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Spotlight on Students: Bruno Fong-Martinez

  • Affiliation: Civil Engineering
  • Hometown: Las Cruces, New Mexico

What inspired you to pursue a degree in engineering and what drew you to Cornell CEE?

I have always wanted to be an engineer. As a kid I would dig holes in my back yard, stick PVC pipes on the ground, and form whatever contraptions would come to mind. I am also very detail oriented and take pride in finding the most efficient ways of performing a task. Combine all of these attributes and civil engineering is the clear choice.

I was invited to visit Cornell through the Diversity Hosting Weekend during my senior year of high school. This experience was the defining factor that led me to choose Cornell. I was amazed by the beauty of campus (granted I visited in October, well before the snow takes over most of campus). However, what really blew me away were the people. I had never been surrounded by so many brilliant minds before, many of which I am grateful to now call my friends. And to this day, 3 months away from graduating, the people of Cornell are what I truly consider to be my favorite part of Cornell, as redundant as that may sound.

 

Tell us about your internship experience at AMEC during the summer before your senior year.

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern for AMEC Engineering (now known as AMEC-Foster Wheeler) as a construction materials testing technician in El Paso, TX. Through this experience I was able to work firsthand with concrete, soils, and asphalt, and was even able to become a fully-functioning, ACI certified testing technician. I became responsible for sampling concrete at job sites and subsequently testing it in the lab. By the end of the summer I held ACI certifications as Field Testing Technician – Grade 1, Strength Testing Technician, and Flatwork Technician. My work as a technician reaffirmed my interest in the construction materials field. While the work itself was physically demanding (carrying a wheelbarrow full of concrete at 4am), I took great pride in being out there in the field and learning by getting my hands dirty. I learned a great deal from my time in the field and certainly developed a great respect for the people doing this type of work. It would be an honor for me to work in and make advancements to this industry.

My future plans include attending graduate school with a concentration in construction materials. And if possible, I would like to return to AMEC this summer to continue working in their materials division.

 

What are some of your extra-curricular activities?

  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Cornell Chapter - Co-President
  • Steel Bridge Project Team - Member
  • Cornell Cinema - House Manager

 

What's your favorite part about the CEE major?

My favorite part about CEE is the camaraderie that has developed between fellow classmates and myself. Fueled by sleep deprivation and fast approaching deadlines, there is something quite unique about the type of bond that has been forged between us over the last 4 years.

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