Student Spotlights

Abdullah Alqaroot

Architectural Engineering Leader

Abdullah Alqaroot with classmates standing around a cinderblock practice construction

Abdul (third student from the left) - practicing cinderblock construction

Abdullah Alqaroot is a senior architectural engineering student specializing in Construction Engineering and Project Management. He is the president of the Architectural Engineering Institute and the recipient of the Architectural Engineering Leadership award, which he received during the department’s 2014 student spring banquet.

Abdul is serving in Projects for Underserved Communities (PUC) as project manager for a team working to improve a community center in Nicaragua. The PUC course brings engineering and social work students together to design and implement much needed projects in communities throughout the world, providing students with hands-on, valuable training in engineering and leadership skills.

For the project in Nicaragua, Abdul’s team is partnering with a non-profit organization in Cedro Galan, a neighborhood located on the outskirts of the capital, Managua. The community center, El Farrito, serves as a school, meeting arena, an area for after-school activities, and it expanded recently to include a basic medical clinic. The center urgently needs a restroom facility. The team’s goal is to design and construct a flush toilet and septic tank system that will adequately suit the community’s needs.

Abdul is serving as project manager on the team and also contributing to the design process. He says, “I consider myself lucky to have such smart and dedicated teammates. We’ve all been helping each other better understand and solve any issue we encounter.” The team will be travelling to Managua, Nicaragua this summer for two weeks to construct the restroom. 

Abdul was born in Amman, Jordan and lived there until he was nine years old. He says, “Due to poor standards of living in Amman, my father was constantly seeking job opportunities in the gulf area which was industrially booming at the time. His goal was to provide a better lifestyle and especially a high-quality education for my siblings and me.” The family moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE, where Abdul began to learn English and improve his math skills. A few years later, his father‘s next job opportunity brought them to Doha, Qatar. Abdul was able to complete high school there in one of the best schools in the country and developed an interest in engineering.

Abdul’s high school English teacher, a UT Austin alumnus, specifically recommended the CAEE Department. The high ranking of the architectural engineering program and diversity of the student population were huge factors in his decision to study here

Abdul considers the department to be the best at UT Austin:

"We have an amazing department chair, Dr. Corsi, and the best faculty and staff in the Cockrell School of Engineering. All the help we get from the [technical staff] folks in the ECJ basement with any project we have, whether it’s building a concrete canoe or practicing how to lay cinderblock, is something I’m very grateful for.

Going up to the 2nd floor of ECJ, the folks at Engineering Career and Assistance Center (ECAC) work hard to provide us with career opportunities with top companies and organizations. And, if at anytime we need to finish our lab reports or homework, we have the high-tech Learning Resource Center (LRC) on the 3rd floor. The 4th floor is where the magic happens: here, our academic advisors and department staff stay, always making sure we’re on the right track throughout our college careers.

Finally, on the 5th floor of ECJ, is the Architectural Engineering Design Studio. Being an Architectural Engineering major, it is no surprise that this is the site of some of my greatest memories: including signing my first internship offer and making great friendships that will last forever."

Abdul strives to stay true to the University of Texas at Austin’s motto: "What starts here changes the world." To him, this means cultivating his time and seizing any opportunity to give back.