“From a young age, I have had a fascination and interest in structures, especially vertical structures,” said Virginia Tech civil and environmental student Matthew Tyler. This fascination had first led him to consider pursuing architecture. However, in high school, he got an internship and got involved in STEM club that helped him realize that he enjoys problem solving on a more technical level. “Infrastructure is an area where I see great need throughout the world,” he said. “Civil engineering is a major where I can pursue my interests, take on responsibility, and most importantly, make a positive impact on society.”
He hopes to do that by being involved in organizations like the American Society of Civil Engineers and learning from his professors and mentors. He will have the opportunity to network with many more structural engineering professionals during the Structural Congress in Fort Worth, Texas in April.
Matthew was select to receive one of the first scholarships to attend the Structure Congress as an undergraduate student.
The Congress provides the opportunity to connect with leaders in the profession and learn from experts. There are more than 30,000 structural engineers that are involved with Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and it includes all facets of structural engineering including practicing engineers, students, research scientists, academics, technologists, material suppliers, contractors, and owners. The goal of SEI is to advance and serve the structural engineering profession while influencing change on broader issues that shape the entire civil engineering community.
This opportunity to apply for a Structures Congress scholarship came in a weekly SEI email he received, but caught his eye because of the opportunity to grow his professional experience. “It is a personal goal to maximize the number of professional opportunities I can participate in while still in college,” Matthew said.
“The event will expose me to a professional structural engineering environment,” he noted. “I look forward to understanding the organization of the congress and how various issues are handled by professionals. Specifically, I will pay close attention to how these structures affect the community and try to understand the purposes behind each of the design components.” His sense of community service and the desire to help others was sparked while working on his Eagle Scout project and was one of the many reasons he wanted to attend Virginia Tech, where Ut Prosim is so important to the university. “Virginia Tech has always been my dream school because of the atmosphere and it has one of the top civil engineering programs in the world. I applied to other schools but knew I wouldn’t be happy anywhere except Blacksburg,” Matthew said.
Perhaps this opportunity will be the first step on his way to his dream career of working in structural design of the overall framing of unique structures including stadiums, skyscrapers, aircraft carriers, and cruise ships.