DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science

New Grad Appreciates the “Foundation” Civil Engineering Has Given Her

Vanessa DePasquale

What Vanessa DePasquale ’15 most appreciates about her major in civil engineering is that “when you go into New York City and are looking at all the amazing buildings and structures, you can’t help but be astonished by the work of civil engineers. It encompasses so many interesting aspects including environmental, structural and geotechnical engineering.”

Vanessa has been recognized on a number of occasions for academic excellence, including scholarships from the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). She has always had an interest in engineering, largely due to her father, a practicing professional engineer with whom Vanessa has spent time working. In addition to new construction, she is interested in the preservation of older structures and the redesign that becomes necessary to help maintain their structural integrity.

Vanessa 3Vanessa completed internships with Vachris Engineering in Garden City, NY, where she assisted in the design of pile foundations (deep foundations made of columns of concrete, wood or steel that extend into the ground). She has also interned at H2M Architects + Engineers in Melville, NY, where she performed Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) inspections, after becoming a certified SWPPP Inspector. (SWPPP regulates water quality associated with construction and other industrial activities.)

Vanessa feels fortunate to have been part of the Engineering Department during a real time of growth and expansion at Hofstra. “At the start of every school year,” she says, “I’ve come back to amazing new technologies and facilities.” She appreciates the close working relationship she has with her professors – in particular, “Dr. [David] Rooney, who teaches structural and geotechnical engineering classes, and Dr. [Margaret] Hunter, who teaches environmental engineering. The professors are always there to answer our questions, and the classes have been small and intimate.”

Vanessa, a Provost Scholar, graduated in May with honors and says she feels ready for what lies ahead. “Going to school is a very different environment from being in a work setting. I feel like I have a strong foundation and understanding of what’s going to be expected of me professionally.”

In addition to her studies, Vanessa was a treasurer of Hofstra’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Hofstra’s chapter of Hope for Humanity.


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