Civil Engineering 2023

Hey, my name is Julian and I’m in the Civil Engineering class of 2023! I’m from Toronto, Ontario and I’m an IB graduate. I’m planning to specialize in structural engineering and I hope to work on designing sustainable buildings in the future. Julian Dong

Waterloo Engineering in one word: 

Inspiring

I choose Waterloo Engineering because:

Co-op! The co-op program at Waterloo is very well structured and there are many resources and advisors available to help you find a placement that suits you. You’re able to graduate with 2 years of experience and the opportunity to work at up to 6 different companies, which is a great opportunity to discover what you love doing, gain experience, and meet people in the industry. Additionally, with the range of diverse engineering programs that Waterloo has to offer, I chose Waterloo because you jump right into the content that is relevant to your program. With Civil Engineering, we’re exposed to fundamental courses from different specializations, which is extremely helpful when finding co-ops and choosing technical electives in the upper years. 

The best thing about my program is:

My program provides the resources and opportunities to pursue my interests in buildings and sustainability! With the progression of climate change and overpopulation, it becomes more relevant and important to design better buildings for the future. My program teaches me the relevant fundamental concepts and how to approach these challenges in the future. We’re also taught useful software, such as AutoCAD Civil 3D and MATLAB, to support our learning and keep our knowledge up to date. 

About my Co-op experience: 

Many companies have positions that are specifically structured for Waterloo co-op students, which creates many opportunities for placements and learning in the workplace. I’ve had 2 co-op placements so far, the first one being at the MTO in Toronto, ON. I completed my second co-op at RDH Building Science, a building science consulting firm in Vancouver, BC, and I worked on building enclosure investigations as well as analyzing energy performance. Having been my first time in Vancouver, this co-op experience also allowed me to explore the city and go snowboarding almost every weekend! 

I wish I had known before I came: 

The importance of time management. After moving into residence, I realized that it was entirely up to me to manage my schedule while still remembering to eat breakfast in the morning! Though Waterloo Engineering isn’t a walk in the park, it’s important to take care of yourself and remember to take breaks and exercise. There are many clubs, design teams, and intramural sports available to students and it’s entirely up to you to take advantage of your time at university!

Outside the classroom, I’m involved with: 

  • Engineering Ambassadors
  • University of Waterloo Steel Bridge Design Team
  • Intramural Ultimate Frisbee

A fun project I’ve completed: 

During our 2A term, we had the opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge we learned from classes, such as Transportation Principles and Solid Mechanics, to our program’s Design Days! Over 2 days, our team of 4 designed a road system and a bridge to traverse a topographic map. Designing and building a Styrofoam bridge was my favourite component in the Design Days, but what made the experience even more interesting was testing all the bridges at the end by loading them to failure. Our bridge ended up supporting 619 kg!

One more thing about me: 

I’ve driven across Canada! 

Contact me: hfdong@uwaterloo.ca

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo