Internship Q & A: William Spitz, H2M Architects + Engineers

Name: William Spitz
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Program of Study: Civil Engineering
Internship Organization: H2M Architects + Engineers
Organization’s area of work: H2M is a multi-disciplined professional consulting and design firm that specializes in several fields including architecture, civil engineering, environmental sciences and engineering, GIS services, MEP Services, planning, wastewater, and water.

What did you focus on during your internship program?
While at H2M, I worked in the civil/site group on site design and drafting using AutoCAD Civil 3D. I put together site plans for many different uses, including new construction; permit applications; change of zone applications; and legalizing buildings, existing systems, site features, and uses.

The main project I focused on at H2M on was centered around Hempstead Lake State Park, an over 700 acre park located in Hempstead, NY which was undergoing many improvements. The plans that I was working on included the expansion of its trail system to make it ADA compliant, as well as the addition of an ADA compliant kayak launch, fishing pier, and observation tower. I spent several weeks of my internship performing drafting and design work to help complete the project. With the help of my supervisor, I worked on grading plans, designed four stairways that led down to the lake, put together site plans at 40 scale, detailed site plans at 20 scale for more intricate parts of the park, completed trail plans at 40 scale, assisted in creating a cost estimate, and a vast number of other things.

What is the real-world application of what you worked on?
During my internship I spent approximately 80-85% of my time working on active projects providing me with the experience of taking a project from the design phase to the construction phase. One of the most important things I learned during my time at H2M was how much goes into a project before it can be built, especially the Hempstead Lake project because of its size and scope.

How did your coursework or other experiences at SUNY Poly prepare you for your internship?
I have been interning at H2M for three summers and after each year at SUNY Poly I can take the things I learn in my courses and apply them to what I do in my internship. A few examples include:

  • The introduction to AutoCAD and Civil 3D in a few of my courses has helped with the drafting of plans.
  • My Fluid Dynamics, Groundwater Hydrology and Water Resources course contributed to my understanding of drainage systems and water flow which was extremely helpful while working on the Hempstead Lake project.
  • My Environmental Engineering course has helped me understand conceptual design and various regulations to abide by when designing a project.

How do you think this internship will help you reach your goals?
I would like to work in consulting engineering, similar to the work I did in my internship. My time at H2M has helped me realize that this is the profession that I want pursue and has provided me with the motivation to begin my career. My internship provided me with invaluable skills that will help me to find a job to begin work shortly after graduation.

What was most beneficial part of your internship?
My internship at H2M has provided me with a lot of experience that I can use throughout my career. I have become highly proficient in AutoCAD Civil 3D; additionally, I gained an understanding of processes and phases of a project from research of codes and client development, to design and meeting the needs and desires the client.