Kelsey Chan

Why Oregon State University? 

I applied to Oregon State because of its reputation of having a competitive and outstanding engineering program. Additionally, the professors, students, and staff were so helpful and kind when I had a lot of questions and concerns before making my final decision of attending graduate school at OSU. Dr. John Gamabtese and his student Chuma Nnaji helped me throughout the decision process and I am grateful for them both. I also love the Pacific Northwest because it reminds me of my home in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

How did you become interested in construction engineering?

Throughout my high school and undergraduate studies, I was always interested in improving the community through hands-on projects such as stream restorations, tutoring, and highway improvements. I love being outside, seeing the project in each phase, and interacting with people, so after many discussions with my mentors and parents, I decided construction engineering would be the best fit for my personality and what I want to achieve in life.

Describe your current research.

My research is based on bridging the gap between telematics, sensors, and general technology with safety relationships present on construction sites. My awesome and dedicated adviser, Dr. Joseph Louis, and I are working on implementing a sensor tool to potentially improve the safety relationship between workers-on-foot and heavy equipment operators on construction sites by using real-time tracking of worker field of view and proximity to hazards. By focusing on improving worker line-of-sight, this research will hopefully reduce the rate of injury and fatalities that occur on construction sites and/or work zones due to struck-by incidents typically caused by heavy equipment.  

What are your plans following graduation?

I love the Pacific Northwest so I will stay in Portland. I accepted a job offer with JE Dunn as a project engineer and before that I will do some traveling to Japan, Korea, and Kauai. 

How has Oregon State helped you prepare for your future career?

Oregon State helped prepare me for the future in many ways. First, the university connected me with professors and companies that can help answer questions and provide me with different opportunities throughout my career. Second, the university provided me with an array of courses that helped me identify the roles of construction I want to be a part of and where improvements need to be made to advance construction projects. Finally, the university provided a lot of opportunities to meet with industry, which allowed me to make a fitting career decision.

What have you liked about Oregon State University and Corvallis? 

Everything about Oregon State is great. I love the activities and opportunities, the facilities, and the sense of community. The best thing about Oregon State is the faculty and staff. The CEM faculty helped me grow as a student and future engineer. They focus on different aspects of construction engineering and they are always available to talk to you if you have questions. They have a lot of passion for their work and it shows through their classes and research. Also, the staff are always ready to answer questions and guide you back on the right track throughout your studies.

– February 2018

Learn more about graduate studies in construction.