Author Archives: Darren Ujano, Civil Engineering

About Darren Ujano, Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering and I am employed by UIC Campus Housing as well as Project SYNCERE. Fun fact: I love eating Oreos

“Tips to Doing Laundry in UIC”

College laundry rooms can be intimidating. So here’s my step-by-step guide on “Tips to Doing Laundry in UIC.”

Tip #1.) “It’s time to do laundry when I run out of boxers/socks”

Assess the amount of laundry you have-- Then determine how many washers you need

Tip #2.) See which laundry rooms have open washers. (There’s peak hours in college for laundry time).

Visit for a live update on UIC Housing's washers and dryers.

 Tip #3.) Clean out the lint!!!!

Seeing lint on your laundry is pretty disgusting.

 Tip #4.) In addition to using detergent, use softer! It makes your clothes less “static” and smell amazing. 

My friend just learned about fabric softener. Now he can touch metal things without getting "static shock"

Tip #5.) Bring your I-Card down!

Swipe and punch the number of your machine. Laundry is free in Campus Housing! =)

And that’s how we do laundry here at UIC! Next week’s article will be about “Top Secret Discounts for UIC Students.”

TOPIC FOR NEXT WEEK: Top Secret Discounts for UIC Students

ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK:  Of course Bulls! I also think the Lakers, Celtics, 76ers, Thunder, Heat, Pacers, and Mavericks.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Your favorite restaurant around UIC?

Living the Dream

“The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” -Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture 

Let me tell you, college is challenging.  Those brick walls they place, it didn’t occur to me that I would be hurling through obstacles with sleepless nights to get it. Professors drove me hard and will keep pushing me until I fall. But the lesson was not that I can fail, but to get back up and try harder.

Friends from Bolingbrook that stuck with me through college =)

I’m going to paint a picture for you “Top 3 Things: Big Dreams (you might want to think about) right after college”

1. Your first “real world” job
Find a job that you love and makes good money. Get an internship for that job before you graduate. One of the most important things in post-graduate world. If you’re interested in graduate school, be sure to research it before you graduate. There are companies out there that offer tuition assistance to employers who pursue graduate school

2. Your first “real place”
My dream is that I want to have my own apartment. Starting from scratch– I can say that I truly earned everything in my home/bachelor’s pad. I would love to visit IKEA and decorate my place just like it.

3. Your first “real car”
Nothing compares to the feeling of getting up for work to a job you love, and seeing your car in the morning. It’s like a symbol of what you have achieved. Go research a car you love and as is also within budget

All in all, it’s going to be a busy weekend. RA/PM Interviews will start and I need to get my suit and interview applicants.

Good luck to all that applied!
-Darren out

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: “How to Properly Do Laundry in College”

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: My future dream in ten years would be to have my own place and job and travel the world.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Who do you think is going to make the playoffs in the NBA?

Top 5 Quotes: I live by from UIC Professors

Breezy afternoon in Chicago!

If you’re ever near by UIC, come checkout the Flames Athletic Events! Checkout the calendar on They give out tons of free stuff: Domino’s Pizza, Lucky’s Wings, Flames Shirts/Scarves, etc.

UIC vs. Loyola on Martin Luther King weekend. Free UIC Snuggies to the first 400 students. Free Lucky's Sandwich wings to the first 100 students.

It was a great weekend because UIC won against Loyola that weekend and I got a free UIC Snuggie.

So here’s my “Top 5 Quotes: I live by from UIC professors” 

1.) “Teaching vs. Discovering” Political Science 101
The first sentence from my first professor at UIC. He goes on to say that UIC is not a teaching school, but enable you to discover.

2.) “Never mistake leadership for popularity” Military Science 202
In ROTC, our military instructor said these famous words. In his 30 years of combat, he saved lives by knowing when to make an unpopular decision.

3.) “Not about where you’re at, but where you’re going” -Psychology 101
My professor was talking about how to walk on railroads. She said, “if you want to get far walking down a rail, then don’t look at where you’re at, but where you’re going.

4.) “There’s two types of people you can’t hire: #1 The guy who thinks he’s God, and #2. The guy who knows nothing” -Civil & Materials Engineering 310
I believe this to be very true. I hold true to this philosophy whenever I’m applying for internships or whenever making a hiring decision.

