Paul Dawley — a desire to help
Hometown: Crown Point, Indiana
Current year: Senior
The summer before his senior year, Paul was a student researcher for the Discovery Park Research Internship Program where he worked sustainable watershed management in Peru.
Why I chose Civil Engineering
When I first came to Purdue University, I knew I wanted to pursue my studies in engineering, but I was not completely sure exactly where I should go. I loved science and research as well as public policy and — after looking more into civil engineering my freshman year — I soon realized that this was perfect for what I wanted to do with my life. No matter what you choose to do in civil engineering, you're doing something that is going to impact people.
My emphasis area is in hydrology. What drew me to it was the timeliness of the discipline itself. With so much going on with climate change and population growth, the immense impact water has on our day to day lives and the need to preserve it became a great interest of mine.
A desire to help
I don't think there was ever a moment I just “decided” this is what I wanted to do — it’s just always been something that appealed to me. I’ve always wanted to pursue a study and career that would allow me to make a difference in the world. Through my education and research opportunities I’ve had at Purdue, I have gained a greater understanding of the challenges we’re going to face and I want to ensure I will do my part to help.
After I graduate
After I graduate in May, I plan to pursue my Master’s degree. I believe I still have a lot to learn in hydrology — especially if I want to eventually lead research. Purdue has prepared me well and I am confident that I’m ready to take the next step toward my goal.
As part of his watershed research, Paul traveled to Peru to conduct on-site research on stream flows.