Building Big

August 27, 2020

Brooke Dean

Master’s student Brooke Dean

Brooke Dean knows what she wants to do as a civil engineer.

“I have always wanted to design intricate buildings,” Dean said. “In order to have my dream career, I need a master’s degree with a structural emphasis.”

Dean, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) is a 2020-2021 recipient of the James W. and Joan M. O’Neill Graduate Fellowship in Engineering.

“The O’Neill Fellowship is helping me pursue my dream job,” Dean said.

The O’Neill Fellowship gives financial support to first-year engineering graduate students focused in structural analysis and other select areas. Dean enjoys structural analysis because it is based heavily in math and physics, which are her two favorite subjects.

“I am excited to dive into the topic of blast resistant design,” Dean said.

Life as a Graduate Student

Dean has been a graduate student for just a few weeks. So far, she has found the biggest difference between being an undergraduate student versus a graduate student is the level of responsibility.

“No longer are you only in charge of your own classwork. In graduate school, you are part of a research team and expected to contribute to the large-scale project.” Dean said, “I like this responsibility because I get to make new discoveries that could help make buildings safer.”

As a graduate research assistant, Dean provides extra help to her team on any part of their project. Some of her assistance includes running experiments to test the behavior of materials under blast conditions.

Dean graduated in Spring 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Mizzou. She attended Mizzou for undergraduate studies because she was raised a Tiger fan.

“I am a third-generation Tiger. As a kid, my parents liked to watch Mizzou sports and sometimes even dressed me in Mizzou spirit wear,” Dean said.

As a Mizzou undergraduate, Dean participated in several student groups, including Tau Beta Pi, Mizzou Alternative Breaks and the Society of Women Engineers. She was most active in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She served as president of the organization in the 2019-20 academic year.

“I would like to stay involved in ASCE,” Dean said, “As an undergraduate student, I made many friends and connected with employers through this organization. However, as a graduate student I hope to become a mentor to those just beginning their college career in civil engineering.”