Martin “Tim” MacVittie, 38, knew he wanted to be an engineer from a young age, thanks to his mom who worked as a mechanical engineer. MacVittie said she would bring him into her office on the weekend to test and troubleshoot equipment and being able to watch that process sparked an interest in him. MacVittie holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University. After college, he started designing pump stations for Brown and Caldwell. “Once I started focusing on the pump and diving into the nuances of how to ensure pumping equipment longevity and implement Hydraulic Institute (HI) standards, I was hooked,” MacVittie said. “Ever since then, I have specialized in designing water and wastewater pump stations for municipal clients.”
When asked what he likes best about working in the industry, MacVittie spoke about how essential the industry is and how we often overlook the ability to use water within our households or businesses until there is a problem. “I enjoy being in the background helping to ensure these services remain active for the communities I work in,” MacVittie said. He also likes solving the challenges that he encounters on the job, such as rehabilitating pump stations where there are space constraints and finding solutions that work for that particular station.
As for advice he has for newcomers, MacVittie encourages people to be bold and not to limit themselves. “There are a ton of opportunities in this industry, so don’t shy away, jump into the details, ask questions and hit the ground running,” MacVittie said.
MacVittie is still using this framework to further his training and knowledge. He dedicates personal time to go to seminars, review standards and more. Another way MacVittie finds training is by collaborating with others in the industry to get insight from their backgrounds and knowledge.
Outside of work, MacVittie spends time with his four children, and he continues to put his problem solving skills to use—but on cars instead of pump stations. “I just finished building an engine in my garage and I am currently restoring a 1975 Corvette.”
Why did you decide to focus on this industry and area of expertise?
Job security. Of all the industries in the world, the water and wastewater industry will always be needed and pump stations are critical for moving water or wastewater from one point to another.