Today we feature Liam Cutri-French, a senior Civil and Environmental major with an Honors concentration. Liam is from Glen Gardner, NJ (Hunterdon County). He is the local project lead for Engineers Without Borders, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the Engineering Honors Society. He also stays active on the Rock Climbing team as a speed climber and as assistant vice president for facilities and operations. He shares with us his experience at Rowan and the opportunities he has had.
What got you interested in your intended field?
From a young age, I was always interested in infrastructure. I was always really interested in constructing and seeing large-scale projects being done. As I grew up, I kind of realized that I wanted to be a civil engineer because I realized that I could create these massive projects that could have an impact on a lot of people.
More recently, I have been focusing on water resources. I think that is going to be one of the most pressing issues in the world in the coming years and decades and already is. So right now, my focus as a civil engineer is to focus on water resource and land development so that I can create a positive impact for as many people as possible.
How did Rowan prepare you for your intended field?
The best part of my education here has been the small class sizes, accessibility to professors and to opportunity. If you are willing to search for something to do then there is always opportunity here for you. So Rowan prepares you to enter the workforce very well.
One of the benefits of having such small class sizes is that I have built a personal relationship with almost all of my professors. So I feel when it comes to questions about my career path or what I want to do or just questions about life in general I can approach really any professor and strike a convo with them. This has really been great for me here because the professors being so approachable has helped me to figure out what I want to do and I have had a lot of great advice from a lot of great professors.
What skills have you aquired at Rowan?
Civil engineering courses focus on real-life applications — whether it be doing basic design work, classes that focus on problem solving or the engineering clinics which give students freedom to choose their own path in how they want to proceed in their courses. I think that giving students the freedom to decide what they want to do and almost create their own curriculum in those classes is really beneficial and prepares us for the workforce like no other school does.
What is most meaningful experience you have had?
As an intern, I work for Maser Consulting with their water group, and my primary role there as an intern is drafting and design of water sewer and gas utilities for the city of Philadelphia. In the position, being there for 18 months, I have been able to really grow as an engineer and learn the process of how projects are deigned. In which case, I have been able to do more than your typical intern since I have spent so much time with the group and I have learned so much, and that really coincides with my goal of working in water resources.
The other thing that has been the greatest experience for me is working as the AVP of facilities and operations for the student government. In that position I have been able to sit on several committees for the university as well as being the chair of the SGA facilities and operations committee where I have had the opportunity and the privilege to be the liaison between the student body and the administration.
In regards to pretty much all planning and development on campus and being able to see the work they do and the processes they take to work through the planning and development of Rowan’s campus, it is just a very exciting position to be in and it makes me really excited for the future of Rowan.
How has your overall experience been so far?
My overall experience with Rowan has been overwhelmingly positive. I feel like because of the amount of opportunity that Rowan has for students who are willing to look for it has been able to contribute to me, grow as a student and an engineer. It is a school with so many clubs, so many ways to grow, ways to learn as a student, gain leadership experience, hands-on experience and professional experience. It has been a great way for me to become a better student and become a better engineer.
What is your favorite accomplishment?
My favorite accomplishment being a civil engineer at Rowan was being nominated by Rowan for the Sol Seid Scholarship from The Professional Engineers Construction in NJ. Every school in NJ gets to nominate a student, and it was between six other students and me. We were interviewed by a panel of professional engineers from this organization and then of those one is chosen for $10,000, and I was incredibly happy and honored to get that scholarship.
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Story and photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major