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Civil engineering is in Oluwaseun Oluwatimi’s blood. His grandfather was a civil engineer in Nigeria, where he worked in building design and family housing construction. Born and raised in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Oluwatimi never met his grandfather, but he grew up listening to stories that nurtured a deep interest in the family profession.

It was at the University of Maryland (UMD), though, that his thoughts turned to transportation engineering.

“In ENCE 100, Professor Lei Zhang came and talked to us about the field and his work in China,” said Oluwatimi, the second-to-last child in a family of six. “The work sounded very interesting, especially because of how much transportation affects all of our lives.”

That was just a few weeks ago, when the former Letters & Sciences student began taking classes as a member of the A. James Clark School of Engineering.

Oluwatimi has jumped feet first into opportunities provided by the school and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He’s a member of the Black Engineers Society and UMD’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering (CEE) and plans to take full advantage of both groups’ ample professional development activities.

“The students in CEE are really interesting and open,” he said. “And the organizations allow me to get advice from students further along in the program and share my own thoughts with others. I really enjoy spending time with my fellow classmates.”

But time is something Oluwatimi has to pay close attention to. Many of the mornings, evenings, and Saturday’s he’s passed since coming to College Park in 2016 have been spent training at Cole Field House. Part of Maryland football’s defensive line, Oluwatimi played in all 12 games last season, racking up 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

He admits that football takes up a lot of him time, but Oluwatimi says the lessons in hard work, dedication, and comradery he’s learning on the field will carry him further in his career.

What exactly that will be Oluwatimi is not quite sure. He’d like to be involved in shaping and improving public transportation, especially urban metro systems, or building roads and bridges. But recent conversations with the CEE student advisors have left him thinking that his next stop may be graduate school.

“I’m taking things one semester at a time,” he said. “It can be hard, but you just have to stay focused and take your time.”

Read more about CEE students at cee.umd.edu/students.



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February 22, 2018


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