Cheryl Early

Senior Associate


Cheryl Early joined WJE in 2016 with more than twenty years of experience in structural engineering, structural design, and historic preservation. Leveraging her practical knowledge of vintage construction detailing with her sound understanding of engineering principles, she is able to creatively solve complex or unique structural issues for new buildings and renovation projects.

Ms. Early is experienced with many structural materials, including concrete, masonry, steel, and wood as well as aluminum, carbon fiber, autoclaved aerated concrete, and historic materials. She has worked with structures built in the 1800s through new construction, providing a range of services from feasibility studies through construction administration tasks. Ms. Early has provided consulting and design services for numerous building types, including monuments, residential, commercial, educational, healthcare, governmental, pedestrian bridges, and mixed-use properties.


Structural Analysis

  • The Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island, MI: Assessment, analysis, and repair documents for multiple buildings on hotel’s campus
  • Belle Isle Sawmill - Detroit, MI: Assessment and analysis of 1940 wood and steel roof structure; construction documents and construction period services
  • Harry S. Truman Home - Independence, MO: Review and reinforcement of private home for museum use *


Historic Preservation

  • Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Pool - Grosse Pointe Shores, MI: Assessment and materials testing of Albert Kahn-designed pool
  • Starkweather Elementary School - Plymouth, MI: Structural analysis, construction documents, and consulting for 1930s cast-in-place concrete floor and masonry structure
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site - St. Louis, MO: Relocation and restoration of timber-framed barn connected to new visitor center and office building *
  • Brown vs. Board of Education Site, Monroe School - Topeka, KS: Preservation of concrete structure and damaged roof repair *


Structural Design

  • Woodward Willis Building - Detroit, MI: New steel moment frame structure with composite concrete floor *
  • Muskellunge Lake State Park, Maintenance Garage - Newberry, MI: New wood-framed maintenance garage *
  • Krome Kitchen - Miami, FL: New concrete masonry unit (CMU) exterior wall structure for 186 mph wind zone
  • Government Building - MI: Design for new CMU elevator tower and concrete mat foundation addition to exterior of 1930s-era multiuse government building
  • Woodward North Apartments - Royal Oak, MI: Replacement design of stair towers and exterior egress balconies of four-story, 1960s-era apartment building


Historic Structures Reports

  • Michigan Offshore Lights - Upper MI: Thunder Bay Island, Manitou Island, Gull Rock, Stannard Rock, and North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse
  • Tallgrass National Prairie Preserve - Strong City, KS: Structural portions of conditions assessment report on more than twenty-five National Park structures and Historic Structures Report on the main house *


Failure/Damage Investigations

  • Iroquois Bike Shop - Mackinac Island, MI: Investigation of condition of building and exposed timber piles *
  • Multiple Structures - Nashville, TN: Evaluation of buildings damaged by Christmas Day blast
  • Riverfront Towers - Detroit, MI: High-rise precast and EIFS-clad residential towers
  • McKinley Apartments - Detroit, MI: Crawl spaces and balconies of multiple apartment buildings
  • Detroit Public Schools - MI: Structural and building envelope assessments of sixty-three vacant historic school buildings

 * Indicates experience with previous firms

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Civil Engineers
Association of Preservation Technology, Eastern Great Lakes Region - past president, 2022 APT Conference chair
Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society
Michigan Historic Preservation Network
National Trust for Historic Preservation


Professional Engineer in ID, IN, MI, and WI


Michigan Technological University
Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, Structural and Transportation Emphasis, 1996