Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Lacrosse Player Austin Engeler
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // March 27, 2023
Engeler is majoring in Civil Engineering
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s lacrosse player Austin Engeler, a junior who is majoring in Civil Engineering.
Hailing from Davie, Florida, Austin was a Second Team All-Sunshine State Conference midfielder last season thanks to his 16 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers, and five goals while working in a heavily defensive role.
Through seven games this season, he’s posted nine ground balls, five goals and one caused turnover.
Engeler has been named to the SSC Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll following each of his first two seasons with the Panthers, doing so in 2022 with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
With Austin in the midst of the demands of lacrosse season as well as his classes, he took the time out to sit down with us to explain how he makes it all work and how Florida Tech is helping him prepare for a career in the engineering field.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
So, my major right now is civil engineering.
I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do going into college, in high school I had a lot of math and sciences built up. I was at first leaning more towards construction management, but with those extra credits, I decided to go and take on engineering.
■ What was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
I have to go with the location, the location is awesome. It’s like a beach town, which is nice and I’m from Florida, I grew up in Fort Lauderdale. So being somewhat close to home, it’s nice when I need to go home, I could do it but it’s also far enough away to give myself some space and privacy.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
After graduation, I want to see if I can get my FE and P.E. [exams] done as soon as I can. The main goal was to go into the contracting side, but having a civil engineering background right now for project managers is what a lot of recruiters are looking for, just to have that super technical background. So, the main focus is to go more toward the construction side of it.
■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?
I’ve got a couple of projects. During my freshman year, I was doing a lot of surveying, getting to use all kinds of cool equipment and stuff like that. Just taking field measurements that’s pretty real-world stuff.
Right now, I’m actually doing a water distribution system. I’m designing a neighborhood, small development, and I’m just planning all the water routing, how the water is getting to the houses, how the wastewater is leaving the houses, all the piping, the plumbing, all the pumps to push the water wherever it needs to go. I’ve also just started another project recently, designing steel columns for large structures.
■ Lacrosse season usually spans nearly three months with plenty of road trips and practices in between, how do you keep everything balanced once the season starts?
Yeah, well, there’s not much sleep involved in that process. In the fall, it’s a little bit easier since lacrosse is a spring sport. In the fall, it’s about five practices a week versus the spring is six and you definitely feel the difference immediately.
There’s not a lot of time off. It’s a lot of discipline, and time management, for sure. You’ve got to be able to get sleep or else you cannot function throughout the day.
You’ve got to make sure you can stay awake in your classes because if you don’t stay awake, then you’re playing catch up trying to you know, figure out what’s going on every single day.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the field that you apply to your studies?
Being a college athlete has 100% helped me towards what I want to do because just getting up at 6:00 and 5:30 A.M. every single day for practice is definitely the real world for the construction industry, you work rough hours in that industry.
Playing a contact sport that’s as physical as lacrosse is definitely helps you to toughen up and be ready for the real world. Another major one is definitely discipline.
Our coach has super high standards and you can’t fall below that line or he’ll let you know. Every day is on time to practice, there are no exceptions for being late. On and off the field, academics are held very high. You’ve got to meet all the standards to play on the team here.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Civil Engineering?
I would definitely tell that athlete to talk to current civil engineering majors that are playing sports because it’s one thing to say you want to be an engineer, but it’s another thing to actually go through all the classes and do it.
Coming in, I did not think it would be this difficult, but it is extremely demanding and extremely difficult.
So, having talked to current students and stuff like that might help you mentally prepare and know what you’re getting into a little bit more. It’ll have you ready for when it all hits you at once because there’s a lot coming at you.
■ What have you enjoyed the most about your time with the lacrosse program?
Definitely, the group of guys that’s here, this program is definitely special. I’ve been on tons of teams growing up my entire life and the brotherhood here is like no other to be honest, it sounds corny, but it really isn’t because we’re all going through such hard classes.
You’ve got brutal practice schedules but when you’re enduring all of that at once together, it really brings you together to form a super, super tight bond.
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