Chris Mooney is a Civil Engineer with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTRANS). Chris graduated high school early and is a proud Eagle Scout. After deciding on the right academic track for him Chris began his Associate’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology at Vermont Tech. He knew he wanted to be outside and work with people, “Interestingly enough, I wasn’t great at math but I liked the challenge.” He later returned for his four-year degree in Architectural Engineering Technology.
His father was Superintendent of Public Works in his hometown. “So I grew up around Civil Engineering, and I was comfortable with it.” Chris completed his first degree in 2006 but illness derailed his finals season. With the help of dedicated professors and classmates, Chris was able to get back on track to graduate. While working a part-time job at a gas station a chance encounter with a VTRANS employee-led Chris to his first job.
It was a temporary position doing construction inspections, but it was a way for Chris to get his foot in the door. Chris recommends recent graduates looking to stay in Vermont consider VTRANS or other governmental organizations, the benefits including healthcare, vacation time, an actual retirement plan, and improved job security outweigh the lower starting pay.
About this time, Chris after seeing his father go back to earn his four-year degree; while managing and caring for children, decided he wanted to finish school before having little ones. He was able to take advantage of a program his employer offered, letting him work full time and attend school part-time. He weighed his options and decided that due to the lower-cost and central location, Vermont Tech was the right fit for him again. He was able to apply most of the credits from his two-year civil degree to the four-year Architectural Engineering Technology degree.
“Vermont Tech worked with me.” Says Chris. He was able to take two classes a semester for three straight years then switched to working part-time and attending class full time so he could get on the track to graduate quicker.
Scott Sabol was Chris’s Advisor and professor. Chris says, “Class was very structured and demanded a lot, but if you put in the work you learned it.” Chris liked the small faculty to student ratio. Sabol and other professors were very approachable and even led study groups outside of class.
At this time, Chris was a technician but was taking on some higher-level engineering tasks. Such as rebuilding the span on a bridge in Woodford. “I showed aptitude and skill that allowed me to do it, even though it was beyond my station.”
In 2012 Chris was appointed to be the Structure rep for the VTrans Standards Committee and began taking on much larger projects and designing his own. He called the latter “A good test in organization.” He is very proud of his work on the Long Bridge in Newport City, another multi-span bridge in Rutland City, and a Plate arch Project in Plymouth. Chris’s first bridge construction project took place over the Willoughby falls, the home of one of his childhood swimming and fishing hole.
Chris still stays involved with Vermont Tech, proctoring exams, and judging the Bridge Building competition. Chris says he feels compelled to climb in his career. “I’m always chasing challenge.” He is currently putting together a portfolio for his professional engineering exam and hopes to obtain his Master’s degree
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