Purdue buzzes with summer construction projects. Jackhammers tear up ground and cranes swing concrete through the air. The rising buildings become residential and educational homes for fall's returning students. That's when Lakshmipathy Alugaddala, a senior in construction engineering and management, feels best — in a construction site's controlled chaos, battling the elements and schedules to help get the doors opened. Lakshmipathy, LP for short, has worked on two LEED-certified buildings on campus. LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a reserved designation for high-performance, sustainable buildings. It's also a green philosophy that will guide LP's career path.
- India to Indiana
Choosing a college is never easy. Picking up and moving overseas is even more difficult. LP had to do his homework before deciding to move to West Lafayette. "Even though I was born and raised 8,000 miles away, Purdue's reputation for being one of the best engineering schools in the world wasn't lost on me," he says. "As I made my list of colleges that I was interested in, putting Purdue University on the top of that list was a no-brainer."
- Building bloodlines
Even half a world away, the familiarity of a work site felt like home to LP. Since early childhood, he's spent time on road construction sites with his father, who has been in the industry for 22 years, and his grandfather, who also spent his career in the business.
"Watching hundreds of people come together to work as one team to build something that you could see grow never failed to amaze me," LP says. "When the time came to pick a major and a career path, I had no second thought after construction engineering and management."
- Construction change agent
Whether he goes into commercial or residential construction, LP knows the importance of building something to last. A LEED green associate credential, which he hopes to earn by the summer's end, will further his expertise on the subject.
"I want to use my Purdue degree to make an impact on the way the construction industry functions," LP says. "We learn about flaws in every aspect of the industry. A Purdue degree would make me credible to deal with these flaws in the industry, and even if I cannot make industry improvements all by myself, I'd like to initiate that change."
- MBA ambitions
Though he treasures his time in the mix of the build, LP knows that his future could be leading teams from an office. "When trying to make an impact, there is only so much you can do from the site," he says. "At some point, I would need to stay on the business end of things to make a real difference."
To that end, LP hopes to pursue an MBA shortly after beginning his construction career. Ten years from now he hopes to be leading a firm that could profoundly, and positively, help change the world.