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Aviation Engineer Honored in Airport Business’ 2020 Top 40 Under 40

November 25, 2020      

Tags: Aviation, Awards, Our People

Matt Schnelle, Ohio Aviation Leader, has been with the company RS&H for almost seventeen years. For his efforts over his nearly two-decade-long career, Matt has been recognized in Airport Business’s 2020 Top 40 Under 40 for his reliable impactful contributions within the industry.

Matt wears many hats, serving as a project manager, design engineer and construction administrator on various aviation projects.

With these varied skill sets, Matt serves as a vital part of the aviation industry, and of the RS&H community.

Passion Leads to Opportunity

Matt was intrigued by the aviation industry and how unique both the challenges and opportunities could be.

“I quickly found that engineering and planning within the aviation industry was my passion,” said Matt. “Anytime a client came to me with a challenge, I was excited to find a solution that exceeded their expectation.”

As an Aviation Engineer with RS&H, he has managed to build on those opportunities throughout his career, earning him recognition as RS&H’s Project Manager of the Year in 2017.

“His technical excellence is leading the effort for the airfield service group,” said John Walz, Aviation Vice President. “Matt has brought us to a whole new level.”

Beyond his continuous career growth, Matt has contributed to numerous industry publications and he has lent his expertise to various trade organizations and speaking engagements.

He serves on the Airport Consultant Council (ACC) Engineering Committee, is a board member of the Ohio Aviation Association (OAA), and has even presented for various American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) events and symposiums – offering a multifaceted perspective around aviation engineering and unique projects.

Technical Challenges Met with New Solutions

Matt’s philosophy toward his work involves more than simply looking at a current project; he is constantly looking to the future as well.

“A lot of what I do requires long-term thinking and strategic planning,” said Matt. “I love working through problems to bring a successful plan to life alongside the clients and team members.”

Matt has also made significant contributions to the RS&H Aviation CAD committee, a committee dedicated to learning skills around computerized drafting software and computerized design standards.

“Many in the industry are using CAD software, and it has been a long-standing goal to organize a committee dedicated to becoming more capable and efficient with the software,” said Matt. “Prior to the committee, associates were working with older information that was harder for new associates to pick up.”

Matt has aided the committee by developing training, creating new employee handbooks, and has even helped to develop a regional representative organizational structure that the next generation in aviation can reach out to for assistance.

As a result, associates’ reinforced skills have also strengthened project teams overall to exceed client expectations.

“Deep down I’m an engineer, and I love to solve problems. To be able to work with clients and see them appreciate the work we do is priceless,” said Matt. “They genuinely value when we find solutions to improve the airports in big and small ways.”

Building Up the Team

During the pandemic, Matt has been virtually providing guidance and resources to recent graduates new to the industry. He has committed himself to ensuring that the aviation team has the tools needed to be successful.

“If his name is going be associated, he’s going to make sure it’s the best,” said Nick Patterson, senior aviation engineer. “He’s not going to let a client or fellow associate down because he’s very dependable, making it easier and less stressful for the whole team.”

As he strives to bring up the current generation of aviation professionals, Matt has also learned lessons himself through teaching.

“I learn the best by teaching other people and, through that, I learn where my weaknesses are,” said Matt. “Then I can apply those lessons to projects and in meetings with clients and partners to produce a greater result.”

As Matt continues to navigate the challenges of virtual mentoring, he is certain that the lessons learned will benefit all involved in projects for years to come.

Lessons New and Old

“I’ve learned that the best approach is to address issues and mistakes head-on,” said Matt. “The problems will usually multiply if you don’t tackle them right away.”

This approach has always been useful to Matt as he has mastered increasingly large-scale projects and continues to lead his growing team.

Matt is always pushing himself to the best he can be. Whether he’s in the office or at home, Matt is a natural teacher, always encouraging those around him to learn something new each day.

To learn more about how Matt can transform your airport with his technical skill, reach out to him at

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