Beyond Theory

A headshot of Alexia Byusa wearing a hardhat
Alexia Byusa '17 on site at Fort Adams in Newport, RI.

Alexia Byusa, RWU Class of 2017

EngineeringAlumni

Choosing a college major couldn’t have been simpler for Alexia Byusa. Fascinated with physics and math in high school, she grew up watching tons of new construction projects take shape all around her in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. Now through coursework and projects at RWU, she's built the knowledge and experience to help maintain existing infrastructure and design the cities of tomorrow as a civil engineer.

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“[Our project is] not theoretical,” says Byusa. “It’s actually a real fort that was built and we’re working on it. It’s bigger than just what we are doing.”

One example is her senior capstone project where Byusa has been working as part of a team conducting a full structural analysis of a section of Fort Adams in Newport. Her team has been designing temporary structures to prevent further deterioration of the fort. The documentation she and her team provides will be used as the starting point for future restorations of the fort, which is a National Historic Landmark.

“It’s always a good experience to be presented with projects like this that we will have to do in the workforce,” she says.

Through these types of projects Roger Williams students don't just focus on conceptual skills but build the practical skills needed in their field.