“It took a lot of trial and error for me to realize that civil engineering is what I’ve always wanted to do,” says Urinrin Otite, a PhD student who began her graduate studies in the Rossin College earlier this year. “I noticed my love for understanding structures and how they stand and support themselves and translate the loads to the ground.”

Her initial interpretation of this interest was architecture, until she latched on to the mathematical aspects of the civil engineering discipline.

As part of her PhD research with Paolo Bocchini, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Otite is interested in learning about resilience and making sustainable structures. Her hope is to be able to combine her backgrounds in both environmental and civil engineering to be able to design green structures to better the planet.

Otite is from Nigeria, where, she says, “civil engineering is a course that is male-dominated and everyone thought that I made a mistake in choosing the course. It was a bit demoralizing. It made me feel like I was in the wrong place.”

Yet, as a student at the country's most presigious university, she graduated at the top of both the undergraduate civil and environmental engineering major and the entire engineering college. She has published her research twice.
"It was a huge win, and I was so happy to have broken that glass ceiling that was placed for females in engineering,” she says.
Read the full story on the Office of International Affairs website. 
Story by Kara Bonner '22
Urinrin Otite

Urinrin Otite is pursuing her PhD in civil and environmental engineering, researching resilient infrastructure with CEE associate professor Paolo Bocchini.