Student thrives in architectural engineering program

February 11, 2013

Since high school, Garrett Scallon, a senior in architectural engineering with an emphasis construction engineering management, knew he wanted to pursue the architectural field, he says. When Scallon came to CU-Boulder, he decided to study architectural engineering, which focuses on the design and construction of safe and sustainable buildings. Although Scallon’s experience in architectural engineering was different from what he expected, it turned out to be a positive decision that has led to many opportunities.

“This program prepares you for the real world,” Scallon says. “It’s not just about designing a pretty building and looking at the aesthetics. This engineering degree helps you think about all of the different building components. We don’t just learn about lighting or electrical; we learn about all the systems, and it shows when you get into the work force because you’re able to put everything together much quicker.”

In fact, during Scallon’s time at CU-Boulder, he has worked two internships in which his academic background greatly prepared him for those roles, he says. Scallon’s first internship was at Water Valley Land Company where he was mainly responsible for helping with the construction processes and surveying and laying out different development areas of water flow regions. He also helped with the project closeouts and punch lists for the new Poudre Valley Wellness Center.

During the summer of 2012, Scallon took on his second internship at Kiewit Building Group. In this position, Scallon spent much of his time in the field where he created lift drawings, helped with submittals, performed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design documentation and tracking, and surveyed grid lines for the building layout.

“We get such a broad educational background in the architectural engineering program that when I was onsite and started talking to subcontractors about the lighting or electrical systems, it was a lot easier to pick up because I’ve had that design background,” Scallon says. “I can picture in my head how they designed it and why they designed it, which helped me construct it in the field much faster.”

Scallon has also served as president, vice president and event coordinator for the Associated General Contractors Student Chapter, a campus organization that helps students find jobs and internships in the construction industry. Throughout the year, AGC hosts company presentations with campus interviews; résumé-building classes; and other industry-related courses, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration training and LEED accreditation.

“We’re trying to connect students with companies, so they don’t have to do it on their own,” Scallon says. “It gives students that one-on-one contact that they may not have through the HR department.”

Although Scallon is still a few months away from graduation, he already holds a job offer, which he accepted, as a field engineer from Turner Construction. Scallon starts in June and will be responsible for managing subcontractors, overseeing current projects and ensuring quality control.