Briella Matsumoto

Scholarship Status: Awarded NA
Scholarship Awarded: Achievement Scholarship
University: CSULB
Date of Graduation: 05/23/2017


My appreciation for civil engineering started with a “bang,” literally. I still vividly recall feeling intimidated as a high schooler when I entered into the large cold room with the massive machines that looked like they might crush me alive. Before long, I was led beside one of the seemingly undersized machines that gripped a small grey cylinder between its two clasps. I looked carefully at that little cylinder and shrieked as the cylinder suddenly exploded with a “bang” and sent pieces flying at me, but hitting the cage enclosure to my relief. One word was indelibly imprinted in me that day: “concrete.” But I have found out that civil engineering is much more than concrete. Civil engineering is diversity. From my first day on campus, I experienced the diversity in the sub-disciplines. ASCE students showcased their projects: a concrete canoe, steel bridge, and a geowall. Since then, I have appreciated experiencing this diversity as co-captain for the Geowall team last year, which also included structural elements and coordination with classmates to assist us in placing 4th in the competition. Equally, I have appreciated the gender diversity that I have experienced with fellow civil engineering students: 60% of our executive board in the ASCE student chapter this year are women! Diversity has been a major theme at my internship at the Port of Los Angeles. I have discovered how the different disciplines within civil engineering work together on a daily basis to create a safer and more efficient community. For example, on my current job, structural, geotechnical, and transportation engineers are working together to implement a wharf improvement: engineers completing specifications, structural engineers specifying wharf improvements, and electrical engineers detailing AC units and other equipment. The entire Engineering Division works together on one floor from electrical to structural to transportation groups, allowing us to achieve more. Our universal goal to improve the quality of life for society has led many people to take leadership in solving common problems and creating a better world. Like many inspiring civil engineers before me such as the Egyptians, Leonhard Euler, and my parents, I wanted to study civil engineering in college. Although such a great career was available to me, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get there. A personal challenge in pursing civil engineering was figuring out finances. I was told, ever since I was a young girl that upon graduating from high school I would have to support my self 100% in college and beyond. The challenge of civil engineering is one of the aspects I appreciate. As communities grow they require more problems to be solved so that they can advance. Being a part of the evolution of society fuels my passion for civil engineering. It’s a constantly growing, constantly improving culture. Civil engineering not only makes it possible to have practical things in a community, but also brings people from all over the world together to solve common problems. During the spring semester of my third year I was privileged enough to study civil engineering abroad in Ireland at the University of Limerick taking classes such as Steel Structures and Soil Mechanics. Being in a different country using Euro code with my group to determine the appropriate beam size to use in our gym design taught me that passionate people seeking to create a safe sustainable community existed around the world! Civil engineering as a whole continues to impress me in all the facets of living that it addresses. As a future civil engineer I strive to build on what the engineers before me have developed and even go further in creating a sustainable safe community in structural engineering. My experience in the precast concrete field for two summers in a row working at Clark Pacific and ConFab California Corporation gave me a glimpse into one of the many aspects of structural engineering- concrete. Not just concrete but pre-cast concrete which speeds up production time and fabricates sustainable concrete improving the life of many bridges, highways and structures. These internships lead me to my calling- a structural engineer at the Port of Los Angeles. I am currently an intern there and have found that my background seeing how pre-cast concrete works really helped me fully understand a design process. Through organizations such as ASCE I was able to see the wide scope of a community civil engineers organize. Joining ASCE has helped me see engineering in a different way by meeting different kinds of people with different passions in civil engineering and hearing their experiences. After a few years I was determined to take some leadership in the Long Beach chapter of ASCE and became marketing chair, secretary and this year Vice President for the 2016 school year. I am excited to see where civil engineering takes me and how I can contribute to society the way ASCE has enriched my learning.

Awarded Student Scholarships


Steven L. King, P.E.
Awards/Nominations Committee Chair
Phone: 714-560-5874

Awards & Nominations Committee


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