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Christian Tait

B.S. Architectural Engineering
Christian Tait

Hometown:  Erial, New Jersey

Current School Year: Sophomore

Anticipated year of Graduation: 2020

Major: Architectural Engineering

Minor:  Architecture

Please describe your study/research interests and why.

My interest in architectural engineering started from a very young age as an interest in construction. Over time, as I grew up and began to move around South Jersey, I would return to the places I used to live and I would find that they’ve been built up and developed quite a bit. Seeing these areas evolve through building and seeing how cities have grown throughout history, inspired a love of building. I wanted to know more. I knew I wanted to be an engineer because my interests in math and science are the foundation on which all fields of engineering stand. My love of building both from an architectural standpoint, coupled with this, naturally led me to architectural engineering. Moreover, few really think about the impact the built environment has on all of us. We spend most of our time indoors, and buildings are among the leading contributors to climate change in terms of energy and resource consumption. The opportunity to promote sustainability and good designs for the future is an opportunity I couldn’t overlook.

Please describe your co-op experience. Include where you worked, a brief description of your duties, and what you learned.

For my first co-op I worked at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). While working there, I learned a little bit of everything from construction/project management to little things like how to read construction drawings. My job was to monitor construction progress for a couple of different projects and write daily reports for the city and ensure that the project was being completed in accordance with the contract. 

Please describe any extracurricular activities that you participate in. 

I am the current president of the Drexel Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI), and am the AEI Representative to and member of the Drexel chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). I strive to provide opportunities for my fellow architectural engineers to interface with professionals working in the industry, and also to give architectural engineers a more prominent voice within the CAEE Department and the Drexel community as a whole.  Outside of Drexel, I am also a member of the national AEI, ASCE and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) chapters in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

Please explain more about what you intend to do as you further your studies and afterwards.

To continue my studies I plan on pursuing the BS/MS program and getting my master’s degree in civil (structural) engineering. This will be in addition to completing a minor in architecture to better explore the more artistic side of architectural engineering. Beyond Drexel, I plan to take my FE and someday get my PE License. I’m also considering exploring construction/project management someday after graduating.

To anyone considering engineering as a profession, do it! Sure, there are times I question why I did this to myself: long nights studying, hours of work, difficult classwork, etc. I don’t regret it at all and neither will you. The rigor is nothing to shy away from; the world needs engineers. No matter which branch of engineering you go into, you will find friends you’ll never forget, and make invaluable connections along the way; you will not regret the effort it takes to become an engineer.