Madeleine Driscoll, Erin Steinwachs, Joe Murk and Jim Somerville of KCI’s asset management practice recently wrote an article for Cityworks Magazine, which was published in the Spring 2019 issue.
by Jean C. Kubwayo, EIT
At the end of a civil engineering curriculum for a bachelor degree, you find yourself equipped with knowledge that applies to the different civil engineering disciplines. You are familiar with aspects of structural (bridge and building), environmental, water resources and geotechnical engineering. It appears to be a challenge determining which discipline will fit into your future career goals. You wonder if there could be someone who will take your hand and give you a clear sense of what each discipline has to offer before deciding where you want to specialize. The KCI rotational program is that hand for recent engineering graduates.
I graduated from Morgan State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Before my graduation, I heard of the rotational program that KCI offers its entry-level engineers. I was so excited when I received my job offer. The main benefit I got from the program was the ability to connect how the different disciplines work together from the beginning to the end of a project. I also was introduced to other engineering disciplines that I would not have thought to try, such as mechanical engineering. This is where I learned more about the design of HVAC systems in buildings and got to use some of the thermodynamics theories that I discovered in class.
The utilities group was next, giving me a chance to understand the process of designing telecommunication and other utility layouts. In the highway department, I was put in charge of the design of a hiker/biker path. It proved to me that highway design can be fun, contrary to what I believed when I took the class. I finished my rotational program with the transportation‑structures team, where I learned that a bridge engineer does not just spend time designing new structures. My experience there taught me that the inspection and maintenance of existing structures are major parts of the structural engineer’s work.
Overall, the KCI rotational program gave me the opportunity to learn and to grow as a well-rounded engineer. It allowed me to have more connections within and outside of the company that have come in handy on a regular basis. Instead of finding one helping hand, I found a wide support system ready to help me navigate my first year as a civil engineer all thanks to the rotational program.