Christina Chu-Garcia is listed as one of the 2018 rising stars in Civil Structural Engineering.
She is also a CEE alumna, earning her Master’s of Engineering in Structural Engineering and her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Two weeks ago she visited Assistant Professor David Kammer’s class where she presented a lecture titled "Structural Engineering Beyond the Classroom”, and spoke about her work as a senior project engineer at Thornton Tomasetti.
Can you talk about a current project you are working on?
One of the projects that I am currently working on is the National Veterans Resource Center at Syracuse University's campus. It is a 3 story building with an auditorium, classroom and indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. It is currently in the middle of construction. The structure mainly consists of steel and slab on metal deck. It has been a great project that I am working with SHoP architects and Lechase Construction. I really enjoy working with this team, and when you can work with people you like, it makes your job a whole lot easier.
Why did you choose Cornell?
I chose Cornell because I wanted to experience a few years in a non-city environment. I grew up in New York City and I knew that I would eventually want to live there permanently, so I thought that it was a great opportunity to try something different. I really enjoyed my experience in Ithaca and at Cornell.
Was there a particular faculty member or class that influenced you the most?
Professor Hover was that most inspirational professor over my time at Cornell. He was incredibly knowledgeable and had so many great experiences to share. He really conveyed his love for concrete and teaching students, in the way that he taught and the stories he told.
“Cornell prepares you with the fundamental core principles but you still have to figure out how to apply those principles to what you do daily.”
If you were to offer advice to students entering the workforce, what would it be?
The best advice I could give graduating students entering the workforce is become a sponge. Enter your jobs with an open mind to learn and absorb as much information as possible. And don't be afraid to ask questions.