My name is Addie Miller and my time has come to be a senior at Oregon State University where I am majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Humanitarian Engineering. Although I am going to school up in Oregon, I am from Yucaipa California which is where I am based for my summer internship, at the Skanska Civil – Riverside office. I have been given the chance to be the estimating intern where each day I’m able to learn and expand on my college education!
It was in high school where my interest for engineering was sparked on this one simple fact – engineers can help people too! The past few years I have given my summers to working with juvenile diabetics at a summer camp, where I personally thought a health based field was the only way my career could involve ‘helping others’. I was proven wrong when my high school engineering teacher helped us dive into what engineering is and why it’s so important for everyday society–and how it truly helps the public.
Engineers are the ones who build your house to live in, design the cars to drive in, create the machines to thrive with and everything in between! Without engineering and the innovative minds that make these designs, our technology and lifestyles of today would be limited. I zoned in on civil engineering because this sector of engineering focuses on public works, with the people specifically in mind. Civil engineering combines math knowledge, design understanding, and creativity to make final products that hundreds of thousands of people will be using every..single..day. You could say the construction industry is behind the scenes, making your life easier without you even knowing it.
I wanted this internship so I could gain experience and learn, which is exactly what I’m getting. I’m located in the office, the bullpen of the building to be exact, where I am at a computer calculating the various quantities of each major project we are bidding. I also get out to the field so I can physically see what I’m calculating, so the connection and understanding of my values can be made. The other day I was standing at the abutment falsework of the bridge I calculated quantities for just a few weeks prior. Moving down the project I was amazed that I could physically see the 2% grade the bridge had to help with water runoff, and even the form work being built to create the soffit of the bridge! It truly was exhilarating seeing the 2D drawings from my computer come to life.
Working at the office I’m surrounded by senior engineers and estimators who are all collaborating to make the projects run smoothly and safely. Thankfully they take time out of their days to teach me some. By getting a taste of the construction calculations and quantities this summer has me itching to try different Civil Engineering/Construction positions on a project such as being a field engineer or designer.
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