What helps make a great department even greater? An engaged and passionate advisory board. Our board members work across all engineering disciplines to meet society’s grand challenges.
Three CCEE alumni — Joey Hopkins, Eddie Wetherill and Ryan White — recently joined the department advisory board in an effort to give back.
Read below to find out more about each new board member.
(BSCE Construction Option 1989)
Chief Operating Officer, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)
As chief operating officer, Hopkins oversees the Division of Highways, Ferry Division, Aviation Division, Rail Division, the Integrated Mobility Division, Division of Planning & Programming, and the Communications Office.
Hopkins has worked at NCDOT for more than 30 years in a variety of roles. As deputy chief engineer, he managed the Division of Planning and Programming, the Transportation Planning Division and the Regional Accountants. He also previously served as division engineer, deputy division engineer, division maintenance engineer and division operations engineer in Division 5.
He was a member of NCDOT’s Transformation Management Team and was instrumental in developing the Strategic Prioritization Process, the forerunner of the Strategic Mobility Formula. This data driven process is used to help prioritize transportation projects in North Carolina. The Strategic Transportation Investments Law passed in 2013 allows NCDOT to use existing funding more efficiently and effectively to enhance North Carolina’s infrastructure, while supporting economic growth, job creation and improved quality of life.
Hopkins is a member of Amelia Christian Church in Clayton and is a member and past president of the Clayton Civitan Club. He lives in Garner with his wife Terry, a retired NCDOT engineer, and their two sons, Kelly and Billy.
Hopkins said he and Terry, who is also an NC State alum, have been longtime supporters of the university. Joining the advisory board seemed like a great opportunity to continue that support while networking with other alumni with a passion for NC State.
“The things I learned about engineering and teamwork and the people I met at CCEE have all provided a great foundation for my career and personal life, and I want others to be able to start their careers on a positive footing like I did,” he said.
Vice President, Wetherill Engineering Inc.
Wetherill has more than 40 years of structural/transportation-related project experience, including five years with the NC Department of Transportation. For the past 39 years, he has been the principal in charge, project manager and/or lead Engineer for roadway design, structure, hydraulic and civil/site design, and construction projects. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Wetherill has managed a variety of civil engineering projects. His expertise includes the analysis and design of concrete and steel bridges, bridge inspection and load ratings, preparation of bridge and roadway plans, highway design, as well as civil/site design and layout.
Wetherill is dedicated to creating cost-efficient solutions to accomplish his clients goals and has been a leader in the infrastructure community through his role in many related professional organizations. He is the acting vice president and principal in charge of Raleigh-based Wetherill Engineering Inc. He was also recently elected to the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina’s board of directors.
Wetherill said he joined the board to give back to the school that has given so much to him.
“NC State provided me with the tools that allowed me to start and run a successful engineering firm.”
Design Services Growth Leader, Southeast Transportation Senior Transportation Engineer, Stantec Consulting
White was raised in New Bern, North Carolina. While at NC State, White was a member of the NC State Army ROTC “Wolfpack” Battalion and was commissioned as an U.S. Army Engineer Officer after graduation. White served two tours in the Middle East during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, leading and supporting construction operations in Kuwait and Iraq. After resigning his commission, White spent 10 years leading highway, freight and passenger rail, and multimodal station projects through the planning and project development phases for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways and Rail Division. White is currently a senior transportation engineer in Stantec’s Raleigh office, where he continues to manage highway and rail projects. He also serves as Stantec’s Design Services Growth Leader for Southeast Transportation. Stakeholder and public engagement continue to be a major component of his work, with a recent focus on environmental justice community engagement. White is also a licensed Professional Engineer.
White is a product of mentoring and believes it takes a village to raise an engineer. As such, he serves as a co-chair for Stantec’s Black Employees Resource Group, participates in intern mentoring programs, and assists in Stantec’s university outreach efforts. Additionally, White is a mentor in the North Carolina Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Professional Mentors Program, served as the Engineering Career Cluster Leader for the Garner Road Community Center’s Teen Achievers Program, and regularly participates in other youth mentoring programs.
White said he wanted to join the board to give back and help others.
“My time at NC State was not easy,” he said. “Initially, I was not the most focused student and because of that I struggled. However, when I started working for NC Department of Transportation in 1997 as an intern, I started connecting with industry professionals, and so many of them poured wisdom, time and emotion into my growth as an engineer. Many of them were committed to ensuring my success. Having people who refuse to let you fail is a game changer. I am a true believer that it takes a village to raise an engineer. I have — and continue to be — supported by a village. It has expanded and evolved, but it is still a village. Being on the board allows me the opportunity to give back what was given to me.”
For White, being a CCEE alum brings one word to mind: legacy.
“I am a part of something so much bigger than myself,” he said. “When you tell people you went to NC State, they are excited. When you tell them you studied engineering at NC State, they are awed.”