Welcome to our series, Getting to Know the Team! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a structural engineer or simply wanted to learn more about the people behind Engineering Solutions, this series is for you. We’ll feature a new team member every month, so be sure to check back regularly and enjoy our next installment below! This time, we’re talking to Matt Chan, who started working with us in June after graduating from Virginia Tech.
Name – Matt Chan
Location – Charlottesville
Title – Structural Engineer
Year you began working for ES – 2019
When did you know you wanted to be a structural engineer?
I’ve always really liked both art and math so it seemed kind of inevitable that I would end up in engineering. I was actually at an info session for Civil Engineering my freshman year at Virginia Tech when I was introduced to Structural Engineering and realized that this is something I both enjoy and understand.
What is your typical day at work?
I work on most of our smaller projects since I am the newest on the team. These projects have ranged from residential construction to repair or renovation of a variety of different structures.
What is the best part about your job?
The best part of this job is enjoying the people I work with and feeling as though I can improve the lives of those around me through my work. I like feeling like my work can create a positive impact on society, whether it is small or large.
What are some of the challenges in your job?
The biggest challenges I have faced so far have been learning the industry standards within the world of Structural Engineering and applying them to my work so I can be the best engineer that I can be.
Tell us about one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on so far.
My favorite project that I’ve worked on so far has been a temporary shoring design I did for a damaged roof. This was not the most glamorous project but I liked it for two reasons:
1) We got to explore an abandoned school as part of the site visit and 2) this was the first project that I got to see the completed result of my design.
What is your favorite Core Value and how do you live it out?
My favorite core value is “Community.” Like I mentioned, the ability to help people and improve my community is really important to me.
If you had to give one piece of advice for working with a structural engineer, what would it be?
My advice: Structural drawings are always helpful, but a site visit is invaluable. Very often buildings have inaccurate drawings and we will always be able to do a better job if we are given the opportunity to do a site visit to see and measure the true existing conditions.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My favorite activities outside of work consist of skateboarding, hiking, hanging with friends, and going to concerts.
Tell us about your family.
I grew up in the greater Boston area with my parents, two brothers, and a dog. My father was born in China and my mother’s family came from Poland. I enjoy visiting them in Boston whenever I get the chance.
Fun fact about yourself?
Ever since I was 8 years old, I haven’t been allergic to mosquito bites.
What is your favorite restaurant?
My new favorite restaurant is Sultan Kebab here in Cville. If you like Greek/ Mediterranean food, I highly recommend it.