As the largest construction project in the region, the HRBT Expansion Project brings together team members from a variety of backgrounds and geographic locations. VDOT Engineer Philip Casteen, a Hampton Roads native, offers a hometown perspective and a local appreciation to the project.
As a sophomore at Old Dominion University (ODU) in 2014, Casteen applied for the highly competitive VDOT Scholar Program which offers civil engineering students the opportunity to gain work experience, earn money over the summer, and receive stipends to assist with educational expenses.
He joined VDOT full-time after graduating #1 in his class as the ODU Outstanding University Scholar, then pursued an advanced degree in engineering from ODU while working full-time. With educational funding support from VDOT, he graduated with his Master’s in Civil Engineering in 2019 and earned his Professional Engineer (PE) license six months later.
Currently, Casteen focuses on engineering work for bridges and other structures in the project corridor, including the instrumentation program that monitors how existing structures are affected by construction activities. He also assists with project outreach and presents to ODU engineering students on project progress.
When asked the secret of his success and what advice he would give to up-and-coming engineers, Casteen says, “be focused, be flexible, take pleasure in what you do, and care for the people you work with.” He attributes his relationships with his mentors and supervisors as having a vital impact on his career.