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ms Q+A: Jonathan Hren

Maggie Kearns Francis

January 24, 2018

Ever wonder how long it would take to travel around the world? Ask Jonathan! After graduating with his undergraduate degree he spent time circumnavigating the globe! We asked Jonathan to tell us a little more about his life.

Jonathan in 100 Words or Less

My interest in bridges started out in grade school while traveling with my family to many states and living in Europe. I was unaware that my fascination with infrastructure would blossom into a career I would truly enjoy. I received a BSCE from NCSU and a master’s degree from UF. I started as a bridge engineer in Raleigh, spent time in Arizona and Massachusetts before landing in Ohio, with my wife, where we are raising three amazing children (ages 7, 9, and 11). In 2012, I joined ms and have enjoyed the challenges with my role here since day one.

The Speed Round

What was your first job?
Flipping (and consuming too many) burgers at Hardee’s


Next item to cross off your bucket list?


Last album you downloaded?
True Sadness – The Avett Brothers


Last thing you watched on TV?
Game of Thrones, Season 6 – almost caught up!


Least favorite food?
Overcooked vegetables


Best concert you’ve been to?
Woodstock ’94


Listener or talker?
Listener AND talker


Famous person you’ve met and where?
I briefly met Chris Cornell from Soundgarden at Lollapalooza.


Farthest you’ve traveled from home?
Pretty far. I traveled around the world in 79 days in 1997 after college.


Favorite movie?
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – the first movie I saw in a theater


If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
An astronaut. I would love to go to outer space.


If you could live one day over again, which would you pick?
Any day during the 3rd grade when I lived in Portugal for a year. I wish I could remember more!

Tell Us More

What sets ms apart from other engineering & architecture firms?
Medium size firm with big ideas. We have significant expertise and cover so many service lines, and we do it well!


What were your favorite hobbies as a child? Do they mimic what you do today?
Playing outdoors, exploring, hiking, taking risks. Today, I try to be adventurous but not take unnecessary risks.


Which project are you most proud to have been a part of, and why?
Dare I say…Portsmouth Bypass? How many people can say they were co-located on one of the biggest projects ever in Ohio? And I would add the $14 billion, Central Artery/Tunnel Project, more commonly known as the “Big Dig,” in Boston where I worked for 2 years.


If you weren’t an engineer/architect/planner, what would you be doing?
I would be a travel writer and/or photographer.


What’s your favorite way to give back to the community?
Coaching sports, teaching Sunday school, and mentoring young children.


You’ve got one day in Cleveland. What do you do?
Given a free night out, I would leave the kids at home and take my wife out to a nice restaurant, see a play at Playhouse Square, and spend the night downtown at a posh hotel.


Any final words?
Life is good! Make the most of every day. And be kind.