A lifelong builder: From Legos to civil engineering

By Alex Molini

June 1, 2022 — Daniel Ekwunife, BS’22 (Metro), from Hamilton, N.J.,  knows his future — he’s headed to a full-time job as a project engineer at Skanska.

“I love the construction of buildings,” Ekwunife says. “When I was younger, I used to play a lot with Legos. The whole process of a building starting from dirt to the steel aspects to the painting to the electrical processes involved and the HVAC, and seeing the full thing come to life is really an amazing thing.”

Portrait of a young man in a polo shirt, with greenery behind him.

Daniel Ekwunife, sporting his FDU resident assistant polo.

He heard about the civil engineering position through Dominic Kruszewski, an adjunct professor, who discussed some companies and job opportunities in class.

“Our professors have been willing to give us a lot of guidance with the industry,” Ekwunife says. “They are really knowledgeable. I’m really thankful for the opportunities they’ve given and all their words of wisdom.” He also credits alumni and staff as sources of support and opportunity.

In the summer of 2021, Ekwunife had an internship with Structure Tone as a field engineer and prior to that, interned with the City of Hackensack under the land redevelopment director. Both positions have provided him with a good understanding of what he will likely undertake in his new role with Skanska. “With Structure Tone, I coordinated with foreman subcontractors to problem solve issues that arose,” Ekwunife says, “and with the City of Hackensack, I tracked, with guidance, redevelopment project applications and attended all city meetings.”

On campus, he was with the National Society of Black Engineers, Student Government Association, the Black Student Union and as a resident assistant. “Being a resident assistant gave me the opportunity to work and socialize with a lot of people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s been a great way to break out of my shell. I’m thankful to FDU because I’ve met a lot of people in all sorts of disciplines, not just engineering, and they’ve all been a part of my growth.”

Now, it’s time for him to put all his knowledge to good use. “My passion is to serve and help people by building the homes and facilities that they’re going to live and congregate in.”

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