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SHAPE THE WORLD AROUND YOU AND DESIGN HABITATS THAT ALLOW PEOPLE TO THRIVE. BECOME AN ENGINEER IN SERVICE TO SOCIETY.

Civil Engineering (CEE)

ci·vil en·gi·neer·ing

The design of cities and communities that will be safe for the general public and support modern society.

Also Known As: Structural Engineer, Construction Engineer, Water Resource Engineer, Transportation Engineer, Geotechnician, Hydraulics Engineer, Environmental Engineer, + 10,000 more

A large silver machine adorned with UM's block M performs a stress test on a piece of concrete

WHY CIVIL ENGINEERING AT MICHIGAN?

  • No. 7

    US News & World Report

  • 6:1

    student to faculty ratio

  • 180+

    years as a department

  • $9M+

    spent on research in 2019

  • >40%

    female (Winter 2019)

CEE was first engineering department at the university.

Over 97% of graduates are employed directly out of school or pursue a higher education.

students work on project

What do Civil Engineers do?

We are responsible for the cities that surround you—both those modern and ancient. We are the first engineers, which has allowed us to build a strong reputation for shaping the world that you see today. From historical marvels like the Great Pyramids or the Brooklyn Bridge, to bright new skyscrapers in Dubai, dams, drinking water networks, and interconnected highway networks—we do it all.

CIVIL ENGINEERING AREAS

  • FocusCEE

    FocusCEE allows you to focus your engineering education in CEE by tailoring your curriculum to a particular theme. Each focus area combines a major in CEE with additional courses that often meet the requirements for a specific LSA minor, plus immersive experiences outside the classroom.

    Smart Cities- Beyond self-driving cars, the connected cities of the future will have smart buildings, smart water systems and smart energy grids. This Focus will deepen your engineering education to include knowledge of infrastructure, the environment, technology, sensors and data science.

    Community Policy and Planning- Modern engineers will work hand-in-hand with diverse groups of community members to ensure that the cities we build improve quality of life for all those who reside in them. This Focus will deepen your engineering education to include a combination of equity, sustainability, policy and planning. You will learn how to enrich the lives and experiences of many residents — from rural regions to megacities.

    Sustainability- To ensure a greener and more equitable future, we need sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental and resource challenges. This Focus will deepen your engineering education to include knowledge of sustainability, food, energy and policy, to name a few.

  • Structural Engineering

    Build a better world. Work with architects to build the world’s buildings and bridges. Understand the forces, strength and stability within a structure to bring forth beauty and ensure safety.

    Introductory course: Structural Engineering. Other courses include: Design of Metal Structures; Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures.

  • Geotechnical Engineering

    Want to build the hyperloop, or hold up the world’s biggest buildings? The Leaning Tower of Pisa owes its instability to a time before geotechnical engineering. Our buildings don’t lean anymore. You’ll dig deep beneath our feet to build structures that climb high into the sky. Study soils, foundations, and tunnels, and investigate the causes of landslides and selection of locations for landfills.

    Introductory course: Geotechnical Engineering. Other courses include: Foundation Engineering; Slopes, Dams and Retaining Structures.

  • Transportation Engineering

    Be part of a generation that designs what was once considered science fiction: a transportation system with shared driverless electric cars that can talk to each other, pedestrians, buildings and bridges.

    Introductory course: Transportation Engineering. Other courses include: Traffic Science; Travel Behavior Analysis and Forecasting.

  • Construction Management

    If you’re good at planning, organization and coordination, this concentration could be perfect for a leader like you. Take a look at the overview of the design and construction process and determine how to schedule work crews, how construction will take place, what materials are needed and where they will come from, and how to protect our workers’ safety.

    Introductory course: Construction Management. Other courses include: Building Information Modeling; Construction Engineering, Equipment, and Methods.

  • Hydrology

    Take a deep dive to learn about water in natural and human made environments. Understand the work of the watershed and origins of streamflow. Build dams, canals, and other structures in and around water. Design a storm drain system in cities to prevent flooding and divert water to the natural environment.

