Once again, it’s time to reflect on one of our outstanding BIG RED DOG team members who make our organization strong, creative, and supremely capable.
This time, we are focusing on Matthew Stewart, Vice President of BIG RED DOG Houston. Matthew received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from The Ohio State University (emphasis on “The.”) His professional experience encompasses site analysis, planning, and technical design for a variety of product types across Texas. These projects have included master planned communities, multi-family apartment and condominium developments, regional hospital facilities, office parks, retail shopping centers, and industrial distribution centers. His technical expertise is in the preparation of drainage and floodplain analysis studies and the design of drainage structures; including detention ponds, wet ponds, and retention-irrigation systems. Additionally, he excels at the City permitting process and maintains excellent relationships with City staff, allowing potential project-related issues to be identified and resolved quickly.
But more importantly, here are some interesting things to know about Matthew.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. Then, I moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University, and upon graduation I moved to Texas.
Tell me something really interesting about you.
I have heard the statement, “you’re not a typical engineer” throughout my career. It’s because I’m cut from the same cloth in terms of being an engineer, but as unique people, engineers don’t all look or act the same. My tastes – whether it’s music, motorcycles, vacation destinations, or the places I shop and eat – may be different. I think this is a good thing for the engineering community. Everyone should embrace their own individuality without getting pigeon-holed based on a profession.
Who has been your biggest mentor?
Hands down my father. He has molded me into the man I am today. His commitment to working hard, taking initiative, and getting the job done right the first time has stuck with me my entire life.
What was your first job?
I always tried to make a dollar (sometimes less than a dollar) mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, but my first “payroll” job was slinging pizza pies at a local Italian joint at the age of 13. My old best friend had a lot of fun working there. So much fun that he got fired for sliding across the counter on a pie pan while customers were dining.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Balancing personal and professional life.
What is your ideal vacation?
My mother’s side of the family is from Sicily, Italy, so naturally I would love to spend some time there. However, Vietnam has always been in the top two places as well. Either way, my ideal vacation would be to eat and drink my way through a city while checking out the local art/museums.
What do you listen to on the way to work?
Depends. If I’m on the motorcycle, I don’t listen to anything except my engine and the traffic around me. If I’m in the car, it’s definitely Howard Stern.
What is your favorite news source?
If it’s print, it’s the Wall Street Journal. If it’s TV, I prefer KVUE. I also turn to GQ for detailed news pieces.
What’s your favorite sports team?
The Ohio State Buckeyes. Born. Raised. Alumni.
Let’s say you had to have one song stuck in your head all day long, which one would you choose?
Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy.” I know every word to every verse, and it never gets old.
What was your first car?
1986 Mazda pickup truck. It was a great little truck despite the fact of not having basic amenities like power steering or AC. Unfortunately, its life ended early when I totaled it after school one day. Rest in peace, Mazda.
Have you always wanted to be an engineer?
No. I changed my degree several times throughout college. I started off thinking about being an architect or scientist/research specialist, but I thoroughly enjoy math and science (nerdy, I know), so I tried to find the degree that included both of them (even nerdier, I know). This and my 7 years’ experience, starting in high school then throughout college, working landscape/construction jobs brought out the civil engineering side.