IEA Invests in the Next Generation of Civil Engineers

IEA hosted two senior design projects in Spring 2023 in Dallas and Fort Worth, growing our investment in future engineers from the one senior design hosted in 2022.

Yubak Lama participated in the Fort Worth senior design project, which focused on the FM 3099 improvement project in Breckenridge City of Stephens County.  

“I was lead on designing roadway alignments, driveway, and layout. I was also assisting my team with CAD work because I had a one-year internship experience with IEA’s Roadway Team,” said Lama. 

Lama was an IEA Aspire Intern in Summer 2022 and continued his internship through his senior year. He was one of 5 students on the Fort Worth Design Team.  

“It was a great experience for me because I got to design an actual project, learned the importance of scheduling and how to meet deadlines, which helped me understand all the academics which we acquired from school and engineering judgment,” said Lama.  

Lama has joined IEA full-time as a Graduate Engineer since graduation.  

“I would like to thank IEA for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow and helping me to unlock my potential. Without IEA, I would just be a graduate student, but now I can proudly say I am a graduate engineer,” said Lama.  

Justin Toone, PE, IEA Sr. Project Engineer, guided and supported an additional 5 UTA students in Dallas. They worked on a portion of the Woodlake Section 4 Subdivision Reconstruction project in Carrollton, focusing on a street and an alley design. 

“These projects are important for students because they get valuable insight into the project process. They may or may not have gained design experience during an internship, and these types of projects pull the curtain back and show the students the entire project process,” Toone said.  

These students got the opportunity to apply technical concepts from the classroom to the real world, while Toone got to hone project management skills on civil engineering projects.  

“It was good to interact with younger engineers to get an idea of their mindsets when they don’t have any experience. It helped me revamp some of my guidance and explanations, hopefully allowing me to formulate my directions better. The ability to give better direction benefits the team and will help me be an effective project manager when that time comes,” Toone said. 

IEA’s relationship with UTA began through classroom presentations arranged by IEA Principal Shakeel Ahmed, PE. Bryan Alldredge, PE, IEA Fort Worth Director, fostered this relationship to further assist UTA students in the transition from academia to industry. 

“These senior design projects have been an opportunity for IEA to invest time and expertise into the students at UTA. It’s really mutually beneficial to UTA and the students as well as IEA. UTA gets industry support, the students get hands-on experience, and IEA gets an opportunity to talk and work with potential future employees,” said Alldredge.  

Alldredge coordinated the 2023 senior design projects with Tamer Eljufout, Ph.D, UT Arlington Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Civil Engineering, for these senior design projects.  

After meeting with his students mid-semester to discuss the project proposal, Dr. Eljufout expressed to Alldredge:  

“I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for your time, support, and guidance. Your engagement with the students is invaluable. I truly appreciate your dedication, and I am confident that we will continue to benefit from your mentorship and guidance as we move forward.”