By Peter Murphy
Published July 25, 2018
Two students in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at UB are spending their summer interning at an engineering consulting firm…when they aren’t hiking or exploring some part of Pacific Northwest.
“We have explored virtually every single day we’ve been down here,” says Damian Andreani, a civil engineering student enrolled in the MS program at UB.
Andreani is one of two UB students interning with Catena Consulting Engineering this summer. The other, Michael Murphy, an incoming MS student civil engineering student is experiencing the west coast for the first time. The two have spent most of their weekends seeing different cities and landmarks throughout the region.
“During the week, we try to explore different parts of Portland,” Andreani says, “on the weekends, we try to drive somewhere out of town.”
The UB students have climbed to the top of Mount Ellinor in Olympic National Forest in Washington, explored Seattle and hiked the Redwood forest in California (among other adventures).
During business hours, Andreani and Murphy work on designing steel, wood and concrete structures and analyzing nonstructural building components and their connections to the structure for seismic loads. “The work we have received is what is expected as an entry level engineer rather than an intern,” Murphy says, “we are also held to the same high expectations as an entry level engineer.”
Murphy and Andreani reached out to Catena Consulting Engineering late in the fall 2017 semester. According to the pair of students, former and current UB students have interned with the firm in the past, and a number of alumni work for the company. The students were able to reach out to the UB graduates at the firm for help during the interview process.
“With a huge focus on earthquake engineering in the structural program at UB, the west coast is a great place to practice,” says Andreani, “the seismicity of the regions makes it a challenge to design structures.”
The internship itself is an opportunity for each student to learn more about the professional and business side of engineering, but both Andreani and Murphy acknowledge this experience is more significant. “This isn’t just a summer activity,” Murphy says, “this is a closer look at possibilities for a career. An important part of a career is living somewhere you can enjoy when you are not at work. The other activities are very important to us.”
UB civil engineering students Damian Andreani (left) and Michael Murphy (right) after climbing a black diamond hill at an Oregon ski resort
UB civil engineering students Michael Murphy (left) and Damian Andreani (right) at the Haystack in Cannon Beach, Oregon
UB civil engineering alumni and current student climb the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Left to right: Max Van Kleeck, Damian Andreani, Eric Farfagila