Matthew Bean describes his reasoning for attending Northern as two-fold, with the first part being a good academic program in civil engineering, and the second part being an opportunity to continue playing the sport he loved, football. Bean graduated from MSU-Northern last spring with his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology and a minor in Drafting Technology. This is Matthew Bean’s success story.
Once he arrived, Bean realized Northern was the just the right place for him. He soon noticed the quality of care the professors took ensuring students’ success. He witnessed his professors using their own free time and energy giving one-on-one assistance. Bean also mentioned that his technical writing class thoroughly prepared him for a side of his job he wasn’t really expecting- writing professional documents, formal business letters, and manuals. He also couldn’t say enough about all the labs he took and how overseeing the work he would actually do in the future helped him understand the “whys” behind how roads were built.
Besides the academic side of his experience at Northern, Bean also enjoyed the many campus activities. He was afforded the opportunity to drive the “Goose” car for a year’s worth of activities, and he also spent many evenings enjoying Chi Alpha events like Welcome Week’s “Wet Willy,” monthly “Waffle Wednesdays,” and semester barn dances.
During the summer prior to his senior year at Northern, Bean took an internship in Mt. Rainier National Park where he practiced the skills he had been perfecting at college. The internship was a springboard to his next engineering positions. Bean is currently employed by Western Federal Lands, a branch of the Federal Highway Administration. He can be assigned to road projects on any federal lands and has already assisted on jobs in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Mt. Rainier National Park, and Sawtooth National Recreation Area. He is currently considered an assistant project engineer, which means he is the right hand man to his field boss. When asked about any interesting stories from day-to-day work as a civil engineer, Bean stated, “I really like rock fall mitigation work. There are stretches of roads that have consistent rock fall, and in order to keep rocks off the roads, we have to eliminate them. Essentially, during rock fall mitigation, I get to scale cliffs, like rock climbing, and throw huge rocks off the edges in a semi-controlled environment.”
Bean and his wife Emily are looking forward to the future as they hope to start a family and pursue Bean’s career until he is running his own projects as a project engineer in U.S. national parks. This year is only in the beginning of Bean’s career as a civil engineer, but he is off to a great start, and the story of this successful U.S. Federal Lands civil engineer all began with Northern’s caring faculty, fun campus, and relevant education.