Adrianne Richardson, BS '17, MS '19

Thornton Tomasetti

Adrianne Richardson, UB alumnus at her graduation near Lake LaSalle.

When Adrianne Richardson confers her degree in January, she will start her career in Boston at Thornton Tomasetti, a structural engineering consulting firm she interned with this past summer. Richardson will live in a city she has always wanted to live in, working for an international structural engineering firm.

In high school, Richardson applied to UB’s School of Architecture and visited South Campus. She was accepted, but switched her major to business administration. Richardson toured North Campus, and “loved it.”

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I loved visiting North Campus,” Richardson says, “it had great energy, and it was such a good deal compared to other schools. There were so many degree options.”

Richardson enrolled in her first semester as a student in the School of Management. Early in her freshman year, she started to look at other disciplines including Civil Engineering. “A lot of business is intuitive and I wanted to learn something that the average person wouldn’t know,” Richardson says, “a friend suggested engineering, so I took a physics class and realized I loved it.”

Richardson elected to change her major to Civil Engineering, and it worked out well for her. Over the course of earning her BS and MS, Richardson served as president of UB’s ASCE student chapter, was a member of Tau Beta Pi (an engineering honor society), interned with four different companies and served as ASCE Conference Co-Chair when UB hosted the ASCE Regional Competition in 2016.

“What stands out to me about UB is the connections faculty have in the civil engineering industry and how helpful they are,” Richardson says, “Professor Whittaker helped me immensely. I knew I wanted to move to Boston, and he got me in contact with people at the Thornton Tomasetti office there. This connection has helped me get an internship and a fulltime job.”

Richardson says Whittaker also helped give her a push to continue her education into UB’s graduate school. As a current teaching assistant, she uses the same encouragement with some of her students. “Sometimes I talk to my students about their future plans. There are some students who I know would be really successful in graduate school, and it would really help their career,” Richardson says, “I try and convince them to come here for graduate school because it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”