Our Success Stories: Matthew Vechione
Anahy Diaz | November 24, 2020
Matthew Vechione, a doctoral Civil Engineering Alumnus, can be described as diligent, dedicated, and driven. Vechione credits his success to the College of Engineering's various opportunities, which have led him to become an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler).
“UTEP and the College of Engineering gave me every opportunity to succeed. Without support from the College, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my dream of becoming a faculty member,” Vechione said. “It’s truly a dream come true and could not have been accomplished without my experiences at UTEP.”
Vechione earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering at UT Tyler. He later came to El Paso where he decided to pursue a Master’s Degree at UTEP. While pursuing his graduate degree, he also worked at a local civil engineering firm. Realizing that his ultimate goal was to become a professor in engineering, Vechione decided UTEP was the institution that would put him on the path to achieve this goal.
Interested in research, he began working alongside Kelvin Cheu, Ph.D., Professor of Civil Engineering, on funded projects. One project focused on developing a smartphone navigation application to assist seniors’ mobility needs. Another project, funded by the Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency (CAOE), focused on predicting passenger arrivals at airports. His predictions helped the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to optimize its limited resources without compromising security.
“Edge Experiences outside the classroom were beneficial to me as a student, but even more so now that I’m a faculty member,” Vechione said. “Because of my research experiences, I can now continue on that trajectory as a faculty member with new students of my own.”
This includes establishing an Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter at UT Tyler. Vechione served as president of the organization at UTEP for two years. His involvement at UTEP also led him to spend time in Guadalajara, Mexico as part of the Mexico Bidirectional Study Abroad Program on Smart Cities.
Although he admits juggling coursework, research, and service as ITE’s president was not easy, he was able to succeed nonetheless thanks to the guidance and mentorship Cheu provided him.
“Dr. Cheu helped me understand how to be a better leader, especially with students,” Vechione said. “It has also helped me try to integrate my research into the classroom now that I’m a faculty member.”
Vechione’s most rewarding experience during his time at UTEP was receiving the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship during his last year as a graduate student. The fellowship gave him the opportunity to attend and present his research at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
He looks forward to continuing to integrate the skills UTEP taught him and passing that experience on to his future students.
“UTEP equipped me for success in and out of the classroom,” Vechione said. “The UTEP College of Engineering has excellent professors that motivated me to strive to be excellent every day.”
To learn more about the College of Engineering’s success stories, visit http://engineering.utep.edu/oursuccessstories/.