Congressman David McKinley, R-W.Va., visited West Virginia University’s Introduction to Civil Engineering class recently, to speak about the abundance of opportunities students will find after graduation as engineers.

“We are developing a whole new economy for this country right here in West Virginia,” McKinley said. “There’s a whole network of opportunities for engineers that we didn’t have before.”

McKinley, a Wheeling native, graduated from Purdue University with a degree in civil engineering. Before taking office, McKinley established McKinley and Associates, an architectural and engineering company that has grown to include offices in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

As one of only two engineers in the United States Congress, McKinley said he attributes his success to the skillset he holds as an engineer.

“The thought process as an engineer is different,” he said. “It’s not emotionally driven, it’s all science-based and I’ve been able to use that to challenge people and ideologies.”

McKinley called on students to use their technical literacy and methodical problem solving skills as engineering students to think about the big picture.

“You reach a point in your life when it’s not all about you anymore,” McKinley said. “You look at what you can do for your family, America and our future.

“As a civil engineer you can start a business, run for Congress, raise a family with a good income. I hope students take away that they have limitless opportunities in this profession.”

David Martinelli, a WVU civil engineering professor, invites McKinley to speak to his classes each year to motivate students to start thinking about their career paths.

“Congressman McKinley challenges our students to solve the issues of the day,” Martinelli said. “Engineers have what it takes to solve these problems and they shouldn’t sit on the sidelines.

“Our students really appreciate that Congressman McKinley takes the time to come speak to them. It makes our students light up and think about their role in the world as future engineers.”



CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter