Bringing Students and Practitioners Together

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The 2015 edition of the Annual ITE Students-Practitioners Forum was held in Newmark Civil Engineering Building on Oct. 14, 2015 as an adjunct event with the Illinois TES Conference that started on the same day. The event saw engaging discussions, in which students asked about everything from finding a job in the Transportation Engineering industry to the effect of the ongoing impasse over the Illinois state budget on industry.

President Abdul Rauf and faculty adviser Prof. Ray Benekohal kicked off the discussion with professionals representing an array of well-known companies, including CH2M and Jacobs, that are engaged in a variety of projects in Illinois and beyond. Professionals came in all age-groups, from veterans of the industry who explained the debilitating effects of lack of state funding for transportation projects, to younger engineers closer to the students’ age, who talked about the changing necessities in industry with respect to computer programming and multi-tasking.

Students in attendance represented a broad spectrum of students from UIUC, ranging from freshmen curious about transportation to PhD candidates. Delicious pizza was served, sponsored by Illinois ITE, whose Director of Student Affairs Brian Roberts was also in attendance. The event ended with practitioners expressing interest in helping ITE UIUC conduct a field trip to O’Hare Airport.

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