Engineering Week & Black History Month Spotlight: Carl Wilson, Chief Engineer

This double feature spotlight is on Chief Engineer, Carl Wilson, who is the first African-American male Chief Engineer for Charlotte Water. Check out our Q&A with Carl, as he shares some of his story with us.

Tell us about your background and career path – what inspired you to become an engineer?

“I am from the great state of South Carolina where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. I always wanted to pursue a career in the science field but allowed people to talk me out of it. However, after graduating and working for Bank of America as a Research Analyst, I didn’t feel satisfied, so I quit my job, moved to Charlotte, and started working for a temporary agency where I was introduced to surveying and the civil engineering field. I was eventually hired in the newly started Storm Water department. After working there, I was promoted to a position in CDOT and eventually promoted to a position with CLTWater (CMUD at the time). Since joining CLTWater, I have been in six positions as I worked my way through the organization, starting as an Engineering Assistant in New Services (Account Services) in 1995 to my current job, Chief Engineer of Capital Projects and Operations Support.”

How long have you been working for Charlotte Water?

“I have been working for CLTWater for 26 years.”

Can you provide an overview of the work you do – a brief “day-in-the-life” description?

“Unfortunately, I no longer am involved with project management activities. Instead, my day is filled with various meetings and decision-making on various topics, ranging from project updates to departmental and/or City strategic discussions.”

What do you love the most about your job?

“I enjoy being a part of a department that’s responsible for providing a vital service to the community.”

What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen on the job?

“I’ve seen quite a bit over the years, so where do I start?? I would say how much our department has changed over the years in response to the tremendous growth of our service area.”

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love spending time with my family, riding my motorcycle, and playing golf.