College of Engineering graduates twin brothers ready to succeed as civil engineers
When twin brothers Matthew and Kevin Hughes were deciding which university to attend after high school, they both knew one thing: they were better together. “It was natural for both of us to end up going into the same degree program; we’re not only twin brothers, but also best friends,” Matthew explained. “One of the big benefits of going to school together was keeping each other motivated and moving forward.”
It turns out that they had the right idea. Four years later, at the university’s commencement ceremony on Dec. 6, 2014, the twins’ names were called in succession and they crossed the stage as graduates of Wayne State University. Both admit that is was a long road to graduation, but they know it was worth it.
It was initially Matthew’s interest in architecture and Kevin’s need for a degree with widespread applicability that led them to the field of engineering. However, Matthew and Kevin credit not only each other for their success, but also their family and Wayne State’s supportive faculty members. Their older sister previously graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in education from Wayne State, and it was her influence — along with the opportunity for an affordable and quality education at Wayne State — that made their decision easy. While at WSU, the twins took many classes together, studying subjects such as structural and transportation engineering with professors Christopher Eamon and Timothy Gates, both faculty members in the civil and environmental engineering program. Of the faculty, Kevin states, “These professors were very enthusiastic about the content, and they really showed us that the material is both practical and important. Overall, I believe they worked hard to prepare us to be engineers.”
In addition to their work in the classroom, both students took advantage of the wealth of co-op and internship opportunities available through WSU. In the summer and fall of 2013, they did a co-op assignment with Soil & Materials Engineers Inc.; in 2014, Matthew worked with the City of Troy Public Works Street Division and Kevin worked with Parsons Transportation Group, using Microstation to draft several engineering projects. Kevin explains, “We realized immediately the importance of internships/co-ops and how valuable work experience is for starting our careers. Now we have both graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering and one year of work experience in our field of study.”
While it may seem like the twins were always tied to a book, they each found time to take advantage of the amenities provided by studying in Detroit. Matt checked out the local music scene, and both twins were able to explore their love of skiing at nearby venues. Matthew believes that at the end of the day, “We love Wayne State because it gave us an opportunity to learn in a diverse, challenging, urban environment; it was more than attending classes — it was a lifestyle that helped mold us into educated and responsible adults.”