An interview with Michelle Houghtaling, P.E., LEED AP
Principal/Owner of MH Professional Engineering, PLLC
Q: How did you get your start as an engineer?
A: I was studying Aerospace Engineering at Boston University and was hired as a summer intern with the New York State Office of General Services, Design and Construction Bureau. When I graduated college, the defense industry was in a slump. I was hired back by OGS as a junior engineer, and more than 20 years later I am running my own business. It is one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. I take a tremendous amount of pride in everything we do.
Q: What made you decide to form your own Woman-Owned design engineering and consulting firm?
A: With state and federal mandates for WBE participation increasing dramatically, it only made sense. Even today, Women-Owned engineering firms are fairly rare. I looked at becoming a WBE firm more from the perspective of helping our existing clients meet their contractual mandates rather than as a marketing tool. Today, we are certified as a WBE firm in both New York and New Jersey.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job as the principal of MH Professional Engineering?
A: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing a happy client. It is very satisfying to know that we have exceeded the expectations of our clients. When clients are happy, you know it. We recently had a client send a gift to the office completely out of the blue just because he was so happy with the quality of the product delivered. So many other times, clients call us and tell us that we can count on them should we need to use them as a reference.
Q: What do you think sets your firm apart from other engineering design firms?
A: Our firm is well-known for providing innovative expertise at a very personal level. Built client-by-client, it's a reputation you can count on.
Beyond our experience and expertise, I am committed to understanding your unique needs; creating innovative and unique solutions customized to your needs; developing cost-effective plans to maximize your resources; working closely with our clients throughout every stage of the project; and delivering results that far exceed your expectations.
These may seem like words on a page to some, but to those who have worked with us, it is very evident that this is the creed by which I operate my firm on a daily basis.
Q: Where do you see MH Professional Engineering in 10 years?
A: In 10 years, I see MH Professional Engineering as a thriving design and building commissioning firm. I am so proud of all the wonderful successes we have enjoyed so far, and I am full of nothing but positivity and promise as I look toward our future.