Hillsborough Resident Appointed County Engineer
Matthew Loper was appointed to the five-year term at the Somerset County Freeholder's Jan. 7 meeting.
Matthew Loper loved the math and science aspects of civil engineering and is now reaping the benefits of that love—on Jan. 7, the Somerset County Freeholders appointed the Hillsborough resident to a five-year term as County Engineer.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” Loper said. “I’m very thankful for the freeholders and upper management for having the faith in my abilities to take on this position.”
“As a kid, I always liked building things around the house, so I wanted to study it,” he added.
Prior to his appointment as County Engineer, Loper worked as an engineer in the county’s bridge division. There, he managed various bridge projects, including state and federal bridge projects, project bids for bridge repairs and reconstruction and bridge inspections for bridges needing repairs, he said.
As part of his new position, he’ll handle design, construction and maintenance to county roads, bridges and storm water drainage.
“It’s definitely different,” he said. “It’s a lot more meetings that I have to attend and dealing with upper management more.”
This year, the county has several bridge and road projects going out to bid and construction of a County Department of Public Works facility in Bridgewater, Loper said. One of the projects that going out to bid is resurfacing a portion of Amwell Road, between River Road in Neshanic Station and Long Hill Road, he added.
“Coming from the bridge section, I really enjoy working with the other aspects of engineering,” Loper said. “I really enjoy that I’m working with all aspects of public infrastructure on a county level.”
Prior to joining the county, Loper studied Civil Engineering at Villanova University. He then served in the United States Navy as a Weapons Officer on the USS Trenton, an amphibious transport dock ship used to transport Marines, and as Assistant Operations Officer on the USS Cole, a guided missile destroyer.
An interest in government service prompted him to join the county after leaving the Navy, he said.
He and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Hillsborough in 2008, noting the proximity to work and to other area towns.
“I really think it’s a great town,” he said. “It has a lot to offer with great schools, recreation and the amount of open space. And it’s close to Princeton, Somerville and New Brunswick.”