Missouri State University
Welcome, James McTavish!

It is with pleasure that we announce our new University Engineer and Associate Director of Planning, Design & Construction, James McTavish. 

James began his journey with our department in 2013, starting as a Project Manager - Professional Engineer. You may have seen him walking the labs of Temple Hall or cutting through the dust from the John Q. Hammons transitway improvements project.  

After earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Atlantic University, James received a Master's of Science  degree in Mechanical  Engineering from  the University of California.

James' experiences range from nuclear engineering to entrepreneurship to senior project management.  It is through these experiences, as well as his experience with the University, that made him a noticeable candidate for this position. 

We look forward to working with him as we continue to serve the University. If you have not had the chance to do so, please help us congratulate him as he learns the ropes of his new position. 


Who is your favorite engineer?  Robert Fulton, the inventor of the first practical steamboat and submarine.

What are you looking forward to the most about this position? I'm excited to become involved in a wide range of projects.

How long have you been at Planning, Design, and Construction?  I have been here for two years.  I started in the summer of 2013.

What has been your favorite project so far?  I think the replacement of the bulkhead at the pool in Hammons Student Center.  When I started on the project I had no idea what a moveable bulkhead in a swimming pool was!

Batman or Superman?  Batman! I am from Detroit, so the guy with the coolest car wins.

Who is your favorite band and why?  Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band because he is the Boss.

Do you like the hardhat, safety glasses, and reflective vest look? I have gone with the hardhat look for 40 years. It has served me well.

What is your favorite part about being a professional engineer?  It has given me the opportunity to learn new things. There is never a dull moment, and I like to be constantly challenged.

Where are you from, and how did you end up in Springfield, working at MSU?  I was born and raised in Detroit, then I lived in Florida, Connecticut, California, Missouri, Illinois, Salt Lake City, Florida, and now I'm back in Missouri. My wife is from Missouri and her dad has gotten older, so we came back for family.

What are the main values that you hope to bring to Planning, Design, and Construction as Associate Director? I hope to encourage a positive and cooperative spirit within the organization. We are one big university environment, and we are all in this together.





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