Ben Stryker learned engineering, communication, and entrepreneurship skills in EEE’s combined degree program

One year after his graduation, Purdue alumnus Ben Stryker (BSEEE 2018, MSEEE 2019) and his co-worker took a risk by starting a civil engineering firm. Their company, Rainier Stormwater Engineering (RSE), was created with a focus on drainage and low impact development – both critical for its home community of Seattle, WA.

Since its establishment, RSE has experienced steady growth and now provides various civil engineering services to residential and commercial clients in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Ben serves as the president of RSE and works as an Engineer II/Project Manager for the City of Encinitas, CA. In this role, he oversees infrastructure and park projects from initial concept through construction closeout. Not too long ago, however, this public servant and engineer was a Purdue EEE combined degree student.

When asked about his choice of EEE, Ben explains, “I liked Purdue because of the broad First Year Engineering Program, and I loved EEE because of the vast breadth of material covered and possibilities post-graduation.”

During his undergraduate studies, Ben discovered his passion for water resources and infrastructure, which lead to his career as a Civil Engineer. Before completing his bachelor’s degree, he learned about the EEE combined degree program and decided to pursue his master’s degree before entering the workforce. During that additional year, he took several advanced courses that interested him and collaborated with other EEE graduate students.

“EEE helped develop soft skills that have been very beneficial in my career,” Ben explains, “The program fostered interdisciplinary communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Outside of school, everything is a group effort, and you must be able to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds.”

Equipped with these EEE skills and years of work experience, Ben aims to one day broaden his horizons outside of technical engineering roles. “I have my eyes set on leadership opportunities where I can drive meaningful change to infrastructure policy and planning,” Ben shares.

Looking back, he reflects, “My favorite memories from my year in graduate studies are getting to know and befriending the EEE graduate students. The EEE graduate program fostered an environment that made it feel like home on campus.”

His advice to students?

“Stay curious and do not be afraid to take advantage of the flexibility that the EEE curriculum offers. Building a diverse toolkit of unique experiences and courses will prove valuable post-graduation. Also, pursue projects that interest you and your friends. Purdue has excellent resources available for student entrepreneurs and there is so much opportunity out there in the environmental field.”



Ben with his two sons (2 years old and newborn). “Being their dad has been the most rewarding experience of my life.”