Beyond the Buildings

By:       Staci Jones
Date:    September 1, 2017

From energy to water to transportation and other infrastructure systems, UC CEAS September Engineer of the Month and civil engineering senior, David Burton, looks to improve the quality of life for many. 

David Burton

A well-established cooperative education (co-op) program, locality, a beautiful physical campus and the Club Soccer program are what led September engineer of the month, David Burton, to deciding to attend the University of Cincinnati (UC).

David recalls always playing with Legos as a kid and regards it as being the catalyst that led him to the field of civil engineering at the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). “I later became involved in Balsa wood bridge building in high school and became interested in all aspects of the building industry. I desired a career that would have a wide impact on many people – all of these factors led me to civil engineering,” said David.

David has learned to juggle full-time classes, part-time research, and involvement in five student organizations and/or competition teams. Though he feels that none of his challenges were extreme, he states that one of the biggest was gaining a great deal of knowledge in only few weeks in order to help manage construction on a $300 million project in Columbus, OH for one of his co-op rotations.

Two of David’s co-op rotations were at Schaefer, a structural engineering firm in Cincinnati. He also spent two semesters at Dugan & Meyers Construction Company, a general contractor operating primarily in Cincinnati, Columbus and Louisville.

“Both of these experiences were invaluable as I learned so much about the civil engineering and construction industry that I never would have learned in the classroom alone,” David stated while speaking on his co-op rotations, “I learned about construction project management, surveying, estimating, computer drafting, and structural design.”

Beyond his co-op experiences, one of his most proud accomplishments was receiving the Scholar of the Year Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), a nationwide organization for the advancement of engineering business. He also received this year’s Education Grand Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Ohio (SEAoO) for a paper he wrote on Archaeo-Engineering.

David stresses to future students the importance of balance, “for me, being efficient in the use of my time is the best thing I can do. I choose to focus on the things that will truly benefit me.”

He greatly looks forward to a career in his field.

“I like so many things about civil engineering – it provides the opportunity to affect the lives of every citizen who would use a structure or system that I would design or construct,” said David, “The opportunity to not only impact many peoples’ lives but to also improve them, that’s what drives me to be the best civil engineer I can be.”

Upon graduating in 2018, David plans to receive his master’s degree in civil engineering and marry his fiancée, Grace.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science congratulates David Burton on his outstanding achievements thus far and as the September Engineer of the Month.

Select for previous Engineers of the Month.