May 25, 2022

We want to highlight the unique relationships we share in our global community of seasoned professionals. The strength of Epstein lies in the wealth of experience shared with each other to better equip our workforce with knowledge and confidence. From building great professional relationships to long lasting friendships, these stories speak for themselves. This month the spotlight is on Mo Neishapouri and Mateo Downey from our Chicago Civil Department.


Mo Neishapouri


Mo Neishapouri joined Epstein as a Transportation/Aviation Project Manager in 2021. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in civil engineering from University of Tabriz in Iran in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Prior to come to USA, to pursue his PhD in transportation engineering, he worked eight years as geotechnical and tunnel engineer and participated in four urban subway tunnels design-and-build.

Mo immigrated to United States in 2010 to work on his PhD. He received his PhD from Illinois Institute of Technology in the transportation engineering field. His research was focused on innovative snow removal machine and optimization of dynamic snow removal plan in urban system. His research was published in three well-known civil engineering journals. As a side note- Mo is an editor for ASCE journal since 2014.

Since 2013, when Mo began his professional career in the US, he has worked as a senior project engineer and later on as a project manager for different consultants prior joining to Epstein.

Mo is licensed professional engineer in the states of Illinois, Texas and Tennessee.


Mateo Downey


Mateo Downey is a Design Engineer for the Civil Department. He graduated in 2021 at California State University of Fullerton with a degree in Civil Engineering. He interned at the City of Santa Ana Public Works department in the transportation department while in college. Shortly after graduating he made the move to Chicago and started working at Epstein for his first job outside of college in August of 2021. He received the EIT certificate in December and is currently studying for the PE exam. Mateo is currently working on his first new project from scratch (Gougar Road for the Will County Department of Transportation) and is really excited for all the challenges that he is going to face.


Could you share a memorable project you worked on together?

MO: The first project Mateo started working on was an IDOT bridge replacement and road widening project. This project had been assigned to Epstein since 2019 and a lot of people who are not with Epstein any longer have worked on this project. There is a corridor developed with Bentley Geopak software for this project and that corridor has been progressed, updated and at some location damaged due to different approaches from various engineers. I would have been lost if that was my first project fresh out of college. There were a lot of good points for learning as well as lots of frustrations. What makes it interesting is the fact that Mateo started with this project and can retire with this everlasting project. LOL.

MATEO: The first major project that Mo and I worked on would be the Gougar Road project. This project basically has everything that I have worked on ever since I started. All of my previous projects have helped me prepare for this one. I basically work with Mo and a few others about this project. This is the first project I have worked on that I have started from the beginning which is really cool because for the most part I have only gotten projects that have been worked on previously by other engineers.

What did you gain from being a mentor to Mateo?

MO: I absolutely enjoy observing how Mateo has progressed professionally in 9 months. He joined us fresh out of college and now I can rely on him to find solutions for complex engineering problems. Besides being proud for having a little impact on such a great progress that he has made, personally I think I have developed some ability in knowing people, working with them closely and enjoying hard days at work with them.

What have you gained with Mo your Mentor?

MATEO: When I first started I did not really know too much since it was my first job out of college, but ever since I have met Mo he has given so much help and knowledge of what it means to be an engineer. He used to have to help me pretty much every step of the way, but now I am pretty much on my own now. Mo has really prepared me for my job and my future career. He is really encouraging with regards to obtaining my PE and wants me to study so I can quickly receive my license when the time comes.

What is your favorite part about being a mentor?

MO: To be honest, I didn’t have a very nice Mentor when I started my career years ago. I think experiencing hard days at work with that mentor taught me that should I became a mentor one day, I would behave differently. Mentors and particularly the first mentor can make a mentee’s path easier or ruin a mentee’s interest and success. When I see Mateo comes to work with smile and joy it means to me that he is going to work hard that day. It tells me that he is going to learn more and be more efficient that day. Although we have always serious work conversations; however, I keep in mind to say something funny in between.

Something I appreciate about my mentor…

MATEO: Mo likes to challenge me and see what I would do in certain situations regarding the project and I feel this has really helped me because it makes me think outside of the box sometimes and wonder why we do certain things.

What are some of the successes and challenges as a mentor?

MO: The biggest challenge is finding out about the mentee’s personality. Without knowing your mentee, you cannot build a real strong relationship. It is important to find out that what mentees like and dislike. At times, mentees may unintentionally annoy the mentor but, patience is the most important factor that each mentor should have.

What is the biggest takeaway for you from this relationship?

MATEO: I think it would be asking questions. Mo has been really helpful whenever I am having a problem with a project and he is quick to help whenever I need it. He is also really funny with all of his jokes, and I really enjoy working with him.

What best describes Mateo?

MO: He is a genuinely nice human being. His interest in learning is really impressive. Mateo believes in himself and when something new comes which doesn’t fit with his experiences, he never says no I cannot do that. He is willing to take on more responsibility and to help other team members. He is a funny guy who believes that eating carrots can make hard problems easier!

One word that describes Mo?