    Introductory course: Hydrology and Floodplain Hydraulics. Other courses include: Groundwater Hydrology; Design of Hydraulic Systems.

  • Environmental Engineering

    Apply the principles of sustainability and environmental policy to build with the Earth in mind. Using greener building materials, renewable resources, and your knowledge of how construction affects our planet, you can produce more sustainable structures.

    Introductory course: Environmental Engineering Principles. Other courses include: Environmental Process Engineering; Design of Environmental Engineering Systems.

  • Materials Engineering

    Figure out the right formula for the materials you need to build a new structure. There’s ultra-strong yet flexible glass to withstand the forces of the wind, metals that remain shiny over time, or concrete that bends to create more durable roads.

    Introductory course: Civil Engineering Materials. Other courses include: Materials Selection for Sustainable Design; Soils Engineering and Pavement Systems.

  • Civil Engineers require broad knowledge of the specialty areas within the discipline. As such, they will choose to take an introductory course in 6 of the above 7 specialty areas:

Civil Engineers require broad knowledge of the specialty areas within the discipline. As such, they will choose to take an introductory course in 6 of the above 7 specialty areas:

Graduate receiving hood during ceremony

Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies Program (SUGS)

Complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only five years with SUGS by taking some graduate-level classes during your undergraduate years, so you can save yourself one semester and complete a master’s with only two additional semesters.

LEARN MORE

Sample Course List

First-Year

First-Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus I (Math 115)
    • CoE Core Engineering 100
    • CoE Core Chemistry (125/126 and 130 or 210 and 211)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth
  • Winter Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus II (Math 116)
    • CoE Core Engineering 101
    • CoE Core Physics (140 and 141)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Sophomore Year

Sophomore Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus III (Math 215)
    • CoE Core Physics (240 and 241)
    • Major Requirement Statics and Dynamics (CEE 211)
    • Major Requirement Thermodynamics and the Environment (CEE 230) or Sensors and Circuits (CEE 375)
  • Winter Semester
    • CoE Core Differential Equations (Math 216)
    • Major Requirement Solid and Structural Mechanics (CEE 212)
    • Major Requirement Sustainable Engineering Principles (CEE 265)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Junior Year

Junior Year

  • Fall Semester
    • Major Requirement Statistical Methods (CEE 373)
    • Major Requirement Fluid Mechanics (CEE 325)
    • Elective Program Elective
    • Elective Program Elective
  • Winter Semester
    • Major Requirement Statistical Methods (CEE 303)
    • Elective Program Elective
    • Elective Program Elective
    • Elective General Elective

Senior Year

Senior Year

  • Fall Semester
    • Elective Science Elective
    • Elective Program Elective
    • Elective Program Elective
    • Elective General Elective
  • Winter Semester
    • Major Requirement Professional Issues & Design (CEE 402)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth
    • Elective Technical Elective
    • Elective General Elective

Individualized plans of study will be developed by students in consultation with an advisor.

Practice Your Purpose

Apply the skills you are learning in class to the real world.

Student Design Teams

A woman in a hijab squints at a measuring tape held against a pole by an older man
BLUElab - Better Living Using Engineering Laboratory
A colorful bridge made of popsicle sticks with a bucket hung beneath it and a student adding more weight to the bucket.
EERI - Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Concrete Canoe Logo
MCCT - Michigan Concrete Canoe Team
the end-view of a simple rectangular steel bridge with a metal "University of Michigan" sign
Steel Bridge Team

Professional Development

ASCE Logo
American Society of Civil Engineers
Chi Epsilon Logo
Chi Epsilon
female student working in lab
Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Students stand in a circle arranging a series of index cards on the floor
Undergraduate Student Advisory Council

