Structural Engineering Manager Matt Roblez: A complete professional
You could say that engineering is in Matt Roblez’ blood. “My dad was a structural engineer, and I started working for him as a print boy when I was 13 years old,” he says. So it was only natural that his career took him into the same field.
“Actually, it was either become an engineer or a professional athlete,” Matt says. (More on that later.)
Matt Roblez was born and raised in Holladay, Utah. In 1993, he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. His first job after graduating was with a precast concrete firm, where he stayed for two years. Since then, his career has centered on precast concrete and seismic design.
His work has ranged from large commercial to small residential projects, from precast concrete to full design and project/construction management. A number of the projects he has contributed to have won awards. In 2017, Matt was named the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Utah Section Engineer of the Year.
Matt is a Licensed Structural Engineer in Utah, Illinois, Louisiana, Hawaii and Nevada. His Professional Civil Engineering license includes many other states, including Wyoming, Nevada and California.
In 2002, Matt became an owner and principal of McNeil Engineering. Today, he is Structural Engineering Manager.
Matt and McNeil Engineering have been part of some impressive and significant building projects, including:
- the renovation of the Salt Lake City airport
- design of the new entry plaza to Abravanel Hall at the Salt Lake City Center for the Arts
- reconstruction of the Sugarhouse Monument Plaza in Salt Lake City
- seismic structural analysis and site investigation survey to transform a 75-year-old sign/welding shop into the new Rush Street Restaurant in Los Angeles
- laser scanning to create a 3D model of the Alaska Airlines terminal and baggage area at LAX, Los Angeles’ airport
Personally, Matt has worked on projects such as:
- engineering of the largest insulated concrete form project in Utah, at the Rojas Condominiums, Salt Lake City
- precast concrete structural design for the Salt Lake City public library
- precast concrete structural engineering for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple in Fort Collins, Colorado
- the Kauai Green Energy Project, a $90 million biomass power generating plant in Hawaii
- precast concrete structural engineering for the Linda Pace Foundation Ruby City project in San Antonio, Texas
Matt’s performance on many of McNeil’s projects over the years has earned him a reputation as a no-nonsense, determined and hard-working professional with an aptitude for taking a groundbreaking approach to challenges.
Last year, he was named Region 8 Governor, which encompasses Utah and Southern Idaho, of the ASCE.
The playful side
Matt is far from all work, no play. His interests include collection sports memorabilia, including a number of jerseys, a baseball signed by Pete Rose, an XFL yard marker, a basketball signed by Connie Hawkins and a USFL helmet signed by Doug Flutie. His man-cave also includes trading cards, toys, memorabilia from rock and hip-hop musicians, as well as his father’s 1950 Notre Dame boxing champion jacket. The largest collectible, though, is probably his souped-up Mustang Cobra.
Possibly the most surprising thing about Matt is his not-so-secret identity, the MK Bandit of professional wrestling, and one of the owners of the Destiny Wrestling Organization. As MK, Matt’s role is to be a “heel” — someone the audience can love to hate. “My job as a bad guy is to get everybody to hate me so bad that when the good guy vanquishes me, they love him,” Roblez said. “Because without Lex Luthor, Superman is just a guy that can fly.”
His after-hours work in professional wrestling regularly takes him all over the country, performing before packed, and often screaming audiences.
Matt does it so well that sometimes the organizers have to sneak him in and out, because the audience gets so worked up over his portrayal and actions.
Matt explains that his experience in structural and civil engineering has taught him some valuable lessons he applies in professional wrestling. And at the same time, wrestling has taught him lessons he can apply in his engineering profession.
“You can’t walk up to the client you hate and punch him in the face or the guy at the store that treats you wrong, but [in wrestling] you can hate me. I can be the embodiment of that and you go home feeling like you just won.
“It’s the same management techniques cross over … So even though I may have a work product in one side where I’m punching people in the face and a work product here where I’m handing someone a set of drawings, you’ve got to be professional on each side.”
No matter what part of his life, Matt Roblez is a complete professional. Call him with any questions about a structural or civil engineering project.