Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Jones

matthew jones

Matthew Jones is a graduate of NC State with two degrees from the Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) department. He first graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and again in 2008 with a Ph.D, focusing his study on the thermal impacts of stormwater control measures. He recently received the BAE department’s first Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year Award because of his continual contributions to the field of BAE.

What Matthew Is Doing Now

Matthew is a senior associate at the engineering consulting firm Hazen and Sawyer, who is focused on providing safe drinking water and controlling water pollution. There, he currently leads the stormwater practice group. Specific to stormwater, Matthew and his team work with an array of municipalities to address the varied stormwater management challenges that they face, including CSO reduction; flood reduction and drainage improvement; climate change mitigation; and water quality improvement. He explains, “Much of my personal efforts involve working with municipalities to utilize green infrastructure to integrate natural systems into the urban environment and better manage stormwater runoff in places like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC.”

Matthew uses his position to help publicize the firm’s work and bring knowledge to others by regularly presenting on their stormwater efforts at local, regional and national conferences. Matthew says, “Many of these efforts involve sharing the latest tools and lessons learned from a wide range of stormwater engineering efforts to improve the knowledge base and best practices within our industry.”

Additionally, Matthew now serves as the chair of the BAE Department Advisory Board, in order to lend his industry perspective and provide feedback on its course objectives and activities and on the department in general. At the national level, Matthew serves on the Stormwater Committee of the Water Environment Federation, as well as on the Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure Committee for the American Society of Civil Engineering.

From Point A to Point B

As a young adult, Matthew had interests in biology, problem solving and building things, leading him to the BAE department at NC State. “My time in undergrad really honed my interests in environmental engineering and specifically stormwater management,” says Matthew, who received his B.S. in BAE in 2005.

Because of his desire to pursue a career within the industry and value of his experiences at NCSU, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in BAE in 2008. Matthew says, “My time in graduate school with Dr. Bill Hunt helped to further focus my interests and build my engineering skills. Not only were these experiences helpful in building a technical skillset, but also assisting with various trainings and extension outreach activities prepared me to effectively engage with the diverse array of stakeholders I interact with in my career.”

When thinking about his experiences in the NC State BAE department, Matthew feels great value existed in the faculty’s holistic approach to learning and fostering problem solving skills: “The engineering problems that we face as a society are increasingly complex and require a mix of innovative thinking and practicality, which is encouraged through the hands-on approach to engineering in the department.”

He thinks “students graduating from the BAE department are in a unique position to leverage an understanding of conventional engineering practices and principles with the inherent variability and potential multiple benefits of natural systems to provide long-term sustainable solutions to the engineering challenges that we face.”

It’s certainly no surprise why Matthew was awarded the recognition of Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year, and as always, we look forward to what our graduates are capable of accomplishing after completing programs at NC State.

Check back each month for more information on the BAE department and programs, faculty and student spotlights, and insights into the BAE field.