Examples of Current Research

Vineet R. Kamat headshot
Vineet Kamat: Human-Robot Work Collaboration
READ MORE
Branko Kerkez headshot
Branko Kerkez: Real-time Water Systems
READ MORE
Victor C. Li headshot
Victor Li: Materials Research to Address Civil Engineering Challenges
READ MORE
Carol Menassa: Human, Environmental, & Social Impacts on Buildings & Infrastructure Systems
READ MORE
Yafeng Yin headshot
Yafeng Yin: Innovative Mobility Services & Systems
READ MORE
An autonomous car equipped with many cameras and sensors circles around a track with a giant block M in the middle
MCity: Advanced Mobility Research Center for Automated Vehicles
READ MORE
Two large concrete walls with several I-beams and other structural elements in the middle
Structural Engineering Laboratory: State-of-the-art Facility for Testing Large-scale Structural Elements
READ MORE
A female student bends down to look closer at a piece of metal being drilled
Geotech Labs: Diverse lab and field testing capabilities for soil, solid waste, and more
READ MORE

Alumni Biographies

Each of these alumni are real people who were once in your shoes, deciding a major. Explore their path and how a Michigan education set their life in motion.

  • Earl Howard headshot
    • Earl C. Howard
    • City of Detroit
  • Evan Avery headshot
    • Evan Avery
    • Hensel Phelps Construction Co
  • Jennifer Macks headshot
    • Jennifer Macks
    • Gilbane Building Company
  • Jim Jacobi headshot
    • Jim Jacobi
    • Walter P Moore Technology LLC
  • Larry Brinker headshot
    • Larry Brinker, Jr.
    • Brinker
  • Laura Montoya headshot
    • Laura L. Constain-Montoya
    • Universidad Piloto de Colombia
  • Margaret Ceifetz headshot
    • Margaret Ceifetz
    • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Mollie Kurasik headshot
    • Mollie Kurasik
    • Resurget Engineering
  • Monique Gibelli headshot
    • Monique Gibelli
    • Microsoft
  • Paul Ajegba headshot
    • Paul C. Ajegba
    • Michigan Department of Transportation
Earl Howard headshot

    Earl C. Howard

    City of Detroit

Evan Avery headshot

    Evan Avery

    Hensel Phelps Construction Co

Jennifer Macks headshot

    Jennifer Macks

    Gilbane Building Company

Jim Jacobi headshot

    Jim Jacobi

    Walter P Moore Technology LLC

Larry Brinker headshot

    Larry Brinker, Jr.

    Brinker

Laura Montoya headshot

    Laura L. Constain-Montoya

    Universidad Piloto de Colombia

Margaret Ceifetz headshot

    Margaret Ceifetz

    Michigan Department of Transportation

Mollie Kurasik headshot

    Mollie Kurasik

    Resurget Engineering

Monique Gibelli headshot

    Monique Gibelli

    Microsoft

Paul Ajegba headshot

    Paul C. Ajegba

    Michigan Department of Transportation

Not sure what major to choose?

Tap into our network of 85k+ engineering alumni. Do you have questions you’d like answered? Our alumni are always eager to talk about engineering.
(Current and admitted UM students only.)

Speak to an Alum
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Industries & Occupations

  • Asset Management
  • Construction Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Energy Systems
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Federal Government
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Infrastructure
  • Offshore Structures
  • Renewable Energy Technology
  • Scientific Research
  • Smart City Technologies
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Structural and Architectural Design
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Urban Networks and Design
  • Water Quality
An aerial view of a student aligning concrete blocks in an organized pattern on the floor

Companies

  • AECOM Technology Corporation
  • Arcadis
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Bechtel
  • Consumers Energy
  • HDR, Inc.
  • Jacobs Engineering Group
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Mott McDonald
  • Nike
  • Skanska
  • Stantec
  • Vinci

Find salary information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Discover the various salary ranges based on experience level and location.

LEARN MORE

LEARN MORE

Earl Howard headshot

Earl C. Howard

  • City of Detroit
  • Structural Engineering Consultant

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 1976
University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 1983
Career Summary

My education at the university prepared me for the challenges that would be encountered while pursuing a career in structural engineering. I have worked professionally in the private and public sectors. These experiences have provided me the projects to have worked on that help me to be a better consultant.

