Melissa Shea


Practice Areas

Melissa is a Principal and Senior Project Manager in Walter P Moore’s Structures Group, and is Operations Manager for the Washington DC office. Melissa leads teams specializing in engineering custom solutions to fit projects needs using a collaborative approach and innovative virtual design tools. She manages project delivery and coordination, providing ongoing guidance and insight into the design process, and works closely with both the design team and contractors to ensure solutions transfer seamlessly from ideas in a model into the built world. Melissa enjoys finding elegant, buildable solutions to make a client’s designs a reality while also creating the most value for owners.


As healthcare lead in Washington DC, Melissa pilots the teams designing healthcare and science and technology project in the region. She led the structural engineering team that designed the VCU Children’s Hospital Wonder Tower, which recently won a 2024 ACEC National Engineering Excellence Honor Award as one of the top 25 engineering projects in the country. The project also won a 2023 ACEC Virginia Grand Award. 

Melissa was the Principal, Senior Project Manager and Designer, and Engineer of Record for the VCU Wonder Tower Pedestrian Bridge, which won the 2024 SEA MW’s Engineering Award of Excellence for Specialized Structures. She also served as Project Manager for the VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion, a 2023 ACEC Virginia Grand Award, 2023 IPMI Award of Merit, and 2023 Structural Engineers Association Award of Merit recipient. She also showcased this project at the 2022 Design-Build Conference for the “Design-Build Essentials for Complex Healthcare Projects” session.


Melissa is Co-Chair in the firm’s DEI Council, driving diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the firm. The DEI Council’s aim is to build sustainable, inclusive structures and places for clients, partners, and all people at Walter P Moore. Melissa focuses her DEI work on improving recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups within the AEC industry. She has gathered data to understand trends in hiring and retention to identify key initiatives to improve diversity while building a sense of belonging for all people at Walter P Moore. She successfully bootstrapped an initiative to expand the firm’s recruiting base by building partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions while also championing efforts to hire interns earlier in their college education to allow time to build deeper connections with candidates and retain them in the engineering industry.


Stanford University, Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, Design Construction Integration

The College of William & Mary, BS, Physics, International Relations