Meet Chris Vollmer, the newest member of our Transportation Team!
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself…
Chris: I am a native of Southern Illinois, having been born in Carbondale, and grew up in Da Quoin, IL. I graduated from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2000. I have lived in Southern Illinois all of my life, with the exception of living in the Decatur/Springfield, IL area for ten years. During the summer, I enjoy spending time at Lake of Egypt with my family, attending car shows and cruises with friends. In the fall, I enjoy taking nature walks and admiring the beauty in the changing colors of the season. I also enjoy outdoor grilling, live concerts, and playing pool.
Q: Why did you want to become an Engineer?
Chris: Since a young child, I have always been fascinated with heavy construction and machinery. I had all of the popular toys back then; erector sets, Lincoln logs, Legos, and tinker toys. I’ve always enjoyed using my skills and creativity to take something from an idea to a functional product given the materials at hand. There’s something about making “nothing” into something.
Q: Is there a project you’ve worked on thus far in your career that you’re proudest of?
Chris: I am proud to be a member of the Illinois Statewide Major River Bridge Inspector Crew. From Chicago to Cairo and Quad-Cities to Mt. Carmel, I have spent many years inspecting some of Illinois’ largest bridges to ensure safety for all users. I was also a member of the design team for the Illinois State Toll-Highway, I-355 North-South Expansion, and the new I-74/I-57 Interchange project in Champaign, IL, which is currently under construction.
Q: What piece of advice would you give someone choosing the same career?
Chris: I would advise never to be afraid to ask questions. During engineering school, you will be bombarded with homework, tests, quizzes, and laboratory studies. Such as the case with the engineering field, no two projects are alike! Those problem-solving skills that you will learn from in school, will only continue to grow in your career. Being a better engineer will also help you be a better person, and vice-versa. You will never stop learning.
Q: Why did you decide to join the Klingner team?
Chris: What started out as a question about a previous project while working for another employer, turned into a friendly lunch meeting, which then turned into a possible opportunity to join the Klingner team! I was very impressed with the diversity of projects that Klingner works on, to the extent of their clientele, and most of all, how welcoming they have been since the day I walked in the door. They give you a level of comfort from the moment you meet them; that I have never experienced before within my career.
Q: If you could pick up a skill instantly, what would it be?
Chris: I’d love to learn to play the guitar because I love music, and the creativity and sound of a well made guitar. Although I play the drums, it’s just not the same.
Q: What is your favorite holiday?
Chris: I love Memorial Day. It’s the best time of the year to spend with friends and family; it’s the perfect kick-off to the start of summer!