Civil engineering student builds career from the ground up


There are too many good reasons to choose George Mason University, according to civil engineering student David Prester. One of which – the rockstar civil engineering professors that helped him grow his education and career. 

David Prester in blue sport jacket
David Prester. Photo provided.

“They’re above and beyond,” said Prester. 

Rockstar civil engineering Professor Matt Doyle recommended Prester for an internship at CDM Smith, an engineering firm that focuses on providing smart solutions within water, environment, transportation, and energy. 

Prester’s previous experience with Mason’s Engineers for International Development (EfID) water restoration project in Ecuador lined up perfectly for his work at CDM Smith, where he spent time outside analyzing and monitoring soil, traveling to excavation sites, and  overseeing subsurface drilling 

“The work I was involved in looked at determining soil conditions for a variety of  public works projects, and making sure field exploration work was regularly logged,” said Prester. “It was a mix of field and office work within the geotechnical engineering field.” 

Mason’s DNA is in Prester’s family, as his mother and grandfather are both alums with Prester as the engineer of the group. 

“I’ve always loved working outdoors and as I continued with school, discovered I love math as well,” he said. “Although I originally thought about a geology degree, geotechnical engineering opens up a lot more doors for me.” 

He says it’s important to love what you do, but to not be afraid of doing things that are challenging and difficult. 

“You can learn to enjoy something you think you may not be good at, or that seems difficult,” he said. “It’s worth it to give it a shot.”