Tonawanda News


October 6, 2013

More than bridges

Real-world experience pays off for NT engineering academy students


Tonawanda News — Some students focused on architecture, while others were more into the engineering side of things, and some used the time as a way to help figure out where their dominant interests were. In at least one case, the experience helped a student realize his interests lay elsewhere. 

And at their young age, crossing something off the list is hardly a bad thing.

Brandon Dirmyer said that he enjoyed and learned a lot from his internship with Siracuse Engineers in Buffalo, during which he was able to visit job sites and review drawings for projects with his mentor, among other tasks. However, he’s decided that his interests lie more in the computer field.

“It gave me a lot of experience. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it,” Dirmyer said. “And after, I decided that field wasn’t specifically for me, so I decided to go into something else. But it was a great opportunity.”

Student Michael Carroll spent his internship at the City of North Tonawanda Engineering Department — where he also hopes to take a paid internship when he starts college at the University at Buffalo next fall. As well as office work, Carroll said he was able to witness a lot of field work, including work on NT’s Frederick Durkee Memorial Bridge, the city marina and planning the city’s 9/11 memorial, of which he is one of the original contest-winning designers.

The internship gave him an interesting perspective on the work that goes into making a design a reality, Carroll said. 

“It wasn’t just designing it, the way it looked, but having to figure out how to actually make it happen,” he said. “I wasn’t sure when I went into it ... but this definitely lead me to civil engineering. That’s it, I’m going to UB for for civil engineering.”

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