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Brian Welsh as a part of Engineers Without Borders
Brian Welsh on an experience with Engineers Without Borders | Image: Courtesy of Brian Welsh

Meet Brian Welsh, a senior civil engineering student who sat down with us to talk about his Aggie civil engineering experience, his love for engineering and how his time at Texas A&M University has impacted his future for the better.

Q. Why were you interested in pursuing civil engineering?

A. The thing that drew me toward civil engineering the most was my admiration for the built environment we live in. Buildings, bridges, roads and water resource infrastructure all fascinated me, and I wanted to be a part of its construction. Being able to impact people every day through civil services was another huge reason I decided to pursue civil engineering. I’ve always been passionate about helping people and volunteering, so this seemed like a natural route to serve the public and pursue my academic interests in structural engineering, math and science.

Q. How has your passion for civil engineering grown over the years?

A. My passion has primarily grown through applying the skills I’ve learned in my civil engineering courses to organizations I’m involved in such as Engineers Without Borders, by doing undergraduate research and through various internships. By getting to apply my skills to these projects and real-world applications I’ve reinforced my knowledge base and gotten to see an actual impact from my work.

Q. What do you hope to do as a career or after graduation?

A. After graduating with my Bachelor of Science, I plan to attend graduate school to attain my Master of Science in structural engineering. Following that, I hope to work for a structural engineering firm that works on large-scale projects in a global market. Getting to design and improve the built environment that our society operates in for the good of all people is something I greatly look forward to. Toward the end of my career, I’m also looking at potentially becoming a professor of practice at a university to teach – an interest of mine I’ve discovered through peer mentoring as an undergraduate student.

Q. What type of projects have you encountered in your courses?

A. Aside from the standard freshman year engineering course projects, I’ve had multiple design projects. Most of these projects have come in my upper level structural courses involving the reinforced concrete design of a structure, the creation of a MATLAB program to perform structural analysis using matrix methods, and my senior design project class where we designed an entire building over the course of the semester and presented our work to a structural engineering firm.

Q. What is valuable in a civil engineering degree at Texas A&M?

A. In addition to the already fantastic reputation of Texas A&M as a university, I believe there is special value in a civil engineering degree in particular. Part of the civil engineering creed that all licensed, professional engineers must abide by is “to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” This ethical code is very much in line with the Aggie core values that students strive to represent and carries over into the civil engineering field quite seamlessly. This likeness, in my opinion, gives the degree more value than pursuing it at other universities.

Q. What do you love most about being a civil engineering student at Texas A&M?

A. My favorite part of being a civil engineering student at Texas A&M is the people I’ve met within the department. Everyone is extremely welcoming and friendly, both inside and outside of the classroom. I’ve made some lifelong friends within the department, and all my most memorable experiences at Texas A&M have involved my peers.

Q. What are four words you’d use to describe getting your degree in civil and why?

A. Challenging – It may come as no surprise, but getting a degree in engineering requires a lot of dedication and effort.

Rewarding – Getting to meet the people within the department and the opportunities to learn and apply my coursework have been extremely rewarding from both a professional and personal standpoint.

Fun – I’ve honestly had a lot of fun both in and out of my classes. Being able to study and work within a field I have a passion for has been a very enjoyable experience.

Eye-opening – One of the reasons I was interested in civil engineering is because I was so interested in the infrastructure we use daily, so learning about how the things around me work has given me a new perspective on everything that goes into the design of our world.