Zacary Fry – Internship Experience

Zacary Fry

My name is Zacary Fry, and I am entering my final year as a Civil Engineering major here at Colorado State University. I am originally from Odessa, Texas but I grew up in Parker, Colorado. I am involved with the CSU Steel Bridge Team and an officer for the American Society of Civil Engineers. I was able to participate in an internship both the summer of 2015 and 2016.

Summer 2015: Engineering Research Associate, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

My first internship experience was a research job at Virginia Tech. I worked with professors and city engineers in implementing a real-time water quality/quantity measuring device, known as the LEWAS Lab, into the stormwater system in Blacksburg, Virginia. My job was to research how to better improve the system as a whole as well as how to implement the system into real world applications. This internship allowed me to gain knowledge in civil engineering through learning about surveying and the design process. I was also able to learn computer programming and web development. Though these skills are not often thought of in the trade of civil engineering, they have turned out to be extremely useful in my professional and educational career. Some of the work that I did at Virginia Tech is now being used to implement similar systems across the world. An example of this is in Flint, Michigan, were the system is used to help monitor the recent lead outbreak that occurred there.

Summer 2016: Project/Field Engineering Intern, Garney Construction, Littleton, Colorado

This summer I am working for Garney Construction as a field/project engineering intern. I am assisting engineers and project managers in building the Roxborough Raw Water Treatment Plant in Littleton, Colorado. This water treatment plant is rated at processing 8 million gallons of water a day and pumping it to the new development of Roxborough. My tasks often involve reviewing submittals and drawings created by the engineer, and from that information obtaining the components needed to complete the project in a timely manner. This job often involves using problem solving skills to manage the ever-changing environment of a construction site. I also assist in layout and many other tasks that are performed in the field. One thing I have learned is that there is so much knowledge to gain from everyone you meet; whether it is your superintendent or a field worker. Through this internship, I also interact with many different engineering firms and subcontractors at the construction site. This allows for me to learn many different aspects of the construction process, giving me a total glimpse at how large scale civil projects are executed.

These internships allowed for me to apply my education and develop skills in engineering, communication, management, leadership, and team-organization. This real-world experience also allowed for me to expand my engineering knowledge outside of academia, and see how my education can be used in the industry. These experiences have made me excited to work in the career of civil engineering, as well as increased my focus for the remainder of my education at Colorado State.