Athens, OH 10 December 2017 –
This semester was by far the longest 15 weeks of my life. What do I have to thank for this grueling yet empowering struggle? My senior design project of course!
In Civil Engineering, we have the choice of taking three different types of senior design classes. In the fall, there is Land Development senior design. In the spring, there is Environmental/Water senior design and Structural senior design. Because I am interested in transportation, planning, and municipal engineering, the Land Development senior design was the best choice for me.
The overall concept of the class is to design and plan a housing subdivision complete from the initial surveying to the completed utility and grading plans.
In my opinion, this class is the class where you will learn the most Civil Engineering topics out of any class in the curriculum. Over the course of 15 weeks, I learned how to:
- do a topographic survey of 30 acres of land
- plan and design roadways with horizontal and vertical curves
- grade out existing land to make it usable for homes
- plan out storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main utility lines
- design a detention basin with correct drainage plans
…and a whole lot more which would take up way too much time to
For the first time ever in a college class, it finally felt like I was being an engineer. To go from nothing to a complete design with all the bells and whistles was something so amazing to be a part of. It wasn’t without mistakes, which my group made a fair amount of. But it was from these mistakes in our design that allowed us to learn the most.
At the end of the class, we presented our design to a panel of 10 professional engineers. They all had specialties they used in their real-world engineering jobs and were able to comment on all of our plans and designs. Even though presenting to them was nerve racking, their input was awesome and it was great to hear comments from veteran engineers.
Even though I wouldn’t recommend taking senior design with 19 credit hours and being the head of two large organizations, it was the biggest learning experience of my college career. The skills I learned with surveying and AutoCAD I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I definitely feel ready to take on the real world now.