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 (AAC), 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

  • Starkweather Elementary School - Plymouth, MI: 1930s cast-in-place concrete floor and masonry structure analysis, construction documents and consulting
  • Chelsea Milling Company (Jiffy Mix) - Chelsea, MI: Wood, masonry, steel, and concrete structural alterations and assessments*
  • Harry S Truman Home - Independence, MO: Review and reinforcement of private home for museum use*


Historic Preservation

  • Belle Isle Park - Detroit, MI: Assessment and repair design for five prominent buildings
  • Detroit Institute of Arts Film Theater - Detroit, MI: Renovation of the grand stair and arcade renovation*
  • Traverse City Opera House - Traverse City, MI: Restoration of the opera house’s block of buildings*
  • 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 Monroe School - Topeka, KS: Preservation of concrete structure and damaged roof repair*
  • Jackson Art Lofts - Jackson, MI: Adaptive reuse of the state’s first prison and adjacent buildings into residential and artist spaces*


Structural Design

  • Woodward Willis Building - Detroit, MI: New steel moment frame structure with composite concrete floor*
  • DNR Maintenance Garage, Muskallonge Lake State Park - Newberry, MI: New wood-framed maintenance garage*
  • 52, 71, and 74 East Garfield - Detroit, MI: Assessment and rehabilitation of masonry and wood-framed structures*
  • Chelsea Medical Office Building - Chelsea, MI: New multistory, steel moment frame with composite concrete floor structure*


Historic Structures Reports

  • Michigan Offshore Lights - Upper Michigan: Thunder Bay Island, Manitou Island, Gull Rock and Stannard Rock
  • Keweenaw National Historical Park - Calumet, MI: Historic structures report and structural consulting for several buildings*
  • 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*
  • Fort Gratiot Lighthouse - Port Huron, MI: Historic structures report and exterior rehabilitation*


Failure/Damage Investigations

  • Iroquois Bike Shop - Mackinac Island, MI: Investigated condition of building and exposed timber piles*
  • City Hall - Marine City, MI: Investigated wall failure; structural design, documentation*
  • Amtrak Passenger Stations - Jackson and Niles, MI: Repair of multiple structures*
  • Irish Hills Twin Towers - Onsted, MI: Field evaluation*
  • Fenton Seminary - Fenton, MI: Assessment of wall collapse*

*Indicates with previous firms

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Civil Engineers
Association of Preservation Technology Eastern Great Lakes Region Chapter President
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