5.) “Out of the 3 options: Love, Faith, and Hope– Hope is the strongest” Philosophy 101
Hope is where the other two derive from. It can make any person survive months on end without food or survive sub-zero temperatures for days if they have hope.

Stay classy Chicago! See you all next week,

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: “The Big Dream (After College) Everyone Needs”

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What’s your future dream in 10 years?

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: I’m CRAVING Lucky’s Sandwich Co., on South Campus

And so it begins…

Spring semester has arrived!

I call Spring the “senioritis” semester. With the weather in freezing temperatures and snow everywhere, students find a challenging to commute to UIC. However, facilities are doing their best to keep the sidewalks and entrances clean.

Professor Issa speaking to us about concrete and testing.

Here’s my spring schedule (definitions of class are from UIC Catalog),

CME 300: Composition of Concrete 
Design of metal structures, behavior of members and their connections, theoretical, experimental and practical basis for proportioning members.

CME 310: Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures
Analysis and design of reinforced concrete structural elements: beams, slabs, columns, and foundations.

CME 311: Water Resources Engineering
Groundwater hydrogeology and transport; surface water transport and modeling from an engineering perspective.

CME 405: Foundation Analysis and Design
Site characterization; analysis and design of shallow foundations, deep foundations and earth retaining structures; foundations on difficult soils; effects of construction; instrumentation and monitoring.

The professors at UIC have an incredible wealth of knowledge and will lead to my next article, “Top 5 quotes: I live by from UIC Professors

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Which fast food place are you craving, right now!? I’m hungry…

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: In addition to the classes I have above, I am also taking Chemistry 100 for fun.

Just Pictures!

Pictures of my past week!

RA/PM Winter Training and Hypnotism 

Campus Housing Senior and Professional Staff Meeting, preparing for Spring Semester and RA/PM Interview Process

JST Staff outing at Lucky's =)

After winter training for RAs and PMs, they were rewarded with a show by a Hypnotist that seduced staff members.

The hypnotized male staff volunteers raising their child to the song "Circle of Life."

New Years Eve and Day

Lincoln Park Zoo- Evening Lights


The entire Lincoln Park Zoo is light up like a Christmas Tree with so many activities!


Ice sculptures at the zoo.


My first time seeing the giraffe exhibit.


My dog Poochie on New Years Day

My dog also loves to sleep.

 See you all next week!

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: And so it begins…

ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK: My new years resolution is to get an internship. I know it’s lame resolution but I really want one =)

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What classes are you taking?!


We will party like its 2011!– Now I just have to remember writing down the correct year when in class…

Time Capsule Video Update:

The full year journey starts with this camera.

The “time-capsule video” I’ve been talking about will be nicknamed “A New Hope” (for all you Star Wars fans). The video will be half documentary and half mockumentary showcasing the life of a college student with a daily blog starting from New Years Day on January 1, 2012 and end exactly a year later on January 1, 2013. Part one of this film will be released on June 9th, 2012 (6.9.12).

Of course this isn’t MTV quality stuff, but I’ll try to film common themes in college with the help of my friends: “Daily life of a student” “Making or breaking classes” “College relationships” and more. We’ll also add a spin like showing college students hot-spots around Chicago.

Top 3: Chicago Clubs to Checkout for 2012

This list is composed by the “word around campus” on clubs college students like to visit. It’s relatively difficult to describe each club unless you’re really there.

1.) Lasalle Power Company
It’s a multilevel club that has everything; full kitchen, bar, two story dance floors, private party rooms.

2.) V-Live 
Great DJs and plenty of areas to explore.

3.) Sound Bar
The people are lively and the music is bumping.


Next week’s article will be about my dog named Poochie!

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: My dog Poochie

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: The worst holiday food I’ve had was an extremely burnt turkey on Thanksgiving Day. I’m still afraid of turkey to this day.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What is your new years resolution?


Happy Holidays UIC!! 

If anyone is out there, please grant my wish of Chicago Bulls tickets =) that would be the best holiday gift as of right now!

So last week, I was talking about the“Time Capsule Video.” I plan on filming a daily journal starting 12:00am on New Years Day and this project will last the entire year. I will show you and my friends the life of an RA, Engineer, DJ Radio Host, Food Explorer, and many more. So stay tuned in for my blogs and I will give you guys sneak peaks!!!

