Alumni Spotlight: Ken Maschke

In 2013,  Ken Maschke (BSE ’02, MSE ’03) was named one of the Top 20 engineers under 40 in the Engineering News-Record Midwest.

“It’s entirely up to each individual to set their career goals and take steps to achieve them,” Maschke said.

Maschke works in the Chicago office of structural consultant Thornton Tomasetti Inc., in the building performance practice area. He is currently the project manager for the renovation of a 1920s University of Chicago seminary building. “This complicated project is a real test of my technical knowledge and developing management skills. This challenge is what keeps it interesting day to day.”

One of the best experiences Maschke has had with Thornton Tomasetti was participating in an exchange program with a Danish firm. He says his time in Denmark opened his eyes to the diversity of the construction industry worldwide.

Maschke’s involvement with the CEE concrete canoe team prepared him for his career. He says of his first competition, “I second guessed all the engineering decisions: Was the hull thick enough? Did we cut away too much of the freeboard when stripping the forms? There would be real consequences to these choices. For that reason, I credit the canoe competition for being the best preparation for an engineering career.”

He adds that the courses he took from Professors Wright and Hryciw prepared him for his work in concrete and foundation design and that he still looks back on his notes from those classes.

As a student, Maschke was actively involved with ASCE and continues to serve on numerous ASCE comittees. “I wouldn’t be the engineer I am today without the benefit of my ASCE and project team experiences.”

In his free time, he enjoys walking through his Chicago neighborhood with his wife, daughter and dog.


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