After earning her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington State University, School of Civil and Construction Engineering Instructor Amber Berger worked for eight years in private industry, earning her Professional Engineer license in 2010. As a structural engineer in Seattle, Berger developed structural plans and coordinated comprehensive building designs for a variety of projects including the Nintendo of America corporate headquarters.
Following her time in Washington, Berger worked at NuScale Power in Corvallis as a civil structural engineer, writing and reviewing nuclear building design criteria. “Working on nuclear projects at NuScale was a totally different ballgame than my previous experience,” said Berger. NuScale designs small modular reactor nuclear plants; a technology initially developed at the Oregon State University.
After gaining experience in private industry, Berger returned to academia in 2014, completing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with Professor Shane Brown. In her research, Berger studied whether or not engineering students understand critical concepts in their field, with a thesis titled “Student Misconceptions in Axial, Bending, and Torsional Load Cases.”
Today, Berger teaches students – and works to help them understand the concepts they need to know for their careers – in CEM 383 Structures and Orange LEAP. “I like to connect the classroom to the field and use real-world examples of applications rather than just math in my instruction,” said Berger.
Orange LEAP is new to CCE this fall and is a series of classes aimed at increasing the number and diversity of engineering graduates. The courses are designed for students with less math experience than traditional engineering students and features application-oriented, hands-on approaches that teach the most relevant math used in core engineering courses.
Through both her personal teaching style and the new Orange LEAP curriculum, Berger plays an important role in increasing the number of motivated and successful CCE graduates.