Top 3: “Shows You Must Watch Over Winter Break” (If you haven’t caught up or seen it yet)

1. Breaking Bad
It’s a drama show about a struggling high school chemistry teacher who was diagnosed with cancer and turns to a life of crime in order to secure his family’s financial future. This show gets more badass in every episode.

2. Walking Dead 
An action packed television drama show about a group of survivors in a “zombie filled world.” It’s all about the human psyche when you’re pushed to the brink of death.

3. How I Met Your Mother
A comedy show about a story of a group of friends in New York City. This show gets compared to Friends a lot, which isn’t a bad thing, because it’s truly that funny.

Another gift my friend, How I Met Your Mother!! In turn, I gave my friend Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

A gift from a fellow RA, "How I Met Your Mother: Season 6"

**This season is the gift of giving TV Series, so feel free to hope along on our bandwagon and give your friends TV Series DVDs as well**

Until Next Time!


ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK: I would give my celebrity crush idol, Emma Watson, Season 3 of Saved by the Bell

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Worst holiday food you’ve had?


College Winter Break


Sleeping so much and no alarm clock– It’s an awesome feeling after finals week! However, there’s still work to do. I’ll be spending the next few weeks applying for summer internships at difference engineering businesses, agencies, and firms. Hopefully I’ll make my 2012 summer a very productive one.

So my first week after finals, I went to check out some new restaurants around Chicago, and my hometown Bolingbrook. I’ve been craving burgers lately which brings me to our article:

Top 3: Must-Have Chicago Burgers

Kuma's Corner: Neurosis Burger

1. Kuma’s Corner
This place is absolutely delicious. I can’t even begin to describe the burgers rich taste, go checkout the menu for yourself! The restaurant and menu is influenced by rock music and heavy metal bands.

2. Rockit Bar & Grill
These burgers melt in your mouth. You can taste the mouthwatering juice and marinade from the burger; and the truffle fries are fantastic.

 3. Epic Burger
If you’re a more on the go person, this is the place to be. Epic Burger has the most pure and natural ingredients starting from it’s burger and includes the milk shakes, ice cream, fries and more.

See you all next week! Best wishes for holiday shopping–

Topic Next Week: “Time Capsule Video”

Question of the Week: If you had one gift to give your idol-crush for the holidays, what would it be?

I can almost taste it!!

One more final left! Freedom is so close,

I have that Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask picture stuck in my head where it says “Dawn of the Final Day: 24 Hours Remain”

My artistic photo of finals week: clothes everywhere, trash not taken out, desk unclean

**On another note, my friends and I are going to do a comedy, romantic, action, all-genres packed “time capsule video.” More details to follow next week.

Anyways I have to get back to studying for my engineering exam.

See you all later!


The week before “the moment of truth” (aka Finals)

Hey UIC!

I am now what I’d like to call “student survivor mode.” In the past 72 hours I have:

  • Averaged 4 hours of sleep each day
  • 12 lab reports
  • 2 term projects
  • 1 oral presentation
  • 3 Finals Monday, 1 on Friday

This past semester I actually broke my record of the most papers I written, 124 pages and still counting. Coffee becomes your BEST FRIEND.

Bright side is that I got an early Christmas gift! We had our JST RA/PM Staff Secret Santa gift giving with a cultural potluck and my Kris Kringle gave me the coolest gift, a Nerf Gun. I owe it to her for choosing the ones with the strong darts I wanted =)

Best College Gift Ever

Best College Gift Ever =D

On the academic side, I presented one of my term projects for Transportation. My answer to Chicago gridlock is a lot like what Bill Ford, grandson of Henry Ford, states “more roads isn’t simply the answer.” I proposed the idea of solar roads to help Chicago. Not only will it help Chicago traffic, but also assist in providing green jobs and local revenue to Chicago communities as well as increase safety in our streets especially during winter

Presentation on Solar Road Technologies

For more information about what where I got the idea, look here:

Unfortunately I don’t have a list this week as I try to finish all these lab reports for tomorrow. But I’ll make it up to you all after finals week.

Good luck to everyone!

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