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  • headshot andrea ogunleye, civil and environmental engineering major standing on Main Street in Columbia with building in the background

Andrea Ogunleye, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Andrea has a passion for building better cities. Now she’s working with researchers to build better South Carolina roadways.

Growing up in Nigeria, Andrea’s father worked as a project manager for his own company. From an early age, she saw how engineers helped create many of the tools, products and processes in our civilization. That exposure led her to pursue a civil and environmental engineering degree at the University of South Carolina.

Andrea’s curiosity for understanding the engineering behind our communities pushed her to further expand her knowledge through internships and research. At South Carolina, she interned as a field engineer at a broadband service company where she was able to experience some of the challenges that come with working in a professional environment.

“I was able to apply all I learned in class and better understand how to foster client relationships and gain knowledge that can really only be acquired through work experience. It also gave me a great way to network with professionals that could potentially become future employers.”

Today Andrea works as a research assistant alongside her professors and the South Carolina Department of Transportation to collect historical information on specific segments of interstates and local roads. By conducting field surveys and taking pavement samples for lab testing, she’s helping to determine optimal and reliable models to predict pavement performance.

Connecting to campus

Since being on campus, Andrea has been struck by the immense school spirit shown by students and faculty alike. Although surprised by this at first, she has now fully embraced the Gamecock experience, using opportunities to engage in campus organizations, the city of Columbia and professional internships to help her feel connected.

Andrea’s advice to prospective students is to try things that are outside of their comfort zone and really make an effort to get to know others. “Apply yourself!” she says.

She has taken her own advice, and is an enthusiastic member of a number of South Carolina organizations, including Carolina Productions, Carolina Catholics, the American Society of Civil Engineers (Student Chapter), the Carolina Rail Club (AREMA Student Chapter) and the Pan-African Student Association. She credits her experiences with these organizations for helping her make friends, connect with new people and learn about herself and others.

After graduation, Andrea hopes to continue gaining experience at a U.S. civil engineering firm. Her ultimate goal is to return to her home country and start her own engineering and sustainability consulting firm to help with urban planning and development.

“The university has given me opportunities not only to test the limits of my curiosity but also to develop a sound professional demeanor.”

I am South Carolina. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.