April 9, 2018

Epstein is pleased to welcome Matt Helfenbein, who joins the Structural Department. Matt is currently pursuing a Masters of Engineering in Structural Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Upon receiving his Bachelors degree from Michigan State University (go Spartans!), Matt wanted to further his knowledge in the structural field. Having always appreciated the history IIT had with Chicago architects and structural engineers, he knew it was the program for him. In fact, he had planned on attending the university since he was a senior in high school.

Between his undergraduate and graduate studies, Matt worked as a geotechnical engineer in Lake Zurich, writing geotechnical investigations for cell towers. That just sounds cool. Further probing revealed that Matt was tasked with scheduling the soil borings for towers hundreds of feet tall, to depths up to 70 feet.

Being raised in Chicago, I always enjoyed visiting downtown, The Loop, and seeing the skyline. I was amazed how everything worked -- the buildings, the bascule bridges, and Lower Wacker Drive, Matt said. As a kid, I loved taking the Metra with my father and visiting him at his work at 311 S. Wacker. From his companys office, I was able to see the tops of other tall buildings and the former Circle Interchange and knew I wanted to be a part of creating these structures.

Matt was born in Skokie, and grew up in Norwood Park. Although work and school take up much of his time, he enjoys rooting on his Spartans. He follows their basketball and football team fairly diligently, and even prefers some college sports over professional. Note: Baseball is the exception. Matt says MLB over college all day every day. Perhaps being a Chicagoan had something to do with that...

We are also (very) pleased to share Matt loves to cook! He enjoys all food from Italian to Creole, although his favorite dish is Shephards pie, one he learned from his Irish/English grandmother, who still cooks holiday meals for their 15-person family -- with occasional additional guests! Holiday meal or... feast? Some of Matts other menu hits? Roasts, pasta, chicken fajitas and jambalaya. Chef Matt, your Epstein family also loves all food from Italian to Creole¦ hint, hint.

Matt also enjoys playing guitar when he has the chance -- electric, metal string acoustic, and nylon string acoustics. In high school, Matt played with several friends, although they did not belong to an official band. Today, he occasionally makes music with his roommate who runs a music studio in Jefferson Park.

Once again, welcome to the family, Matt! We are thrilled to have you with us!