CU-Boulder undergraduate Christina Jones decided to major in civil engineering because she likes construction projects. Little did she know when she made that decision that she would be selected as an intern to work on one of the largest and most significant projects underway in the whole world—the expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Panama Canal.
The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering developed the IMPACT Scholar Internship with CH2M HILL to inspire civil engineering students through a premier internship opportunity.
“It’s such a high-profile project, I can’t believe I got to go down there as a student,” says Jones, who returned in August after working for three months in Panama. “It was such an amazing experience.”
The expansion project began in 2007 and involves building a larger set of locks on each end of the canal, as well as deepening and widening the navigational channels so that larger ships can pass through. Professor and CEAE department chair Keith Molenaar, who worked on the risk analysis for the canal expansion project from 2006 to 2010, was instrumental in setting up the internship opportunity.
Jones really enjoyed the work and the people she met on the construction management team, who she said inspired her with what she can do with her engineering degree: “I can reach for something and go after it.”
Third Set of Locks Pacific Team