Student Spotlight: Brandon Hornak

Brandon Hornak, BSCE’17

Co-op: Build Health International

Location: Haiti

Fifth year CEE student Brandon Hornak is all about making an impact on a global
scale. The Naugatuck, CT native has used his knowledge of engineering to better
the lives of people around the world, whether at his current co-op with Build
Health International (BHI), or with Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

Like many other Northeastern students, the co-op program drew Hornak in with
the opportunity to gain invaluable industry experience before jumping into an
unfamiliar postgraduate world.

Brandon Hornak surveying a building site in Haiti.

Hornak’s third and current co-op is with BHI, an organization that focuses on
building public infrastructure to increase access to healthcare in some of the
poorest communities in the world – including Haiti, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

Providing help to these communities includes building modern medical
facilities such as hospitals, labs, clinics, and support facilities. This is a
major challenge given that buildings must work with existing infrastructure and
economic realities. At BHI, Hornak assists project managers in building system
design, estimating and procurement and has spent time in Haiti as an assistant
site supervisor for one of BHI’s projects.

According to Hornak, “Working with BHI offers a unique opportunity to work
in an environment where the projects you are doing [are] the foundation of
modern engineering and medical services in the region. Being on the
forefront of development and having such a close relationship with the
community and others involved in the project is something that is unique to
this industry.

Hornak’s commitment to helping through engineering isn’t limited to his work
with BHI. He is also actively engaged with Northeastern’s EWB student group. His
primary focus with EWB is on their Honduras program, where he was Program
Director for a year. He has also served as the group’s Vice President of
Development, leading funding efforts and donor relations. According to Hornak,
it’s the opportunity to become such an active member of an organization like EWB
that makes Northeastern’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

The comradery within the department among students, staff, and faculty is
something I haven’t seen or heard of in another department at Northeastern.
The depth in which you work and interact with your peers within the
department is an incredibly welcoming and productive environment, both
professionally and socially.

Northeastern’s unique experiential learning model provides students who work
in industry and across student groups a chance to more easily shape individual
career goals. As for Hornak, it’s clear, his future will be as a civil engineer
focusing on construction, energy, and sustainable development. He credits his
time at Northeastern for helping provide that clarity. And as his graduation
date rapidly approaches, his future is not only bright, it’s also right around
the corner.

Related Departments:Civil & Environmental Engineering