My name is Isabel Sund. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Toledo (Toledo, OH) entering my junior year. I was born and raised in the “Steel City”- Pittsburgh, PA. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I was surrounded by rising buildings, hundreds of bridges stretching down the beautiful three rivers and of course our amazing riverside stadiums, Go Pens! I have always been fascinated in seeing something built from scratch, whether a piece of pottery, a Harry Potter train Lego set or a piece of jewelry made for a local company. Seeing these objects created from my own hands was a special feeling. This feeling sparked my interest but I was never sure if I wanted to go into construction, engineering or architecture.
When I was a junior in high school, an incredible opportunity was presented to me. I entered a program called ACE mentorship. ACE stands for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Mentorship. This mentorship allowed high school students from the Pittsburgh area to be mentored by local leaders in the three fields. During the mentorship, we were presented with a project and over a couple months created the project in teams. From this experience, I was able to learn teamwork, people skills and was able to get to know the different fields more intimately. I was able to learn from my mentors and concluded in the end that I wanted to go into civil engineering and focus on construction.
I chose to go to the University of Toledo because of their mandatory co-op program. I was not looking forward to being away from the field for four years and this program allowed me at least three co-ops to be in the field and learn more than I would in a class setting. I wanted to be able to walk around on site, learn hands on and communicate with people and other companies. Construction has given me this opportunity to build something that other people will use. What I am a part of will hopefully make other lives easier and for the better. The construction industry has allowed these dreams to come true.
This summer, I had the privilege to work at the Ottawa River Underground Storage Basin in Toledo, Ohio. This project is part of the Toledo Waterway Initiative. The project consists of two main portions: (1) the pumping station, Storage Basin and Park Restoration Work and (2) Conveyance and the Roadway Improvement Work. I was a part of the first portion. The basin is a 36.3 million gallon underground concrete wastewater storage basin and the pumping station has a capacity of 173 MGD (million gallons/day). There is also the restoration of the original park which includes new facilities: tennis courts, hockey rink, baseball field, picnic pavilion, playground and fitness equipment. A lot has been accomplished and the project should be done by January 2018. It has been a very rewarding project seeing how much the basin and pump station will help the community and Toledo.
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