We would like to congratulate Chelsie Smith, an LFA water resources engineering intern, on her 2023 Master’s of Engineering in civil and environmental studies from Notre Dame earned while working here.
Smith came to LFA with both a Bachelor’s of Science in biological science from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a two-year professional certification in aquaculture from Alabama’s Gadsden State Community College.
Her professional background was in water quality and water filtration. While working for former employers, Smith said she saw problems she wanted to solve so she looked to see what education she needed to make that happen.
“I don’t like seeing problems and not being able to fix them,” she said.
To assist in Smith’s quest for more education and a career shift, LFA helped her earn experience in engineering before she graduated by working with Notre Dame. She was able to work at LFA, get paid and earn credit toward her Master’s Degree simultaneously.
Smith said she appreciated how LFA was flexible with scheduling so she could attend classes and work around assignments and exams. The one-year program at Notre Dame was challenging academically, she said, and required a lot of balancing to keep work, school and her personal life afloat.
Smith said she really appreciated the internship at LFA because she was able to see different aspects of engineering including field work such as going out to do water quality monitoring and observing a jack-and-bore project while also getting a feel for office processes.
“Here it felt like I was going ahead and stepping into the role of engineer and getting a feel for what it was like in the role of the professional,” she said.
Smith is now studying for her Fundamentals of Engineering exam and joins the Water Department full time.