Ambassador Highlight of the Week: Terry Bondy

Name: Terry Bondy
Major: Civil Engineering
Year: Senior
Clubs: SCE Student Council, Tau Beta Pi
Favorite class: CE 321: Structural Analysis
Favorite place to study: Miller Nichols Library on the 4th floor
Why you chose UMKC: Lots of scholarships are available for students

What In the World is Civil Engineering?

When I tell people I’m majoring in civil engineering, the most common response is “Oh, so you are going to, like, build stuff?” Most people don’t have a clue what civil engineers do. I certainly didn’t have a very good idea either when I started this program a few years ago. Because it is a very broad engineering degree, it can be hard to explain sometimes. There are five industries that people typically work in as civil engineers: construction, structural, geotechnical, hydrological, and traffic engineering.

During my freshman year, I wanted to work as a hydrological engineer. I thought I would enjoy working with streams, rivers, and keeping the environment clean from pollution. However, I found myself enjoying my structural classes more. Statics, Structural Analysis, Steel Design, and Reinforced Concrete all seemed more interesting to me.

The first thing I like about structural engineering is how many different materials are available. I can use steel, wood, concrete, and masonry to build structures. Each has unique properties that make it the better or worse material to use in certain situations. Another thing I look forward to as a structural engineer is working with different industries. I can build hospitals, schools, office buildings, or power plants. Few professions offer the opportunity to work with such a variety of clients. Third, I want to be a structural engineer because it gives me the opportunity to help other people and communities in a meaningful, lasting way. With a Structural Engineer license, I can build structures for people all around the world.

Learn more about civil engineering at UMKC.

Q+A With Alum: David E. Hawes

David E. Hawes
Senior Project Manager, Blot Engineering, Inc.
Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, Class of 1986
Current City: Kansas City, MO Hometown: Leavenworth, KS

What inspired you to choose UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering? I was looking for a program that allowed me to continue my career while getting a degree. The evening classes available at the SCE made this possible.

What project have you worked on since graduation of which you are most proud? While supporting an industrial client, there were challenges to complete a process and storm water treatment tank foundation and associated pipe rack during the winter months. The foundation required 185 concrete trucks and took over 20 hours to complete! The pipe rack involved structural steel design and auger cast pile foundations with pile caps. It was one of my most challenging projects but gave me the opportunity to use a lot of the skills I developed while at the SCE.

What drew you to engineering? I already had a background in construction, so engineering seemed like a natural next step. I had worked as a carpenter’s apprentice and then later became a journeyman bricklayer. Engineering was an opportunity to move forward in my career while still respecting my construction roots.

What do you love most about the engineering community Kansas City? I really love how many friends I have made. The engineers working for my own company, companies we partner with, and others I have meet through professional organizations have become a second family. These friendships have provided connections that have advanced my career in many ways.