Designing 3-D Objects with CAD
Civil Technology Alum (Construction Management and Architectural Technology specializations) Andrew Kopp learned in high school that designing objects in 3-D was something he enjoyed and was good at. Read about how Andrew's time at the Thompson School improved his skills with CAD and helped him land a job with a design company in New Hampshire.
It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I found something that I could consider working toward as a career. I managed to work my class schedule around taking a course at the Manchester School of Technology during the last block of the day. The course was Design Communication. For two and a half hours every day, I took the bus over to learn about creative design.
At first we dealt with a rather unusual lesson in imagination. The teacher would call out a topic, such as 'lamp' or 'chair', and we would have to come up with as many unique designs as we possibly could within ten minutes. After that, we worked with freehand proportion of objects orthographically. That is to say, focusing on each side of an object as its own image and finally, we had to take our favorite object and devise an entirely new use for it. To think something so simple could become so complex and in depth was astounding. This is where my passion for design was sparked.
Eventually we moved on to CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) software. This was when I started to realize my distinct specialty. Being able to picture objects in three dimensions came naturally. I decided to continue on to college doing something related to the field of design. I did not want to attend the other programs in the state that focused on hand drafting. The University of New Hampshire's Thompson School of Applied Science seemed like a great fit since it would allow me to be a part of a large campus while attending small classes in a technical setting. The Architectural Technology specialization of the Civil Technology Program allowed me to further my interests in computer modeling, and prove to myself that this was worth focusing on for a career.
During the fourth semester (I stayed an additional year to complete both the Architectural Technology specialization and a Construction Management Specialization), I had an independent study course about the BIM (Building Information Modeling) portion of the software we were using, Autodesk's Revit Architecture. I also spent most of the Architecture II Course assisting my fellow students in how to use Revit better. It was about this time that Guy Petty, our professor, brought up a job offer he had heard about. I took the chance.
I now work as a consultant for Sumex Design, a Specification, Development, and Modeling Services company in New Hampshire. We create everything from the smallest door latch assemblies to entire structures. Soon I may be a full time employee.
The faculty of the Civil Technology department is amazing. They may not be multi-award winning people known throughout the country, but that does not take away from their great teaching techniques. Teaching to them comes naturally, and rarely does a lecture or lab become boring. The hands-on approach to construction methods, with model making or concrete mixing, really improves the student's confidence in applying what they're learning. Sometimes the architecture program gets requests from people and places on or near campus to work on something for them. I've learned to think both creatively and realistically to solve problems. The drive of the faculty to get us to learn made me make up my mind to continue on to architectural school in the near future for a Bachelor's or Master's of Architecture. I'd like to thank Guy, Ken, Tom, Bob Moynihan, and Bob Champoux for their time in making my first bout of college such a success.
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