Purdue CE Undergrad Spotlight — Michael Matheu

A Guatemala City native, Michael says he always knew he wanted to study civil engineering that one day he could create a subway system for his home country. He says he also knew that Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering was one of the best places in the world to prepare him to achieve his dream.

Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala

Current year: Senior

Michael says his ultimate dream is to create Guatemala's first-ever subway system.
Michael says his ultimate dream is to create Guatemala's first-ever subway system.

Why I chose Purdue Civil Engineering

When I was in high school, I already knew I wanted to study civil engineering — and I knew Purdue University has one of the best civil engineering schools in the world. So, I applied to come here and I was overjoyed when I found out I was accepted.

Emphasis area

My emphasis area is in Structures. I love the concept of taking an idea and creating something incredible. I have loved all of my Structures classes and I have always felt like each one of them has challenged me more to use all that I have learned while at Purdue.

Michael said he knew Purdue Civil Engineering was where he wanted to go because it is one of the best programs in the world.
Michael said he knew Purdue Civil Engineering was where he wanted to go because it is one of the best programs in the world.

Creating a better Guatemala

One of my ultimate dreams as a civil engineer is a long-term dream. I want to create a subway system in Guatemala. My country doesn’t have a subway system, yet, but I am going to change that. Guatemala has a growing traffic problem and we need to fix that. This also ties into my other dream that one day I can point to something I had a part in creating and tell others all about it.

After I graduate

After I graduate, I plan to work as a structural engineer — at least for a couple of years. After that, I plan to come back to school and earn my graduate degree. I really want to get some real-world experience first to understand the industry better and then pursue my Master’s.

Michael is set to graduate this semester and plans to enter the career field for a few years before pursuing a graduate degree.
Michael is set to graduate this semester and plans to enter the career field for a few years before pursuing a graduate degree.