Online Civil Engineering Degree Graduate Expands His Knowledge of Water Resources

Carlos MelgarAs a civil engineer, it didn’t take long for Carlos Melgar to discover one of the things he enjoyed most about his job: water.

“[Water resources] play a vital role in civil engineering design,” Carlos said. “Any time you start a design, you have to take into account, for example, stormwater, and to be able to go through the whole process, you have to see how much volume of stormwater will be in a specific site, and then design the proper system to be able to hold, or convey, that body of water. That’s what I enjoy about water resources, in that it plays a vital role and is an important component from start to finish.”

Over his nine years as a civil engineer, Carlos has learned firsthand the importance of water in civil engineering and now takes care of all water resource projects for his current company. Those responsibilities include hydrology, hydraulic reports, storm drain design, and stormwater pollution prevention plans. Finding a niche he was interested in prompted him to pursue more training, so he began taking courses at a university in California. Ultimately, one of his professors, knowing that Carlos had a particular interest in water resources, pointed him toward Colorado State University to hone in on those skills.

After doing some research, Carlos liked what he found, eventually applied for, and was accepted into, the online civil engineering master’s degree program, with a focus in water resources. After enrolling, he wasn’t disappointed.

Carlos Melgar“What makes [the program] so unique is that they offer a wide variety of courses in water resources and also provide the latest technology in civil engineering software to complete some of the weekly tasks,” Carlos said. “They offer hydrology, hydraulics, and other water resources-related courses. As soon as I saw the list, I knew there was a good range of courses in water resources. One of the most unique courses was Geographic Information Systems, GIS, specifically for civil engineering, which is pretty much unheard of in a lot of other schools.”

The curriculum, and the ability to further his knowledge, was only one aspect of CSU’s program that Carlos appreciated. The very nature of the online civil engineering degree also helped Carlos navigate a new addition to his life: his newborn daughter.

“That’s one of the things about the online that I liked, that I was able to do it on my own time,” Carlos said. “I was able to work full-time. And at the time I started CSU, my wife was pregnant with our first, and eventually we had a newborn. So the critical bonding time with my daughter and wife was very important to me. The program allowed me to balance my professional life and family time, all while taking online classes at CSU.”

Graduating with his master’s degree has helped Carlos learn more about a field he is passionate about, which has long-term benefits for him and his family.

Carlos Melgar“It has helped me gain more knowledge in water resources, because that’s the area I enjoy the most about civil engineering, and that’s what I’ve been doing for my company,” Carlos said. “So I’ve become more valuable to the company. … Eventually, because I have experience in this area, and now with this degree, it will definitely help me in becoming a project manager in the future. One of my ultimate goals is to start my own civil engineering firm, specializing in water resources services, so gaining this experience has only helped me in eventually accomplishing that.”

If you believe an online civil engineering master’s degree, with a water resources focus, would help advance your knowledge and skill set, like it did for Carlos, contact Mike Macklin at 970-491-7583, or michael.macklin@colostate.edu. He is available to walk you through this degree program with prompt and personalized service.

~ Zac McFarlane

Thanks, Carlos, for the photos!

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