Meet Some of Our Class of 2020 Graduates

Growing up in Turlock, CA, Julia Lind, senior civil engineering major at USC Viterbi, spent weekends riding dirt bikes with her younger brother and her father. They traveled all over the West Coast, through the deserts of Nevada and even along narrow deer trails in Idaho.

It taught me a lot about mechanics and the way things move. At the same time, it was so freeing to be out there, with your own time to think and to block out the rest of the world. You pushed yourself and focused on the one thing in front of you—the trail you were trying to ride all the way through, without crashing,” Lind said.

Lind has always been open to change and evolution. In fact, in a time of global uncertainty, she embraces the possibilities before her, undaunted by the question marks ahead.

Read more about Lind's love of architecture, growing up around engineers and her hope of bringing  technology not just to the people who design buildings, but to those who build them.



Name: Adnan Solanki

Major: Civil Engineering (Building Science)

Early Love of Engineering: I grew up in Dubai, to Indian parents. My father was a contractor. As a young boy, he took me to his office and onsite visits. I used to sketch buildings using spare printer paper and a pencil and ruler I stole from the office. When I was done, I’d show my father, who would share his critique and continue teaching me about construction.

Architecture around the World: My family loved to travel, so I would go to these amazing cities with architectural marvels both old and new and remember being fascinated by them, this began an everlasting love for spaces and engineering. I remember, as a five-year-old, I saw the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysiafrom the base. I remember falling backwards as I marveled its height

Favorite USC Memory: During my time at USC Viterbi, I took CE 499, where we were teamed up with students of different backgrounds and majors. We were tasked to come up with a solution to a problem we identified from our class trip to a refugee camp in Greece. After numerous iterations incorporating design feedback, we created a shower for refugees that was easy to transport and cheap to make. This shower was aimed to provide security for people, especially women living in the camp, as well as address poor hygienic conditions in the camp. The experience was difficult, but working with a team to reach a common goal and using everyone’s strengths to create an elegant solution is a memory I will cherish.

Why USC Viterbi: I am a transfer student from University of Oklahoma. I studied there for two years, but I wasn’t satisfied. I chose the CEE Building Science program, because it offered studio classes, as well as an advanced engineering education. It also offered a lot of opportunities outside classes, such as opportunities to join dynamic student clubs and tap into the infamous Trojan network.

Vision for the future: As Richard Buckminster Fuller, an American architect and inventor, once said, "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” I want to create spaces that inspire people by displaying innovations in engineering. I aspire to build buildings that respond to their environments, as well as provide cost efficiency.

Name: Camila Salomon

Major: Civil Engineering (Building Science)

What made me want to become an engineer: Throughout high school, I never thought of myself as someone who would study engineering. When it came time to apply to colleges, it made me really think about what kind of path I would want for my life. I realized that no matter what I studied, I wanted to be able to create a positive impact in the world around me. Engineering offered a creative and specific way to do that, through the design and implementation of systems which help society function.

Favorite USC Memory: This is a hard one because there are so many! I’ll share a few: creating jingles about experiences at school with my freshman year roommate, who became one of my closest friends at USC; exploring California’s geography (as a Florida native), including weekend getaways to Joshua Tree and Lake Arrowhead.

Favorite Viterbi Memory: There’s only seven people in the CEE Building Science program this year. Because of this, we've created an incredible bond while producing projects that I'm extremely proud of including an Olympic Skateboarding Arena. I'm extremely grateful to all of my peers who challenged me and pushed me to grow constantly throughout my college career.

Post-Grad Plans: Moving to Boston in September to be a Graduate Sustainability Consultant at Arup.

Vision for the Future/ Dream Career: Create a sustainable urban fabric by retrofitting existing buildings and infrastructure and designing new projects to be environmentally and socially responsible.

Name: Gideon Tamir

Major: Civil Engineering (Building Science Emphasis)

Early Years:I was born in London and lived there for eight years until I moved to Seattle. In 8thgrade, I moved to New Jersey and then, found myself in Southern California at USC.  I was the second of three brothers; many of my childhood memories include getting into fights with my siblings and playing soccer with them and my neighbors.

Dream Career:Speaking generally, anything that allows to enact positive social and environmental change through the built environment and with the technological advances in my field.  But more specifically, I have played soccer ever since I could remember, so the opportunity to design and work on the next great soccer soccer stadium would be fantastic. If I somehow was able to work on a redesign for my favorite team's stadium (Manchester United's Old Trafford) or their new stadium, that would truly be a dream come true.

Plans Post Graduation: Yet another move! I’ll be going to New York to work for Buro Happold as a Facade Engineer.

Favorite USC Memory: There are too many to count. For sure, some favorites include game days, an engineering competition in Vancouver BC, and my studio classes.

Engineering Inspiration:I spent lots of time playing with Legos as a child, and had always been in awe of some of the incredible buildings I visited wherever I lived. I was lucky enough to take a trip to Barcelona during high school, and paid a visit to the Casa Batlló, designed by Antoni Gaudi. I remember he had taken molds of the residents hands, and used them to make door knobs to each of their rooms. That combination of beauty and functionality sparked something that made me realize I had to be working in the design of the built environment.

Vision for the Future: A new class of cities and buildings that are sustainably designed for the people and that reinvigorate public spaces.

Published on May 12th, 2020

Last updated on May 14th, 2020