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Staff Connection—Charlie Mann

Two people at a college career fair.
Charlie Mann (right) talking with a student at the All Majors Career Fair at Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

Charlie Mann learned the importance of hard work, communication, and teamwork through organized sports as a child in Bell Lake, Florida. Developing these traits at an early age has had an everlasting impact on his future and his profession.

Growing up as one of five siblings in a small farming community, Charlie spent his youth playing football and basketball. Outside of sports, he enjoyed playing video games with his siblings. “Super Mario Bros., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mortal Kombat were a few of the games I played as a kid,” Charlie says. “This was during the late 1980s to early 1990s, so these games are now considered classics.”

In high school, Charlie decided to get a jump start on planning his educational and professional career path. During his research, he took into consideration the length of study and potential pay-off of different vocations. After exploring the numerous careers to choose from, Charlie set his sights on engineering. “It was during a high school class that I discovered engineering,” Charlie says. “I picked engineering because you could make a decent amount of money and you wouldn’t have to go to school for a very long time.”

After graduating high school, Charlie attended Florida Atlantic University and enrolled into the Mechanical Engineering program, which introduced him to an array of specialized courses such as Fluid Mechanics, Engineering Design, and Electro-Mechanical Devices. “The classes were challenging, but I was able to learn and succeed,” Charlie explains. “The program really tested the mental endurance of aspiring engineers, but the key to success is to ask questions and ask for help.”

Passionate and determined to learn what it was like work as an engineer in the field, Charlie earned an INROADS internship with aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. As an intern, he was assigned to the manufacturer’s West Palm Beach, Florida facility where he worked with the staff to oversee jet engines. Much of the role consisted of learning how to work with a team, communicate, and take direction from leadership. “I really didn’t learn anything technical, but I was able to attend meetings and experience what it was like to be in a corporate role.”

After receiving his degree from Florida Atlantic University, Charlie joined Manson’s Jacksonville office as a field engineer in the summer of 2006. In the beginning, he was assigned to the office before moving on to work on dredging projects with the Manson hopper dredges BAYPORT, WESTPORT, GLENN EDWARDS, and NEWPORT. Some notable projects on his resume include the St. Joseph Peninsula Erosion Control project in Port St. Joe, Florida, and the Galveston Harbor and Channels and Houston Ship Channel Dredging project in Galveston, Texas. Harnessing the traits he learned as a kid playing organized sports, Charlie has become an effective and dedicated team member with every project crew that he’s worked. “Charlie is a great person to work with and an even better friend,” says Manson Project Engineer Line Chan. “He’s taught me how to remain calm under pressure and also reminds me how important it is to communicate with others on the job.”

Now 15 years later, Charlie holds the role of Project Engineer. He believes his time as a field engineer contributed to his deep understanding of his current role. “As a field engineer, I learned things like the basics of surveying and completing deliverables for the project,” Charlie says. “In my new role, I now have the knowledge of what needs to be done and doing a little project managing to help steer the crew in the right direction.” Charlie is currently assigned to the Ventura Harbor Maintenance Dredging project in Ventura, California. Crews recently mobilized Manson equipment onsite and will dredge for two to three weeks. “I’ll be here until the job is complete and I’m off my rotation,” Charlie explains. “Everything seems to be going good and we are looking at a smooth finish.”

On his days off, Charlie enjoys practicing martial arts and is a third-degree black belt. The sport has allowed him to travel to different martial art seminars, where he showcases the art form to his peers. “Martial arts has really taught me how to strengthen my focus and concentration,” Charlie says. “It has been beneficial for me in how I approach tasks in my personal life and at work.”

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