Imhotep Duncanson, a civil engineering student at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering started thinking "engineering" in high school. "The people who led me to pursue an engineering degree, " Duncanson remarks, "were my high school teachers. At William H. Turner Tech in Miami we had a mechanical engineer who was doing design in the crafts department. I was taking an AutoCAD and design class with him and he suggested I try civil engineering, since I liked construction and was already in the building construction academy there." Duncanson continued, "I just became interested in the field as I was already science and math oriented."
When asked what area of his studies were his favorite, Duncanson replied, "My favorite research area in civil engineering is transportation. I like roadway design and the design of overpasses for interstate connections, like I-95. I remember as a kid in Miami we would go past the Golden Gate Parkway, which is interesting because it goes really high-up in the sky, and driving around Miami on and off the interstate with my family, I'd say, 'I want to build something like that.'"
"One of the greatest opportunities I have had here at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering," remarks Duncanson, "was representing the College during the ASCE southern region national conference in Tennessee this year (spring 2011). It was great to get experience outside of Tallahassee, going somewhere else and seeing other schools; competing with students in your own major." I think representing your school in competition and earning respect for your school is kind of nice."
Duncanson feels that one of his greatest challenges while studying engineering was the transition of study habits from general studies courses to upper level engineering courses. He feels that engineering requires more in-depth studying and longer hours put into the class work. "Compared to humanity classes, where I can read a book to get the information," Duncanson says, "taking engineering courses requires better study habits to be successful."
Duncanson has taken advantage of some of the engineering professional organizations available at the College. "I'm active in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and next year I will be the historian for the club. I also want to get more active in the student Florida Engineering Society (FES) organization, too. I hope to be active in these clubs after graduation as a professional working in the field, as well."
Duncanson sees himself working for the Florida Department of Transportation. "Hopefully," says Duncanson, in the next five years I'll have my PE license and will be working as a transportation engineer with FDOT, specifically, in the environmental aspect of dealing with roadway waste-water runoff."
To prospective and incoming engineering students, Ducanson offers this advice, "Engineering is a good field if you stay with it. Even though it seems hard at the very beginning, with the emphasis on math and physics, if you stay at it and try to learn the material, you'll succeed." He goes on to add, "Be more involved in professional activities and research opportunities at the College. You will see the payoff at the end. It's a good field to be in.