Meet Matt Christensen, Site Civil Residential Department
Matt Christensen, Civil Engineering Project Manager
Matt Christensen is a key member of the FOCUS Site Civil Residential team. He has been at FOCUS for just over four years, starting out as a CAD designer and working into his current project management role.
When he joined FOCUS, Matt was trying to find something that appealed to his desire for growth and variety. Civil engineering caught his eye. “There is always a new problem that we have to figure out to make the design work,” he said, and the challenge and freshness of that was exactly what he wanted.
“I became passionate about this type of work really quickly,” he said. “I have always liked to understand how things work, and to be able to understand how the infrastructure in cities works has been fascinating to me.” Once he got his sea legs, he said that engineering started changing the way he sees the world around him in ways he enjoys. “I go on walks or drives with my wife and I am always looking at the curb or storm drain and thinking about how things are working, or how I would design them,” he said. That kind of development was what really drew him to his current field.
Drive and Growth
Matt mostly works on single- and multi-family subdivision designs, with some experience in master planned communities that have a mix of both. His beginnings in CAD design allowed him to start with firm footing. “Understanding the power of CAD has made drafting and creating the subdivision design so much easier,” he mentioned, and he emphasized that it makes FOCUS’s designs both more efficient and easier for contractors to understand.
Overall, two things pose a continuous draw for Matt in his work: the engineering challenges that drew his interest in the first place, and working with people. “Working with our clients and building relationships with them is something that I have really enjoyed over the years,” he said. Paired with his first motivation, he expressed that finding design solutions can be very satisfying. “We are always looking and asking for feedback and applying that to our clients,” he explained, citing FOCUS’s high level of communication that keeps clients in the loop.
“We are very passionate about what we can do to make our clients more successful,” he said, and subsequently, “our desire for constant improvement is something that I think sets us apart from the competition.” This continues on a personal level as well. At FOCUS, we emphasize both professional and personal growth, and Matt is a perfect example of that. “As I continued to learn and grow,” he said, “I saw opportunities for me to step up and push myself to learn more about engineering and help my team members to grow as well.”
On the Site
When asked what the most challenging project he’s worked on to date was, he concluded that it was—and still is, for it only just broke ground—The Rise in South Jordan, Utah. The Rise is a townhome project positioned on the side of a hill with 30 feet of fall across the site. The steep slope required precise cuts to the hillside with retaining walls on three sides of the project to create the large flat pads for the townhomes and to ensure the roads running through the development are not too steep. In addition, there was an existing 24-inch sewer line running through the project that added to the complexity of the design.
“It will be very fun to see what it looks like when the construction is done!” he concluded.