When Nash Hensen rides the light rail into the heart of downtown Denver, he can’t help but smile. That’s because he knows he played a role in the construction of the Denver Union Station light rail track and station which opened in August 2011, just as his summer internship as a field engineer with Kiewit Building Group wound to a close.
“The day we opened the station I got to ride on the first train with the mayor,” says Nash, who oversaw the laying of track and the station construction as part of Kiewit’s light rail team. “Seeing plans and buildings that were only on paper a few months before come to life is a pretty cool feeling.”
Nash started college thinking he wanted to be an architect, but it wasn’t long before he transferred to CU-Boulder and changed his major to architectural engineering. The job market looked more promising and the construction management track in CU’s architectural engineering program fulfilled his love of problem-solving.
“What’s cool about architectural engineering is that you can do so many things with it. I’m in class with people who are going to be everything from lighting designers to HVAC to structural engineers to construction managers,” Nash says, explaining that he was drawn to the flexibility that the degree offered and the prospect of not only finding a job, but choosing from a variety of good jobs.
Nash says his internship – which he obtained through the Associated General Contractors of America CU student chapter – gave him the opportunity to work on a high-profile project in the heart of downtown and the chance to work outdoors in the field interacting with subcontractors as well as lower and upper management. It also helped him land a job with Kiewit Federal Group. Nash accepted a position with the company’s Washington, D.C. office and will begin work as a field engineer following his expected graduation in May 2013.