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Christopher T. Link '01, '03

(From left to right) Christopher T. Link and Michael Clapman conducting an ITAC internal training on fall protection design philosophy.
(From left to right) Christopher T. Link and Michael Clapman conducting an ITAC internal training on fall protection design philosophy. Photo courtesy of Christopher T. Link.

Christopher T. Link

Virginia Tech Class of ‘01, '03
Senior Engineer for Fall Protection Services at Industrial TurnAround Corporation

After graduating from Virginia Tech with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I moved back to my home city, Richmond. I spent six years between two small engineering firms in commercial construction, primarily as a consulting engineer for architectural precast concrete producers. In 2010, after a six-month break sponsored by the Great Recession, I joined Industrial TurnAround Corporation (ITAC) Fall Protection Services, where I now serve as a senior engineer. I have found that I most enjoy technical work when it is collaborative and comes with technical-adjacent responsibilities — something beyond strict design work.

At ITAC, I've been able to grow in numerous directions: 

  • I am participating in the committee work supporting the ANSI Z359 Fall Protection consensus standard.
  • I maintain and regularly deliver two multi-day fall protection training curriculums across the U.S.
  • I am actively developing and maintaining relationships with client organizations.  

I’ve done this all while still contributing to or managing the complete lifecycle of any of our projects, including performing field work, developing engineered solutions, and managing the installation of our design work. 

In 2013, I married and moved to Roanoke, where I currently live and work for ITAC. We have a five-year-old daughter and spend our family time gardening, canoeing, camping, cooking, cycling, and finding the best playgrounds.

How did the college equip you for the "real world"?
The university equipped me for the “real world" in several ways:

  • I believe I received a very good (technical) engineering education. While I had to quickly learn that engineering practice in the real world comes with compromise, I always felt prepared in an academic or technical sense. 
  • Virginia Tech gave me a place to make friends from all walks of life — in and out of the College of Engineering. As I navigate the “real world," I do so with the advice of a wide-range group of friends.
  • The university surrounded me with other students with different backgrounds than my own. That helped shrink the "real world" a little bit and make it appear more welcoming.

I continue to work at the Fall Protection Division because…
I truly believe the work we do has an altruistic value outside of profit — I genuinely think we have improved the working conditions for literally thousands of industrial workers.

What is a guiding principle for your work?Integrity with dignity and humility. Engineers can serve in many roles, but as long as I am being relied on by our client base as an outside engineering consultant, I have to advocate for the technical principles getting a seat at the table for any decisions being made — financial or otherwise.


B.S., Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 2001
MEng, Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2003