Ten Years with Chad Sanderson

| | Read time: 2 mins

An architect and Associate in our Portland infrastructure studio, Chad Sanderson, AIA, celebrated ten years with MWA this year. Chad has held many roles throughout his career. Still, his enduring quality remains his commitment to improving his skills and the skills of those he mentors. It is this determination and dedication that Chad embodies that helps MWA continually grow as a firm. 

What projects are you working on right now? 

I’m the project architect for Olympia Crest housing, working on specifications for Sunnyvale Cleanwater Center, specifications for Willamette Water Supply, and quality assurance for office improvements. 

What phase of a project is your favorite? 

Construction – it’s when the actual work happens. It also teaches the most. 

Has your job changed in the last few years?  

Yes – dramatically. I was in charge of the largest water projects, and did a lot of the design. (Basically, Casey and Tom took over my tasks) Since an illness I have come back as the spec/QA advisor which is more of a mentoring role. It also allows me to work with a lot more people and teams, which is nice. 

Chad never fails to have an anecdote from an actual job that helps the team understand why whatever issue we are discussing is important to design right the first time. And he loves space. 

Casey Hagerman 

How do you maintain work/life balance? During COVID, how have you been maintaining your sanity?   

After 3 years of isolating due to illness this is actually pretty easy for me. I’ve had a lot of practice. Everyone else just joined my world. 

Chad and his corgi, Titan in the Portland office 

What do you hope to do more of in the next few years?  

Not sure I have any [new goals] per se. I am still adjusting to the spec role, so I’d like to continue to get better at that. I’m in a pretty good spot, so I’d like to focus on that. I do want to continue to contribute on designs.  

Chad and I have worked together over decades and [he] is one of those [people] I can always depend on. 

David Williams 

When you started your career, why did you want to become an architect?  

I always have – never really questioned it.