September 19, 2019

Garver Launch experience sets up career success

Jansen Bundridge is still in the beginning stages of a budding engineering career, but there’s already a link between him and Neal Garver, whose engineering firm founded in 1919 steadily grew over a century to what it is today.

Though separated by more than a century, both Bundridge and Garver were lectured inside the classrooms at Marston Hall at the Iowa State University College of Engineering, and both were pulled into the profession by the fascination of the structural elements crucial to the construction of bridges, buildings, and other elements essential to communities.  

“Bridges are the centerpiece of all structural design,” Bundridge said. “No matter where you’re at, the bridge is the centerpiece of a town or a city.”

Garver eventually became the first bridge engineer employed by the Arkansas State Highway Department (his stamp was on more than 2,000 bridges across the state), while simultaneously building his firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bundridge is still a junior at ISU, but his ongoing education, along with a summer spent in Garver’s Kansas City, Missouri, office has him set on a path toward success.

There’s another link, too: Garver. Bundridge spent this past summer as a Garver Launch intern, being introduced to all the benefits offered by the program that provides interns on-the-job training to prepare them to become valuable members of the engineering profession upon graduation.

“Classroom education is essential,” said Garver Transportation Project Manager Andrew Snyder, who leads the Garver Launch Committee. “But supplementing that with networking opportunities, and technical training provided by our mentors, we know our interns are prepared to be instant contributors to the profession.”

During his three months with Garver, Bundridge said he was surprised to have performed various work on 17 bridges, while also working on projects with some of Garver’s municipal clients. He also performed drafting, learned some of the software Garver’s engineers use each day, met with clients about project progress, and joined a Bridge Inspection Team in the field.

In all, Bundridge considered Garver Launch a valuable experience, while learning lessons that only add to his classroom education.

“Having the experience on real projects teaches you everything, whether things are going good or whether they’re going bad and how to handle that,” he said. “What you’re building is being used by the public, and it’s not just a classroom project.”’

To learn more about Garver Launch, visit

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