Alexander Hazuda's (CE) Temple journey has taken him from the Lehigh Valley to North Philadelphia and Peru. Now, he'll embark on a career in civil engineering.
With a family tree basically built from Bethlehem Steel—the Lehigh Valley steel and shipbuilding company employed many in his family and hometown—it's unsurprising that Alexander Hazuda wielded tools as a young kid. But they were real ones, not toys.
"Rather than go to the toy store, we'd go to Sears. I love building things, and all things mechanical," he said.
That interest in the built environment led him to move from volunteer projects with his church to the Civil Engineering program at Temple. He also served as lead structural designer for the first international project for the Temple student chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
The student organization is building a system to capture and distribute clean drinking water to a community in Peru whose only access now is through bottles.
"The amount of effort in designing the world around you, it's easy to take that for granted. You turn the water on and expect to have clean drinking water. You turn the lights on and expect to be able to see. You drive down the road and expect the bridge you drive over is safe," he said.
It's part service, but part hands-on work experience that Hazuda is most excited about as he prepares to graduate. He also completed internships in environmental engineering and with an engineering consultant where he participated in inspections for a major interchange project connecting I-95 and I-276 in Bristol.
As he moves on—he just accepted a position with HNTB in Center City to design of highway, pedestrian, and rail bridges—he'll miss the student organization structure at Temple, where he held leadership positions with ASCE, ASHE and his continued service with EWB. But Hazuda is eager to get to work.
In fact, he was already planning his trip to Peru as this discussion wrapped up.
"Just need to get my passport when we're done here," he said.
Follow our full Next Stop series to see where some of this semester's graduating seniors are headed.