Building Science: For the Design-y Engineers

Camila Salomon Gnecco Camila, Civil and Environmental, Professional & Academic, Viterbi Class, Viterbi Plus

Yo yo yo whats up. So, choosing a major… it’s hard.. especially when you have so many options. But guess what, you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to study entering your freshman year. And, even if you think you know what you’re going to study, your experiences at college might shape your path in a different way than what you originally thought. The way I approached choosing my major and emphasis was in a logical broad to narrow way. Eventually, I ended up choosing Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Building Science, a concentration I didn’t even know existed until Spring semester of freshman year!

I knew I wanted to study engineering because I’ve always liked to problem solving and interconnected systems. However, I’ve always been a more visual/design oriented student. Originally, I came in to USC as an Environmental Engineering major, because I care about solving environmental issues. I thought it was the right fit for me because I felt that I needed to study Environmental Engineering to help the natural environment. But, I didn’t necessarily like the amount of Chemistry required in the major. After careful deliberation I switched to Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Engineering (I realize this is confusing but the major is different than the emphasis). However, I was still missing a design-oriented application to Civil Engineering and was then introduced to the Building Science emphasis. The building science emphasis supplements the required Civil Engineering courses with Architecture History and Studio classes where you are encouraged to implement design-thinking processes. Just because I’m not majoring in environmental engineering, doesn’t mean I can’t use my degree to make a built environment that coexists with the natural environment in a progressive way!

My current project for my Building Science studio class consists of building a tower out of 8.5×11″ printer paper with no glue or tape! I plan on going higher but here is my progress so far:

Anyways, I’ll keep you all updated on how things are going. For now I feel like I’m in the right place, but that doesn’t mean that my interests won’t change before I graduate!

About the Author

Camila is a sophomore studying Civil Engineering. She loves the ocean and puppies. Click above to find out more.

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