Senior Stories: Christine Beyzaei: Building with a touch of green

Christine Beyzaei says she’s always liked doing things with her hands – which is why she spent her four years at GW as a civil engineering major at the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Beyzaei said she found her calling when she chose to focus her engineering studies on the environment. She got a chance to follow those interests outside the classroom, interning at the Environmental Quality Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center last summer.

The experience was important because it helped Beyzaei continue what she was doing at school in an outside project. During her internship, she did research onboard navy ships like aircraft carriers, aiming to create a newer, smaller wastewater treatment system so the boats could save more space for other things.

At GW, she got involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers and worked on an annual competition where students from different schools in the region build steel bridges by themselves using machine shops and lasers to cut their materials.

Though Beyzaei calls the process daunting, she says it’s also rewarding. “It’s surprising, the stuff you learn in class that you can use to make a structure by yourself – it helps to build confidence as an engineer.”

Beyzaei will be joining the University of California at Berkeley to pursue her master’s degree in geoenvironmental engineering. She has also been accepted into the school’s doctorate program. Though Berkeley is far away from her D.C.-area hometown, Beyzaei said she is ready for a change.

“I just want to get out and move forward,” she said.

Down the road, Beyzaei hopes to transition from the technical side of engineering to the promotional side.

“I think after I gain enough experience I’d like to help people understand engineering more and how investing money will help society.”

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