Favorite Classes

I enjoyed mathematics and chose to take as many academic courses as I could while obtaining my degrees. If someone wants to choose structural engineering as a career, then mathematics is very important to you.

Evan Avery headshot

Evan Avery

  • Hensel Phelps Construction Co
  • Project Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 2011

Career Summary

My various roles with HP have given me a variety of technical experiences, both managing different scopes and stages of work in the field and in the office. One of the reasons I chose construction management was because it provides a constantly changing set of challenges and problems to solve. Every project is different, both in its physical restrictions and in the makeup of the team (Owner, designers, subcontractors, and HP internal team). Being in the field, where I was responsible for interpreting plans/specs and ensuring that work gets completed on schedule, helped me understand my place as a novice in construction management and learn to listen to tradesmen and confront them when needed. It also helped me to understand how to physically build things and put together the systems that make up a building. Without this base, it would have been very difficult to speak intelligently and powerfully in the subsequent years of problem solving sessions.

After the field, I transitioned to the office, where I continued to learn the technicalities of various scopes of work as an office engineer. I am now a project engineer, which entails managing the office engineers on my team, handling many cost and risk based decisions, and solving mid-level problems that are beyond the Office engineers’ experience or comfort level but are not severe enough to require my project manager’s action. I have been fortunate to cover three different types of projects (hospital, airport, school), all three periods of our work (startup, peak construction, and closeout), two types of contracting methods (lump sum design-build and cost plus/gross maximum price), numerous scopes (structure, exterior skin, MEPF, finishes), and have worked with over 100 other HP employees. I think seeking out a wide variety of experiences like this and then observing and reflecting on how they change the work you do and the way people behave, is one of the most valuable things you can do as a young professional. It is one of the best ways to identify underlying principles that let you extrapolate and think creatively about new problems.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I especially enjoyed my time in ASCE, where I had the chance to start organizing and managing others like I do now. I also made my three best friends through that group, which I still maintain today. As far as classes, CEE 431 covering basic contracting was the most directly applicable to what I do. Construction Mgmt is perhaps atypical in the engineering school in that it relies very heavily on your work/field experience not your coursework.

Advice to Students

I have many tips for those joining my field, but also a few that apply more broadly.

Remember that learning doesn’t stop when you leave school. Depending on what you decide to do, it may just be beginning.

When you start a new position or role, be modest about your skills but confident in your ability to learn and figure things out. This will help you be “confident” without seeming arrogant.

Be introspective and try to empathize with and understand yourself and others. Outside entities don’t usually force you to reflect on life’s big questions or to figure out why your coworker acts the way they do, but these understandings enrich your life a great deal.

Jennifer Macks headshot

Jennifer Macks

  • Gilbane Building Company
  • Senior Project Executive

University of Michigan, BSE Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1994
Wayne State University, MBA, 1999
Career Summary

After school, my first project assignment led me to Houston, TX to work on a children’s hospital as the project engineer. After that assignment, I moved back to Michigan and spent the next 10 years building a variety of hospital projects in the roles of project engineer, project manager, and project director. A lot of the work I did at that time was design-build or construction manager at risk, two project delivery methods that are highly dependent on strong communication and teamwork. I then transferred to the Washington DC market and became a vice president running work in institutional markets including healthcare and higher ed, with responsibility for both sales and operations. For a few years, I transitioned to a vice president role focused on business development, marketing and PR, learning more about the sales side of the business.

Currently, I’m overseeing projects in the education sector, specifically focused on design-build project delivery. I’ve also spent time during my career being involved in professional organizations, both to learn more about emerging industry trends, as well as to take on leadership roles.

Favorite Student Orgs

In college, I loved my time in student groups including UMEC (University Mechanical & Engineering Contractors) and SWE (Society of Women Engineers).

