Matt Lattavo: CIV 1T4 + PEY


What made you choose your discipline?

I knew I loved Transportation, but I also had a long-time desire to try Architecture. Civ seemed

appropriate (in fact, when I was applying to other Universities, I applied to their Civil Engineering

Programs).

I also loved the fact that fourth-year is completely open; lots of elective slots and only one mandatory

course (Capstone).

What do you think about your discipline now?

It’s definitely not all smelling like roses. It’s very challenging, and the organization of the curriculum is

lacking. Courses change their instructors on an almost annual basis, and some professors simply aren’t

very good. However, there are plenty who are extremely capable, and some classes you will absolutely

enjoy despite whether or not you like the subject matter, for example:

2nd Year Construction Management – Prof. McCabe is possibly one of the kindest professors you will

meet, and her interest on the subject makes the course extremely informative.

2nd Year Fluids – Prof. Hoffman is fantastic! It’s a tough course, but he is a really cool professor.

3rd Year Transportation II – Chris Bachmann, a current Ph.D Candidate, is fantastic, and really makes the

course interesting.

3rd Year Municipal Engineering – Prof. Karney, who has just started teaching the course after a few

years hiatus, is still passionate, and totally turned my appreciation of water systems engineering around

for me.

What are the various opportunities in your discipline after graduation?

I hear that a lot of students go into construction management, estimation, and planning. However,

there are a lot of consulting opportunities for you as well. Companies such as Goldar Associates,

HDR, IBI Group, and government agencies like Metrolinx, MTO, MEO, and the City of Toronto all

hire PEY students and new graduates in positions that range from design and consultation to project

management, implementation, and operation.

What difficulties have you faced in your discipline so far?

The volume of work in 3rd year… Survey camp if the weather is bad (I was fortunate enough to have

great weather in my session, but other sessions had rain throughout the entire duration… and not to

mention that)

Survey Camp, by the way, is huge UofT Civil Engineering tradition, which is a course you take in the

summer going into 3rd year CIV.

It’s been happening since 1921, so literally every single graduated year of CIV has done survey camp,

and it’s great because you instantly have something to talk about with CIV Alumni, outside of the

awkwardness of “professional networking”. You learn techniques of surveying, get to bond with your

class up at GULL LAKE, and every graduating class builds a permanent monument at the camp to “ease

the experience of the classes that comes after you”—best example of the department integrating

sustainability into the CIV learning experience.

If you were to choose a second discipline, what would it be?

I was caught between Civ and Mech in the end. I have had a life-long love for trains, planes, and

automobiles, so going into engineering I was not 100% sure if I wanted to build the trains or the train

tracks (and likewise for airplanes and cars). In the end, I liked the idea of building the system and

network more than building the vehicles that use those networks (control freak? Idunno) so I chose Civ.

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