Michael Jones is an engineer with the Salt Lake City Transportation team. He has four years of industry experience and has worked at Parametrix for nearly two years. He recently earned his Professional Engineer (PE) license. We asked him about his career, favorite project, and advice for others pursuing their PE license.
Tell us about your professional background.
I graduated with my Master’s with an emphasis in Hydraulics from Utah State University in 2019. I had an internship that switched to full-time status at another consulting firm where I did roadway engineering for several large freeway projects. In November 2020 I moved to Parametrix to help create vibrant, sustainable communities through engineering.
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I come from a family of blue-collar workers so the only professions I knew about were Teacher, Doctor, Engineer. I’d rather not talk in front of other people, and blood makes me queasy, so the only other option was engineer. Simple jokes aside, in high school I excelled in math and enjoyed drafting classes, both traditional (on-the-board) and computer aided. In college I took an Intro to Engineering class and loved the problem solving. I really fell in love with water and the equations we use to describe its flow.
What is your next career goal now that you’ve earned your PE license? What is your ultimate career goal?
I just want to get better at my job, learn, and grow. Ultimately, I would like to be recognized my expertise in water engineering (municipal, conveyance, watersheds) but that will be a result of good work rather than a goal with a concrete benchmark. My only real goals best described by a song by a band called Dredg:
All you need is a modest house in a modest neighborhood
In a modest town where honest people dwell
Making the cleanest energy for the greenest plants to grow
Richest soil that is drenched with the freshest rain
Then you should sit in your backyard
Watch clouds peak over the tallest mountain tops
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?
My favorite project has been the Brigham City Forest Street Bridge. It’s been very dynamic with designing several high-level concepts, collaborating with city council for preferred options, preparing visualization models in InfraWorks, and designing drainage for the preferred concept moving forward. The bridge itself will help move traffic over an at-grade railroad crossing that backs up traffic in a growing community.
What advice do you have for others pursuing their PE license?
Take practice exams on weekends to see what you know/don’t know, refresh on the concepts you need to, and watch YouTube videos while cooking/eating dinner.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’m really glad I made the switch to Parametrix and want to thank everyone who has supported me in this pursuit. Especially for the DoorDash gift card so I could focus on test prep.