From the Willis Tower to the Wrigley Building and everything in between, growing up in Chicago and being surrounded by the city’s iconic architecture piqued Kristof Gandy’s interest.

“I was inspired by the infrastructure in the downtown area. All the skyscrapers and constant construction with the city. The unique designs of all the different skyscrapers struck me,” said Gandy.

A Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering course in high school helped steer Gandy toward engineering. “I knew I liked design and creating things hands-on, which propelled me toward engineering.”

After some research, he discovered civil engineering would help him achieve his dream of making a positive impact on the community. “Civil projects directly affect people—whether dealing with an office building, the road you drive on or the air we breathe,” said Gandy. “I want to use my projects to help people and improve infrastructure for efficiency.”

Gandy desired to take his passions and goals and continue his education in a new city. “I landed on MSOE because I knew it was challenging and would push me to be a good engineer, which will only help me help people more.” Plus, MSOE’s downtown Milwaukee location offered a new array of city buildings to inspire him.

Over his summer internship at a roofing company, Gandy put his mark on real-world projects by creating shop drawings with roof details on AutoCAD. The hands-on experiences and teamworking skills he gained at his internship carry on at MSOE. Gandy serves as a leader on campus through a variety of groups. He participates in club sports such as basketball, serves on the E-board for National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and is a CREATE student fellow. CREATE student fellows works with the CREATE Institute to instill the MSOE Mindset in the community.

“I appreciate the CREATE Institute because you get to learn about the MSOE Mindset and discuss social issues, which gives you a chance to reflect and improve yourself.”

The MSOE Mindset identifies graduates as leaders of character; responsible professionals; passionate learners; and value creators. CREATE student fellows explore ways in which they can build upon these values across campus, including through programming within the Nelson Prototype Lab within the Cove.

“I like working in the entrepreneurial space as it is a space to be creative and design, which is what I like to do.”  

Gandy and the other CREATE student fellows assist students with utilizing the equipment within the lab to create projects and collaborate with others.