A civil engineering graduate student achieves his dream of a sports stadium

When Hunter Crumly spent time watching his beloved Minnesota Vikings professional football team play as a kid, he dreamed of one day helping design and build sports stadiums for other teams.

This dream came true with the skills acquired as an undergraduate and graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

After earning his master’s degree later this winter, Crumly recently started as a structural engineer with Thornton Tomasetti, a global engineering firm that has built or helped modify sports stadiums such as Yankee Stadium (New York), Wrigley Field (Chicago), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami), Climate Pledge Stadium (Seattle) and Stadio Della Roma (Rome, Italy). The company has also completed innovative high-rise structures (14 of the world’s 100 tallest buildings), libraries, community centers and residential complexes in more than 150 countries around the world.

“Out of high school (in Chatham, Illinois), I had the idea that I wanted to be an engineer who designs stadiums,” he said. “As I progressed through the Rose-Hulman courses and saw the opportunities realistically available, I began to generalize my research to any company doing large-scale structural projects, because a company that does not design only stadiums is very rare.”

He continued, “After realizing that Thornton Tomasetti’s office in Kansas City (where stadium projects are managed) had a legitimate interest in me, the career that I thought was too niche became a reality. I believe this opportunity is a good fit with my dream high school career.

Crumly graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, with a minor in entrepreneurship, in 2021 and has spent this school year focusing on graduate courses in structural engineering before completing her master’s degree in late February. Along the way, his engineering skills were enhanced through internships with consulting engineers from KPFF (Boise, Idaho) and Black & Veatch Construction Inc. (Overland Park, Kansas). He has performed structural/geotechnical work for underground transmission lines and helped design medical buildings, multi-level residential complexes and international airport expansions.

“I learned so much during my graduate studies at Rose-Hulman. In just one year of graduate school, I feel like I’m well prepared for a career in structural engineering,” he said. “I don’t think there is any other school or department that offers more support, care, and genuine interest in a student’s education than Rose’s Civil Engineering Department. When you combine the opportunity to learn in this atmosphere with the willingness to overcome the challenges that higher education presents, the results speak for themselves.

The Civil Engineering Faculty at Rose-Hulman inspires students to practice engineering through strong moral and ethical values. Students are also encouraged to be well organized and to document their work during group projects.

In a final year capstone project, Crumly joined three other students in developing plans for Terre Haute’s Fairbanks Park that could accentuate a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists along the historic Wabash River, incorporate an area recreational paddling pool and add a boathouse and docks for hosting collegiate rowing events. The project was commissioned by the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s Quality of Life Task Force and received considerable interest from Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett.

Team members kept community leaders up to date on the progress of the ongoing project through quarterly online presentations and wrote a nearly 300-page final report. Those plans are currently being reviewed by the City of Terre Haute’s engineering department and will eventually be implemented, with any changes, as financial resources become available, according to Bennett.

Then this year, Crumly helped complete another exciting building design class project: designing a structure to be built on Earth, shipped to the Moon, and then stood on the Moon without collapsing. Between planning sessions, students discussed the challenges of each phase of building implementation, the different loads on the building throughout its lifetime, and the advantages and disadvantages of different types/forms of materials. .

“Although everything is theoretical and some assumptions were made, it was still amazing to see how a small group of 22-year-old students, with the guidance of a professor, were able to design a structure to be sent to the Moon” , said Crumly, who was an officer in the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. “All faculty members are very close and have conversations with students outside of academic matters. Their doors are always open for any questions and they are happy to help. Friendships develop from various group activities with other students, and then peer relationships extend beyond the classroom.