University of Arkansas student Derek Strause has discovered his career path after attending an open house at Garver's Fayetteville, Arkansas office this February. "I quite literally fell in love with the idea of working in the water industry," said Derek, a Junior from Keller, Texas.
When Derek attended the open house for UofA students, he wasn't sure what aspect of mechanical engineering to pursue. After talking with Garver's water engineers and seeing the Water Design Center, Derek said he's developed a new-found interest.
"Working in this field would provide me with the opportunity to do my part in keeping the environment clean, which is something that has interested me for a long time," he said. "Plus, I want to do something that I view as important and positively impacts the world. Providing clean drinking water to homes and preventing chemicals from harming other living things certainly qualify as important subject matters to me."
Open House Night
Garver invited upperclassmen from the University of Arkansas College of Engineering to visit our Fayetteville office, meet our staff, and see how various engineering disciplines are integrated into aviation, transportation, water, and energy projects.
Dr. Kevin Hall, University of Arkansas College of Engineering Professor and Department Head of Civil Engineering, said he appreciates his university's partnership with Garver.
"The annual open house allows our students an opportunity to not only explore employment opportunities, but also to learn about the operations and scope of a full-service consulting engineering company," said Hall. "Interaction with practicing engineers provides our students that vital link to the 'real world' and gives perspective to their academic studies."
Water Design Center
Director of Water Services Steve Jones was one of several Garver employees who gave presentations to the students. Steve focused on the Water Design Center (WDC), which brings various engineering teams together to execute large, high-volume, custom plant projects with advanced technologies.
"Our multi-discipline Water Design Center is a collection of expert minds responsible for conceiving and designing the best technologies necessary to solve water quality and quantity challenges we're faced with today and tomorrow," Steve said. "A primary reason Garver made the business decision to locate our enterprise-wide WDC in Fayetteville is to partner with the UofA College of Engineering faculty and students."
Civil engineer Adam White, a member of Garver's aviation group, spent time talking one-on-one with students. As a UofA graduate, Adam said he wishes he'd had a similar opportunity when he was in college.
"It's a great opportunity for engineering students to see the kinds of exciting engineering consulting work being done at a local firm," Adam said. "By setting up information stations around our office, we were able to showcase our disciplines and the various types of projects we've worked on both locally and regionally."
The entire event left a positive and lasting impression on Derek. "I cannot begin to describe to you how good it feels to have a passion about something that I want to do for the rest of my life."
Additional pictures from the event are located on our Facebook page.