Meet Leland


Leland Johnson

Charleston, WV

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Civil Emphasis.


1. Why did you choose Engineering as your major?
I had always been interested in math, science, and the creative process of solving problems that have more than one solution. I wanted to apply those skills to help better the world; and engineering was the perfect fit. Just knowing that I could make a difference in the lives of other people was worth it alone.

2. When did you decide you wanted to pursue that major?
Back in high school, I had an idea of what I wanted to choose as a career, but like many high school students, I wasn’t sure yet. Once I got to Marshall University with all my options in front of me, I discovered that engineering was what I really wanted to pursue.

3. What influenced your decision?
As far back as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed math; it just made sense. Math was one of my passions. My other passion was creating things. As a child I would build 8 foot tall structures out of these toy elements and connectors, after which I would take down and build a whole new structure. Ironically, it took me until college to figure out that the connection between math and building was engineering.

4. Why did you choose to attend Marshall University?
I always knew that I wanted to attend an in-state school. Among the schools in West Virginia, Marshall University had what I felt were the best programs and campus. It was also close to home.

5. What has been your favorite Engineering class as a student and why?
My favorite engineering class that I have taken so far is reinforced concrete design. Learning so many of the aspects that go into making structures safe and sustainable and how to design for all the factors that affect how the structure will behave has been enlightening, to say the least.

6. What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to work at the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) as an engineer. Knowing that I can make a difference in keeping people safe on West Virginia’s roads would be enjoyable and satisfying. On top of working at the WVDOH, I also plan to attend graduate school part-time and obtain my M.S.E. in transportation and infrastructure engineering.