Because I didn’t have to worry about getting a part-time job to help fund my education, I was able to participate in internships exclusively for the real-world experience I would gain.
UMD degree: B.S. ’11, civil engineering
Occupation: Program manager with Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services Global Data Integrity Team
A native of Clarksburg, Maryland, Melanie Turlington has always been passionate about the environment and protecting the world’s resources. A member of her high school’s environmental science organization, she began to view civil engineering as a way to work with the ecosystem while also pursuing a more technically rigorous degree program.
While applying to schools, some out of state, Turlington realized that college was going to be far more expensive than she or her family had expected. But, when she found out that she had been awarded a host of scholarships to attend the University of Maryland—including an A. James Clark Scholarship—she discovered that she had found a way to make her goal of a great engineering education a reality.
“My A. James Clark Scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies and participate in extracurricular activities: to have that real college experience,” says Turlington. “Because I didn’t have to worry about getting a part-time job to help fund my education, I was able to participate in internships exclusively for the real-world experience I would gain.”
While enrolled at UMD, Turlington interned at the U.S. Department of Energy, both as an Energy Information Administration Intern presenting shale gas research to federal agencies and the American Gas Association, as well as a Student Ambassador to increase the visibility of federal energy jobs and make presentations to campus leaders, faculty, and students at UMD.
After graduating from UMD debt-free and receiving her master’s degree in technology and policy with a focus on engineering systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Turlington has embarked on a career path that combines her technical background in civil engineering with her passion for improving people's lives through technology.
She spent nearly four years at Arcadis, a leading design and consultancy firm in San Francisco that is devoted to sustainable outcomes. Recently, she started a new role as a Program Manager with Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services Global Data Integrity Team. In this exciting position, Turlington draws from her Clark School education to work on projects with multiple internal teams to ensure that real estate data and drawings are accurate and consistent across Google’s real estate portfolio.
Outside of work, Turlington is a board member of Urban Services YMCA, the social services arm of the YMCA in San Francisco, and a volunteer with the non-profit Water For People. She has also been selected for Engineering News-Record California 2017 Top Young Professionals. She remains a strong advocate for the Clark School, advising young students on the West Coast who are interested in engineering to consider UMD as the place to launch their own impactful careers.