to be detail oriented, a quick learner and possess strong communication skills. I also think it’s important to be self-motivated (you should ask for work from Project Mangers).

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Civil Engineering
 Always be confident (but not arrogant) and make it a priority to keep learning new material. Also, use LinkedIn to network with people - a good network leads to future job opportunities. During the internship/job search, have your resume reviewed/revised by ECS staff, friends and family. Tailor your resume according to every single job description.

About me:
Syn Dee Chua
B.S. in Civil Engineering (2014)
George J. Igel & Co., Inc., Columbus, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as an Estimator/Project Coordinator:
In short, I mainly assist with preparing bids on construction projects.  I perform quantity takeoffs of earthwork, utilities, concrete, and site development items, help price items of work using productions and crews, and contacting subcontractors & vendors for quotes to ultimately, produce a proposal or bid for building the project. Occasionally, I help with managing ongoing construction projects, providing change estimates, and working on the job site to oversee progress and resolve construction issues.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
One, to have an eye for detail is crucial. Construction plans and contract documents have a lot of fine print and we have to make sure that everything is accounted for in a bid, or risk not being awarded project. Two, being able to communicate clearly and professionally is also another valuable skill. There will always be questions and things that need clarification, and the most effective way to solve a problem is to be able to communicate and converse clearly – whether it is in-person, through a phone call, or an email. As engineers, or "technical people”, being able to communicate a technical problem to non-technical people is a key skill. With that being said, in addition to communication, treating people with respect and being humble (as proud as we are to be engineers) can go a long way. Having a good relationship with the people you work with can be beneficial in many ways. In my case, it is not just my fellow colleagues in the office. I have a lot of respect for my colleagues who are out on the field with their boots in the mud, who are actually doing the construction work. They have a wealth of knowledge that I do not, and I rely on them and their experiences for me to do my job successfully.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Civil Engineering?
“Civil Engineering” has the term “civil” in it for a reason. You will be dealing with people and creating infrastructure systems meant for people. You have to enjoy working in a team, and working with people. There’s no running away from it, and this is also true for all forms of engineering. On top of that, there has to be fascination for the built environment and for infrastructure. To try to figure out if civil engineering is right for you, think beyond roads, bridges and buildings as the only things civil engineers work on. In this day and age, it’s so much more than that. Think land surveying, laying underground pipeline networks, redesigning road traffic signal systems, creating the next most-sustainable building material, LIDAR mapping, and 4D construction project scheduling. The list is always expanding as science and technology develops! Civil engineers solve a whole range of problems that people take for granted each day. It’s important to dig deep into the huge variety of things that civil engineers do and find something you’re interested in. Be constantly curious about the world we live in everyday!