Charlie Tamayo — achieving his dream to make an impact through Purdue
Hometown: West Chester, Ohio
Current year: Senior
Why I chose Civil Engineering
Ever since I was a little kid, I have always loved building things like train stations and stadiums. Even throughout middle school I loved to just draw buildings, stadiums, and other structures. When my family and I would travel, I was interested in how the highways and airports looked and how they were created.
By the time I got to high school, I developed a real liking for math and physics, so engineering just seemed like the obvious choice. Since I already had an interest and passion for building and infrastructure, civil engineering felt like the right fit for me.
My emphasis is in structural engineering. I have always wanted to have a lasting impact that can improve the lives of everyone — and everyone is affected by our transit system. Now, in my final semester at Purdue, I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to take the next step toward what I have been dreaming of doing nearly my whole life and making it a reality.
Gaining real-world experience
I am currently enrolled in Senior Design, our capstone course in civil engineering. This is a class where students are given real world civil engineering projects to work on — and it’s not just for practice. We get to actually develop plans that will be shared with the professional project partners and have an impact on a community.
This semester, our class has been tasked with restoring the historic State Theatre in Logansport. Our teams are tackling just about every infrastructure challenge, from improving energy and heating ventilating and air-conditioning systems to expanding the structure to the alleyway east of the building.
Senior Design, like many of my civil engineering classes, has been challenging but very rewarding. The students I work with and the faculty I have studied under have been key sources of inspiration. You can always find another civil engineering student willing to help and work with you, and our professors really care and want you to succeed. As long as you show a genuine desire to learn and improve, the faculty will do what they can to help you.
I’ve also been fortunate to be a part of study abroad courses while at Purdue. In my 21st European Century Transportation course, we traveled throughout the continent to study how mass transit is handled in other countries. My other was through the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. I took classes in art and literature where they were entirely taught in Spanish, so it incredibly improved my language skills.
After I graduate
I plan to pursue my Master’s degree in civil engineering. I believe a post-graduate degree will ensure I am prepared and have the knowledge to make a real impact on the world.
Charlie believes many of the friendships he's made at Purdue will last a lifetime.