Student Spotlights

Reese Hatridge

Specializing in Building Systems

Reese Hatridge using tool to dig into dirt on green hillside

Collecting nutrient-rich soil from the river for a garden house in Panama – Global Brigades trip, Jan. 2014

Reese Hatridge is majoring in Architectural Engineering, specializing in building systems. Seeing a need for thoughtful and sustainable architecture, his goal is to help produce smarter, more efficient buildings by focusing on the design of mechanical systems, building facades, and daylighting strategies.

Out of a passion for helping others, Reese traveled to Panama this past winter with Global Architecture and Environmental Brigades, a student-led international development organization. The group of 19 students traveled to the rural community of Torti Abajo where they helped to construct a garden house and led workshops for the community on waste management and organic agriculture.

On campus Reese participates in the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI), serving as one of the leaders of the design competition team and the curriculum improvement committee. He is also a member of the UT ASCE chapter and has served as captain of a flag football team of engineering students. Additionally, Reese attended the LeaderShape retreat in May of 2013 and will serve as a student cluster facilitator for the May 2014 session.

This past summer Reese conducted research with Stephen Boyles, Assistant Professor in Transportation Engineering, helping to co-author a paper aimed at improving parking models. He also worked for Sarabi Studio, a local wood and metal shop, where he fabricated custom furniture and architectural pieces.

Reese was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. He first attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. A year into his studies, he became homesick for Texas, leading him to enroll at UT Austin in 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Latin American Studies in 2009, then spent three years working in the Austin area before deciding to return to school.  He says a conversation with faculty member Gregory Brooks solidified his decision to study architectural engineering at UT.

Reese has grown to appreciate the culture that exists within the CAEE department. He says, “Collaboration is encouraged along with a little healthy competition.”  He also says the faculty are incredibly professional and approachable, going to great lengths to challenge and encourage him.

His advice to new students is to take pride in the program and continue to build a sense of community.  “Get to know your classmates, help them, and push each other to become better students and better people”, he says, “It is more fun and beneficial in the long run than trying to go it alone and outdo each other.”

Having lived in Austin for seven years, Reese enjoys the city for its amazing restaurants, live music venues, and outdoor activities like swimming at the Greenbelt. Above all else, he reveres Austin for the open-minded and adventurous people he has met here.

After graduation, he plans to work for a firm designing mechanical systems for buildings while continuing to pursue international development work.