Clarkson University Honors Program junior Benjamin "Buddy" Bomze of Durham, N.C., completed an internship in Israel, this summer, and will remain for the fall semester to study abroad.
The mechanical engineering major interned in Tel Aviv at IBI Group, an international architecture firm focusing on public transportation infrastructure. He worked on the red-line project, which is IBI's contract to build 10 underground stations for a new light rail system in Tel Aviv.
"The project is in its last stages and my responsibilities were to facilitate communication between the designer and the contractors doing the construction," said Bomze. "I learned about the organizational structure of large-scale projects and visited active construction sites."
Bomze gained experience in green energy and technology in a different geographical and cultural context and hopes that the extensive amount of fieldwork he performed will contribute to his preparation for a career in sustainable technology.
Bomze is spending the fall semester at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies study abroad program on Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava Valley’s 166-kilometer-long desert. The institute promotes peacebuilding through environmental leadership in the Middle East.
The institute's student body is intentionally curated to be one-third Israeli Jews, one-third Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, and Jordanians, and one-third international (non-regional) students.
"The opportunity to grow my knowledge of environmental science and sustainability and to hear in-depth perspectives of many sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will help me to further both my personal and career goals," says Bomze. "I hope to use my academic skills developed at Clarkson to pursue success while learning abroad. Furthering my environmental education will help me to apply the principles of engineering to environmental issues as I hope to do in my career."
The academic courses are centered around political, philosophical, and scientific approaches to the environment. In addition to academic courses, there is alse a weekly dialogue forum in which students discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a non-structured but safe space.
"Buddy pursued these opportunities because he's a passionate, intellectually curious person who wants hands-on experience and real-world exposure to the issues he cares about," says Honors Program Director Professor Kate Krueger. "He is building invaluable skills and engaging with the larger world, and he'll bring that all back to Clarkson when he returns. Internships and study abroad experiences can enhance students' paths to meaningful careers, which is why the Honors Program is thrilled to support Buddy in his pursuits."