Francesca Mellis, PE

Sr. Project Manager


Residential and Light Commercial Structural Design; Interdisciplinary Design Coordination and Project Management

Career Story

When I graduated high school, I had my eye set on one career path: Aerospace Engineering. I thought that space travel was the future for me. I didn’t give any other field of engineering a second thought. I chose Virginia Tech (in part) for its Aerospace program. However, it only took a couple of aerodynamics classes before I knew it wasn’t the right fit. I switched majors to Civil Engineering and it was immediately obvious that I should have been there all along! Not only was I intellectually fulfilled, but I had found a way to use my engineering capabilities to improve the world around me in concrete ways.

I graduated Virginia Tech with a Bachelors and Masters in Civil Engineering with a Structural focus, and additional study in graduate school on Finite Element Analysis and Earthquake Design. I immediately was offered a position on the MidAtlantic Structural team, and it’s been the best place I could have asked for as a developing engineer to learn, grow, and collaborate.

Personal Touch

Over the years, I have been involved in some weird hobbies, like the Society for Creative Anachronism and serving as leadership staff for a high fantasy Girl Scout camp. These days I find myself returning to my roots as an amateur novelist. I also get to spend lots of time exploring the world with my fiancé and cuddling our two wonderful fur-babies!

Industry Involvement

While at Virginia Tech, I was involved in the ASCE chapter as an officer, as well as SWE. These days, I attend Professional Women in Building events whenever scheduling allows!