Advice to Students

My advice is to always seek a role in which you’re learning something. After 25 years, I am still learning something new every day, which keeps work exciting and interesting. Throughout my career, I’ve always sought to be a source of information for others, as well always look for a better way to do things. Being innovative and entrepreneurial are important skill sets that allow you to be seen as a leader and an innovator, someone sought out to solve the next big thing. In construction, the main skill set for promotions is to learn how to be a doer/seller, knowing how to oversee work but also obtain new business. Some days my role now has technical components, but much of my day is spent talking to architects, clients, and prospective clients to identify and obtain new work.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside work, I love to enjoy the great DC restaurant scene and travel extensively for fun, trying to work my way around the globe. When I’m not working or dining/traveling, I’m driving my two teenage daughters all over town for their activities!

Jim Jacobi headshot

Jim Jacobi

  • Walter P Moore Technology LLC
  • Senior Principal & Chief Executive Officer

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 1975
University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 1976
Career Summary

I started my career as a structural engineer designing offshore platforms, a very challenging assignment for structural engineers given the demands on that type of structure. I was always drawn toward technology and how to leverage it to best advantage in the design and business process. I did not envision a role in IT earlier in my career, but the important role that Information Technology plays in enabling both design and business process led me down that path, which has been very exciting, challenging, and rewarding. My areas of expertise include implementation of integrated project management systems, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and other related 3D CAD project delivery systems.

At Walter P Moore, I have been able to design and implement our firm’s efforts in managing the interface with other members of the design, construction and owner teams in project collaboration and coordination in the BIM environment. I have led many multi-discipline BIM Coordination Services projects and lead the firm’s Technology Consulting Group and have been able to present nationally on a variety of subjects pertaining to technology in the AEC industry. This tech focus has led to a patent for improved facilities management systems.

Career Timeline
  • Brown & Root
  • Halliburton Company
  • Member of ACEC national CIO Roundtable
  • University of Houston’s Industry Advisory Board on Training in Advanced Plant Design Systems
  • Electronic Data Management Task Force for the Construction Industry Institute
  • Architecture/Engineering Productivity Committee of the Construction Users Roundtable
  • Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board for the College Of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University
  • Advisory Board for the College of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan
  • Walter P Moore
Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

One of my favorite past times was walking on campus during the wee hours of the morning to catch a cup of coffee as a study break at establishments that no longer exist. Too bad Starbucks was not around (in Ann Arbor) back then!

Favorite Student Orgs

Participation in the student chapters of ASCE, Chi Epsilon and the Vulcans played a very formative role in developing the skill and passion for leadership and social activities. These skills are critical to professional success and should be nurtured along with technical competency. Even as a student I was always drawn to technology and enjoyed learning computer programing skills as a part of my engineering class work.

Advice to Students

It is very important to develop good written and oral communication skills as a student. You will learn that success in professional practice is often times just as dependent on these skills as a blue chip understanding of the engineering basics. Keep engaged with Michigan and your department after graduation, you will appreciate the opportunity and insight it provides.

Larry Brinker headshot

Larry Brinker, Jr.

  • Brinker
  • President

University of Michigan, BSE Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2001
Career Summary

I began my career in the commercial construction industry working at my father’s company shortly after graduating from the University of Michigan. We are a family of five companies that provides a complete range of construction services for commercial developments. Brinker is headquartered in Detroit and has been building and strengthening communities for 30 years. We are driven to learn from the best of the best and give back to those who need it most, and I participate as a member of many boards and associations that are tied to our industry and/or share the values and beliefs of Brinker.

I learned the business from the ground up, working across multiple departments within our general contracting company, L. S. Brinker, where I have most recently served as the President. Today, we are at a pivotal point in our growth as I take the lead to bring all five of our companies together under the Brinker brand. I see this as the opportunity to collectively leverage our strengths and work together to elevate our industry and lift up our community.

What do you like to do outside of work?

