Principal Engineer Kyle Swenson

Spotlight On: Principal Engineer Kyle Swenson

SPOTLIGHT ON:  Principal Engineer Kyle Swenson

In this feature we are highlighting some of our staff to give some insight into their lives beyond the engineering world. Today we spotlight Kyle Swenson.  Kyle is a principal engineer in our Atlanta office; a native of St. Louis, Missouri; and a graduate of Auburn University with both a bachelors and masters.  Kyle is an integral part of the EM Structural team working on a wide variety of projects all around the county.

Where did you go to school?  When did you graduate?

Lindbergh High School, 1997

Auburn University, BS 2001

Auburn University, MS 2003

 How long have you been at Ellinwood + Machado?

6 years this November

 Where did you grow up?

St. Louis, Missouri

Are you married?  Do you have kids?

Yes, 9 years this October.

Two children – Ellinor (3½) and Charlie (3 months)

 Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.

We have two dogs – Trooper and Lena, both Welsh Corgis.  Prior to having kids around the house, they were both show dogs.  Now they just lay around the house and shed like it’s going out of style.

What is your favorite thing in your house?

I spent a good bit of time turning a room in our house into an office after we moved in.  I’m not in there much, but it turned out really nice!

What do you like to do when you have free time?

Most of my free time is spent at home.  If I get a chance to get away by myself, I try to play a little golf.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Probably surviving college.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?

Really enjoyed our trip to California a few years ago.  Neither my wife nor I had been there before, and we enjoyed seeing the sights.  Need to get back there and see wine country though.

 What is your favorite thing about working at Ellinwood + Machado?

Definitely the people.  I feel like we are building a great group.

What are your favorite types of buildings to work on?

Structural steel

What inspires you most?

Solving problems.  Seeing something that doesn’t work, and then making sure that it is resolved for future projects.

What is your favorite book?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

What is your favorite restaurant?

Hard to pick a favorite.  I really like The Capital Grille though.

What is your favorite food?

A good steak

What is your least favorite food?


If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

A great white shark…don’t have to worry about being another animal’s dinner.

Do you play any instruments?

I do not.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

That’s pretty difficult.  I listen to a bit of a variety.  If you forced me to choose, I’d probably go with Trent Reznor.

Who is your favorite artist?

M.C. Escher or Ansel Adams

Favorite television show?

Of all time – Breaking Bad.

Currently – probably Mr. Robot.

What’s your favorite quote?

“You want to pick on somebody?  Pick on me.  I’m a man!  I’m 40!”

  • Mike Gundy, head coach, Oklahoma State football

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

I have no idea, but I’m going to hope it’s not the guy that played Sloth in The Goonies.

Last movie you watched?

The Accountant

Guilty pleasure?

Fantasy football

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My family

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

I know and have met some people along the way that have overcome some amazing things – illness, injury, addiction, family problems, etc.  I honestly haven’t ever had to deal with anything remotely as serious, so I don’t really feel as though I’ve had anything to overcome that is worth talking about.  I’ve been very blessed.

 What is your greatest fear?

Failing as a parent

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

I’d love to caddy for a PGA tour pro.  Already know I can’t play at that level, so caddying would be as close as I can get.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I’m Batman.

(Hey, you didn’t say it had to be true.)

 How do you define success?

Setting a goal that requires a significant effort to achieve, and then achieving that goal.


Be on the lookout for more Spotlights on the EM Structural staff and check out our other staff members here:  EM Structural Staff

meeting street, mixed use architecture

601 Meeting Street Update

Check out this drone video of the construction progress of our 601 Meeting Street project in Charleston, SC.

601 Meeting St. is a Type III timber residential structure over 2 elevated levels of post tensioned concrete slab and a post tensioned concrete structural slab on grade.  The retail spaces were several feet below flood level, so an intricate system of structural slabs and removable waterproofing systems were integrated into the design.

See more on this project here:  601 Meeting St.  

Sandy Springs City Center Update

Check out this update on our Sandy Springs City Center project in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

This project was two type III timber multi-family structures with some areas of post tensioned concrete podium over retail and amenities.   A portion of the south building was located directly over an existing subterranean parking structure so special framing details and expansion joints were provided in the design to allow for the differential settlement of the foundation.

See more on this project here: Sandy Springs City Center

third and grand, cold formed steel

Third and Grand Construction Progress

Concrete floor placement has begun! Check out this link to see a construction camera of our Third and Grand project in Detroit, Michigan:

This project consists of subterranean parking, mild and post tensioned elevated slabs for parking and retail, a post tensioned concrete podium and 5 levels of load bearing light-gauge steel EcoSpan framing in the residential units.

See more on this project here: Third and Grand

Hurricane Irma Update

The Atlanta EM Structural office will be closing at 12:00 noon on Monday September 11th with plans to reopen by Wednesday morning September 13th at the latest.  For any urgent needs please contact the DC office at 703-835-9989 or the Raleigh office at 919-322-5550.

structural system, structural engineering design

NASA MSL Construction Progress

Construction has begun and is progressing well at the NASA Measurement Systems Laboratory (MSL).  EM Structural provided structural engineering design services for this 175,000 square foot federal project in Hampton, Virginia.  Design services included: cast in place concrete flat plate structural system, cast in place shear wall lateral system, driven precast concrete pile foundations, and stringent vibration criteria.  For more information on this project: NASA MSL

structural engineering design structural engineering design structural engineering design structural engineering design

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