• YEAR: Junior
  • MAJOR: Civil Engineering
  • HOMETOWN: Kerrville, Texas

Kevin McKeon

From relationships to bridges, Kevin McKeon moves the world forward with what he builds. As a head facilitator at the Boiler Challenge Course for the Division of Recreational Sports, he transforms groups into teams. As a resident assistant in Cary Quadrangle, he molds the character of first-year students. And as a civil engineering major, he creates the structures that will sustain our future.

Work smart

Kevin is as comfortable at a building site as he is in the classroom, bringing an ethic of hard work and attention to detail to everything he does. "I've always wanted to be involved with construction and the multitude of things that go along with it, and felt that a degree in civil engineering would give me the most opportunities," he says.

And he's made the most of those opportunities. This summer, Kevin completed an internship with PCL Construction in Minneapolis, serving as a project engineer on the team responsible for a $3.2 million casino renovation. He also is captain of Purdue's team for the National Student Steel Bridge Competition, which challenges participants to combine their structural design/analysis and project management skills to fabricate and a build a one-tenth-scale steel bridge.

Play hard

In addition to his team-building duties on the Boiler Challenge Course, Kevin serves on the Rec Sports climbing wall staff and is a passionate participant in intramural sports — including Cary Quad's top-ranked flag football team.

An avid cyclist and backpacker, Kevin says his ideal day would be spent hiking in the Rocky Mountains. And as a native of the Lone Star State, he also enjoys kicking up his heels. "I love country dancing, but sadly, there aren't as many places to do it here as there are in Texas."

Model behavior

In his role as a resident assistant, Kevin builds lasting relationships and leaders equipped to serve. When asked what he has learned from his RA, Alex Roberts, a first-year student living in Cary, doesn't hesitate in his answer. "Responsibility," he says. "Kevin understands how to ensure that we are having fun, but doing it in a safe way."

Nathaniel Shellhamer, another first-year student living under Kevin's supervision, echoes that response: "Kevin serves as a great role model and he leads by example. He balances his schoolwork and other responsibilities well, showing us how to study hard and be successful."

New heights

After completing his degree, Kevin hopes to work for a company as a project manager and use his engineering background to help make the construction process as efficient and safe as possible. He'll also continue to strengthen the foundation of communication and leadership skills he gained as a Boilermaker.

"Beyond the technical knowledge, my Purdue education has taught me a lot about how to work with people from all walks of life," he says. "The ability to build relationships will serve me well as I endeavor to imagine, design and construct the facilities that will serve the next generation."