While family plays the most significant role in my life, I also spend a lot of my time golfing, traveling, and mentoring young people. For me, golf is a perfect blend of personal and business because it is a great way to build genuine relationships.

Advice to Students

Putting the time and care into positive relationships in life is an important piece of advice for students.

I always encourage students to aim for their personal best with integrity, honesty, and confidence.

Set goals that motivate you, strive high, and do not compromise your character along the way.

Laura Montoya headshot

Laura L. Constain-Montoya

  • Universidad Piloto de Colombia
  • Professor

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, sede Bogota, BS Civil Engineering, 2003
University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 2009
Career Summary

I started working in 2003 after my bachelors graduation in a structural engineering firm, led by one of my undergrad professors. After two years, I started working at a steel construction firm, where I decided I needed to complete my studies. In 2008 I began my masters in the University of Michigan.

When I returned to Colombia in 2011 I started teaching a concrete course at the Universidad Piloto de Colombia, and I had a full time job in a consulting firm called INGETEC. In INGETEC. I was able to do concrete and steel structural design. In 2016 I was selected to be an assistant professor at Universidad Nacional, which is an important position in the academic world, since Universidad Nacional is one of the best universities in Colombia. After winning that position, I decided to become a full time professor and in the summer on 2017 I started as a full time Professor in Universidad Piloto and continued teaching in Universidad Nacional.

Having almost 12 years of structural design experience, gave me the background to share real life experiences with the students, and being able to tell how real life designs are developed have been the key of my courses.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I am a person who likes to be around people and I like to interact in different ways. I love to dance, go to the movies, and gather with my friends.

I belong to the Sociedad Colombiana de Ingenieros (Society of Colombian Engineers), and I work in their academic committee of a structural and geotechnical engineering event. I help a female organization, where I participate in STEM events for schoolgirls, in which I encourage them to study civil engineering. I also participate in the events organized by the civil engineering association in the Universidad Nacional. (AICUN).

Moreover, I try to keep in touch all the Michigan Alumni members in Colombia, since I am the university contact for Colombia.

Advice to Students

My advice for the students is to keep in touch with all the people they have met in their life. You will never know when you will need them and how they can help you.

Margaret Ceifetz headshot

Margaret Ceifetz

  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Traffic & Safety Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 2007
Career Summary

When I graduated in 2007, the University didn’t have a Transportation concentration within Civil Engineering. By matriculation, my concentration is ‘Structures’, but I have only worked in transportation or traffic in some capacity since graduation. I was recruited as a senior by a transportation-heavy consulting firm and spent my first five years working in traffic safety and then another five working in traffic operations for a local government agency before joining the State of Michigan.

As Detroit continues to regain its population there has been a paradigm shift in what roadway network health looks like: the Motor City is no longer only focused on moving motorized vehicles, but making space for all road users. I can’t imagine a better city that Detroit to be in for these exciting advancements and opportunities to make everyone’s experience on the road the best it can be.

What excites you about your career?

Traffic is an exciting place to be right now and I love the work that I do. Finding new and innovative ways to manage today’s traffic as well as planning future projects to incorporate the infrastructure that will support connected vehicles is both challenging and thrilling.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Michigan. If I had endless resources I’d have stayed in school forever.

Favorite Student Orgs

I played club rugby and joined a professional engineering fraternity.

Mollie Kurasik headshot

Mollie Kurasik

  • Resurget Engineering
  • Structural Design Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 2015
University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 2015
Career Summary

Before I graduated, I had three summers of internships. The summer between my junior and senior year I spent with a construction management company where I was out on sight everyday. The next two summers I spent at an Architect/Engineer firm in Dearborn, MI. From there I was offered a full time position at that company and stayed for just over two years. Recently I made the jump to the structural contracting world and am now working for a small company in Detroit. Being at a large Architect/Engineer firm, I was able to see very large project and gain experience with different disciplines. Overall it was a great experience to learn how a building is put together and the coordination between engineers, architects, contractors, owner, etc. Now I am in a position where I am seeing smaller but faster pace projects with lots of variety. I am also currently working to become a PE and have a plan in the future to become an SE.

