Maggie attended Villanova University where she received a BS in Civil Engineering. After Villanova, Maggie attended Georgia Institute of Technology and received a MCRP in Planning and a MS in Civil Engineering. Upon completion of her schooling, Maggie spent several years working with transit agencies across the Southeast and has recently returned to New England. VHB is excited to have Maggie join the New England team, continuing to enhance mobility and enrich communities as a Transit and Rail Project Manager.
We talked with Maggie about her experiences, why she chose to focus on rapid transit, and what advice she has for young plan-gineers like herself.
VHB: You’ve worked on a variety of projects for different clients in the Southeast. Do you have a favorite project?
MM: I have worked on a wide range of projects, but there is one that stands out. In 2014, with the passage of a referendum, The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) expanded service into a third county. My work included public involvement, route planning, and service planning for the expansion and needed to be completed in a short timeframe to ensure buses could be rolling within just a few months of the vote. I was excited to see service begin so soon after planning the expansion. Seeing an almost immediate return on my work was personally rewarding, but more impactful was the real time effect this new connectivity and mobility had for those who lived in Clayton County, and who I had worked with during the engagement. While the speed of this project was not typical, it continues to inspire and remind me why we are constantly working to improve community mobility and connect people to opportunities, and how transformative that can be. Because of this, I always try to keep real people in mind during all phases of a project and not lose sight of who we are serving.
VHB: You bring a unique perspective as both a licensed professional engineer and a certified professional planner. How does that affect your work?
MM: I try to bring both perspectives to every project I work on—thinking a step ahead in the planning phase and making sure the qualitative planning work doesn’t get lost when translating it into design. More so than technical work, I find the biggest benefit is that of communication. I can speak the language of engineers and planners and find being able to communicate both concepts to the public and stakeholders can contribute to better consensus-building. When all parties are heard and understood, it contributes to a more open and creative group—and makes projects more fun. Facilitating understanding across different viewpoints is a benefit of multiple perspectives.
VHB: What advice do you have for young plan-gineers?
MM: Try everything! Rarely have I done the same thing twice, and as someone looking to gain experience in planning and engineering, I took on (and still do) every project that came my way—even if it was a different part of planning or engineering I hadn’t done before. Through my career I have been exposed to a wide range of projects in various phases of planning and engineering, giving me a better holistic view of projects and how work completed in each phase affects the other. Continuing to be open to new types of projects has helped me learn to be more creative, and I think for young plan-gineers, expanding creativity is key.
VHB: You recently relocated from the Southeast to New England. What do you miss most about the South and what are you looking forward to in NE?
MM: I am looking forward to being home! I loved growing up in New England and I am excited to be back raising my daughter here, near family. I spent 10 years in Atlanta, I will definitely miss the barbeque, as well as the communities that I became part of. I am proud of the transformation Atlanta has seen over the last 10 years, and the small part I played in it. Living in another region really opened my eyes to different cultures and the diversity of our country, and it has shaped my thinking and approach to projects, and life. Atlanta will always be part of who I am, but I am excited to be in Boston where it feels like home and a new challenge at the same time.