Meet Max Moreland – Professional Engineer

Advice on How to Pass the Civil Tranportation PE Exam

Max MorelandMax Moreland has worked with me and the Traffic Data Inc. (TDI) and Spack Consulting team for more than four years and has written a number of posts on Mike On Traffic. Recently he passed his PE exam, and I thought this would be the perfect time introduce you to Max.

What people may not know about Max, is he originally considered a career in physics but ultimately decided to become a civil engineer because of his interest in bridges. Max hadn’t considered traffic engineering as a career path, but after taking a few traffic courses he found his passion and focused his studies on becoming a traffic engineer. “Traffic is something that we all deal with, all the time – whether we are drivers, cyclists or pedestrians,” said Max. “It was easy to see how I could impact change in my community by becoming a traffic engineer.”

When asked about what advice he has for others planning to take the civil transportation PE exam, he said preparation is the key. “I spent much of my time working on practice problems and getting to know my books inside and out,” said Max. He prepared for the exam for about 3-1/2 months, spending several nights a week working practice problems and reviewing books. Then increased his study time to every day as he got closer to the exam. He said he saw a number of exam takers arrive with wagons and carts of books, but he was able to narrow his book stack to several key books for the exam. His top book picks and other reference materials include the following:

  • Civil Engineering Reference Manual – a must have!
  • AASHTO’s A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets – aka the “Green Book”
  • Highway Capacity Manual 2010
  • The Roadside Design Guide and Highway Safety Manual may also have been useful but I got along without them

Max’s other advice for those taking the exam…

Max was well prepared for the PE exam with a heavily flagged engineering book.

Max was well prepared for the PE exam with a heavily flagged engineering book.

“Work as many practice problems as you can. That is how I began my study process.  I went through hundreds of problems just to re-familiarize myself with the topics that would be on the test.  After that, I went through all of my reference books and created tabs with sticky notes for easy reference, and wrote down important equations and notes in a notebook. You won’t need to know everything that is in the reference books, so I utilized the topic outline supplied by the exam organization and followed a rule that if I have never heard of a topic either from my time in college or in my years of work then I felt safe to skip it.  Then once I was through all of the books, I worked all of the practice problems one more time.  This strategy worked well for me.”

Max is a sharp engineer, with a commitment to delivering quality data and analysis to client, and a witty sense of humor. He bikes to work (except during the winter month), and outside of life at TDI he can be found volunteering with a number of community and faith based organizations, and enjoying time with friends and family. He also has a great jump shot playing basketball during our team meetings.

Congratulations Max on passing your PE. We’re glad to have you on our team.

Check out these blog posts by Max Moreland

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