Top Level Engineering is pleased to welcome our newest employee, Abdelfatteh Abdelkariem, who joins our firm as an Engineer in Training or “E.I.T.” 

Known as “Abdel,” Abdelkariem began his tenure with our firm on June 7, after graduating with honors with a degree in Civil Engineering and an emphasis on structural, from Virginia Tech. Abdel will be spending the next four years training to become a professional engineer, and is currently learning the ins and outs of the structural engineering business by helping out on a wide variety of TLE projects.

Abdel has enjoyed the constant challenge of being exposed to new projects at TLE, and also enjoys designing and solving complex problems step-by-step, while ensuring each building’s constructability.  He is currently completing the CAD drawings for several TLE projects. Thus far, one of his favorite projects is the addition to a school in Loudoun County in which he is adding a second floor and modifying its roofline; he finds the entire process thrilling!

Early years

Although he was born in the United Kingdom, Abdel’s family is from Sudan. He moved to the country when he was very young, and it was there that he was exposed to the engineering profession, as his father worked as an engineer there. He lived in Sudan until 2015, until his nuclear family decided to move to Fairfaix, Virginia in the United States.

Once settled in the U.S., Abdel worked diligently to learn English by taking immersive ESL classes.  After he had a good grasp of the language, he began taking classes at Northern Virginia Community College, then transferred to Virginia Tech two years ago to finish his engineering degree. Abdel currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with his parents,  two college-age brothers and high school-age sister.

Family influences

Abdel chose to become an engineer after closely observing the work his father did as a civil engineer in Sudan. As a youth, he remembers seeing a plot of land upon which his father’s company planned to construct a building – and six months later a three-level building stood in that space. This was truly inspiring to Abdel, and he yearned to be a part of a profession that could build something where – at one time – nothing stood.

Studying for the P.E. exam

While working full-time at TLE, Abdel is also studying to pass his Professional Engineer (or P.E.) exam. He recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) exam while studying at Virginia Tech, and plans to take the P.E. exam, then the Structural Engineering exam after four years of working and studying.

Having fun

When he is not working, Abdel enjoys hiking with his brother in and around Northern Virginia and playing billiards. He is currently training to play in tournaments sponsored by the American Billiard Association. When he was living in Sudan, he was also a passionate sailor, and would often sail in regattas down the Nile River. Once COVID restrictions are lifted, he hopes to safely visit his extended family in Sudan once again, and looks forward to taking his uncle’s sailboat out for a ride.

Goals for the future Abdel truly appreciates the guidance he is receiving at Top Level Engineering. Every day is a new challenge, and there is a great variety of work to do. As for near-term goals, he looks forward to learning as much as he can and obtaining the skills he needs to become a professional and pass his upcoming engineering exams. In the future, he hopes to go into management and train others to become successful engineers – and a growing start-up like TLE is providing the perfect training ground to achieve these important goals!