Favorite Student Orgs

During my time at U-M I tried out multiple different student orgs, but my favorite was the Steel Bridge Team. On the team, I gained experience with programs used in the working world and it actually helped me secure an internship that landed me a full time job. Having this on my resume and being able to talk about my experience on the team has given me a bump over other people trying for the same job.

Advice to Students

Join an organization that would help you stand out, but don’t just put something on your resume (we can tell who actually was involved).

Monique Gibelli headshot

Monique Gibelli

  • Microsoft
  • Senior Director, Go-to-Market for Global Services Partners

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 1988
New Jersey Institute of Technology, MSE Environmental Engineering, 1991
DePaul University, MBA International Marketing and Finance, 1998
Career Summary

I had 3 internships prior to graduating college which gave me experiences that guided my career into environmental engineering consulting. After 4 years of engineering consulting, I recognized my skill at engaging customers/clients, ensuring satisfaction, and up-selling or cross-selling services. I was offered a newly created sales role to start building new business, and of the 7 newly formed roles, I was the youngest person offered the position by 15 years. Selling environmental engineering services came easily to me. I really enjoyed the role, opportunity to travel, and the learning across many industries, so after 3 years I decided to return to school to gain formal training in business. I was also interested in blending my international upbringing (raised in Europe and learned Spanish in Colombia/Spain) into a business career. Completing my MBA internship in India with Motorola which helped me to shift into the telecom industry and get hired by Nortel Networks doing Strategic Planning upon graduation.

In the strategic planning role, I used market research from IDC, who proactively recruited me to join their team and lead the IT research for Latin America. With IDC, I grew responsibilities to include all market research for IT and telecom as well as consulting. It was a great company and experiences: I got to know global leaders in major companies. I then pivoted into Citrix, a software company but in 2009, I lost my job at Citrix, and reinvented myself to join Microsoft Latin America as independent software vendor leader. Another stretch role and tried out 3 roles there. Microsoft later moved me to our Corporate office and I’ve shifted roles from business leader to sales to engineering to marketing. I’ve been very flexible with my career and followed the opportunities as they came. As long as I continue to learn and have fun, I stay.

Career Timeline
  • Motorola
  • Nortel Networks
  • IDC
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • Citrix
  • Microsoft
  • Malcolm Pirnie
Advice to Students

Be flexibility in your career journey. If you are given an opportunity to explore a new area, take it. It may open your eyes to an exciting area not previously considered.
Others may see potential in you where you didn’t know you exhibited that skill/strength/potential.

Paul Ajegba headshot

Paul C. Ajegba

  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Director

Prairie View A&M University, BSCE- Civil/Structural Engineering, 1986
University of Michigan, MSCE Construction Engineering & Management, 1994
Career Summary

Upon graduation, I worked for a consultant for three years, working nearly 24/7. I became burned out and decided to go to grad school. With one class to go, I interviewed with MDOT and was hired in their Engineer Development Program in 1990. This program was designed to provide one year of cross department training to new employees. I served in various capacities within MDOT from Utilities and Permits Engineer, Region Traffic & Safety/Operations Engineer, Region Operations/Tecumseh Delivery Engineer, Oakland TSC Manager, Metro Deputy Region Engineer, University Region Engineer, and Metro Region Engineer before being appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on January 1, 2019, to serve as the Director of MDOT. Some notable projects that have aided in my rise with the department are: the US-23 Flex Route (first in Michigan), which received both state and national awards/recognition; the US-23/I-96 Interchange Reconstruction, I-94 Rehabilitation Project in Ann; MDOT Project Manager for the Mcity Project – University of Michigan Autonomous Vehicle Research/Development Site.

Advice to Students

Explore your options until you find your niche – something which you are passionate about. Coming to work should not be a chore – it should be a pleasure.

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