Gary Wallace Jr. is busy building bridges to a career in civil engineering.
Now, that’s not a cliché or a metaphor. Wallace is literally building bridges.
The Morgan State University junior is treasurer for the Baltimore, MD, school’s ASCE Student Chapter and vice president of the Bears’ steel bridge team. ASCE named Wallace one of the 2016 New Faces of Civil Engineering Students.
“I just have a drive to do things like that,” said Wallace, S.M.ASCE. “I’m always learning more and trying to better myself.”
Wallace has been studying engineering longer than most college students. He started as a ninth-grader at Severna Park High School in Maryland as part of the Project Lead the Way program.
“I got thrown in early and that really made it a smooth transition to college life,” Wallace said. “By the time I entered Morgan State, the whole process of being in a group or leading a team just came naturally to me.”
Wallace also has the benefit of an outstanding example in James Hunter, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, a Morgan State alum who is now a civil engineering professor at the school and the faculty adviser for the ASCE Student Chapter. They collaborated on a research project about highway pollutant runoff in rainstorms.
“I very much enjoyed the experience,” said Wallace, who wants to focus on water resources engineering. “I learned a lot.
“Dr. Hunter is a great mentor. It’s just a great influence when you see someone who was in your shoes now doing great things. I aspire to be like that someday.”
ASCE’s New Faces of Civil Engineering recognition programs highlight the next generation of civil engineering leaders. By showcasing young, diverse, talented engineers the program shows that engineering is an exciting profession open to everyone. Ten honorees are selected by ASCE in each of two divisions: collegiate and professional.
Honorees receive recognition during National Engineers Week, which runs through Feb. 27, and at ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Gala, March 17, in Arlington, VA.