Cato Engineering, PLLC

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Telephone: 919-876-3972


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JC Cato, PE PDF Print E-mail

Mr. Cato started his venture into the engineering field in late 1948 upon the move of his parents to Charlotte, North Carolina. His father was the Chief Building Inspector for the City of Charlotte from that time to 1967. Mr. Cato spent his afternoons-after-school and his summers with his father. He gained much knowledge and experience in structural, foundations and drainage matters especially in the residential area. His knowledge and experience was augmented by his on-the-job training as a carpenter after graduation from high school. His unsuccessful efforts to gain a degree from North Carolina State University led him to seek employment with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (then known as the North Carolina State Highway Commission) in 1963. In 1974, Mr. Cato applied for a federal-grant scholarship that would lead him to pursue a degree program with the aid of the State. In 1977, he graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. His grade point average while pursuing this program was above a 3.6. He attended a training program at I.T.R.E. in the Research Triangle Park in 1983/84 which led to his Engineering Certification License in 1986.


Mr. Cato, during his ventures, worked for the DOT for 30 years which was highlighted by his design input on the Town-Mountain-Road bridge in Asheville which is a 4-span continuous plate-girder bridge with heavily skewed supports where the girders are curved to match the horizontal curvature of the roadway. He retired in 1993 as Senior Bridge Design Engineer. He has drawn and designed all kinds, shapes and sizes of bridges, culverts, retaining walls, concrete forms and other structures during the 30 years of service. Mr. Cato has also served as a resident engineer for CSXT Railroad during construction of a railroad bridge over the Six Forks Road extension near downtown Raleigh. Mr. Cato has placed his seal on over a thousand manufactured homes for different concerns and even more stick-built homes.


Mr. Cato and his associates have been involved in bridge redesigns for contractual options; manufactured home certifications for over-height conditions, HUD specification conformance, burn-out situations and remodeling procedures; design of retaining walls; structural investigations for damage assessments; structural inspections for Code compliance; design of buildings; design of foundations and design of drainage systems.


Mr. Cato attended church at the First Baptist Church in Belmont, North Carolina to age 7. Upon his move to Charlotte, he became involved in the Youth Worship Choir for the early service at St. John's Baptist Church to age 18. Upon marriage at 23 he again became involved in church activities as a Sunday school teacher of 12-year-old students at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Raleigh and later at 29 was doing the same at New Hope Baptist Church in Raleigh.


He was a member of the Wake Community Lions Club from 1967 to 1974 and received the "Lion of the Year" award in 1972. He was a member of the Brentwood Exchange Club from 1971 to 1984 and received the "Project Chairman of the Year" award in 1972. Mr. Cato was a scout master from 1971 to 1975 and increased membership from 8 scouts to 80 scouts before he was fully back in school at N. C. State University.


After graduation in 1977, Mr. Cato and his family met Reverend John White at St. James UMC Church down the road from New Hope. His son, Marc, was entering kindergarten there. The family liked St. James and was soon involved in many areas. Mr. Cato served on the finance committee, was an usher, a choir member, president of the Methodist Men for 2 years and chairman of the stewardship committee for 3 years. His oldest daughter, Jenny, gave the sermon on lay Sunday of 1982 and his 2 oldest sons were acolytes.


Mr. Cato became involved in the year-around swimming program in 1984. He was a starter, stroke and turn judge, clerk of course and referee for US Swimming and N. C. State University as well as for the summer league which he had been involved with since 1974. The summer league was the Tar Heel Swimming Association for which Mr. Cato served as Vice President for 2 years and as the meet director for 3 years at the TSA Championship Meet at Optimist Pool in Raleigh.


Mr. Cato was fundamental in the establishment of the first Junior Achievement center in Wake County in 1974.


Mr. Cato became an Amway distributor in 1989. Although he gained expertise in management and business, he also lost control of his time. His daughter led him to First Alliance Church in Raleigh in 1992 in an effort to get him back on track. His experience there coupled with his desire to return to community involvement led him back to New Hope Baptist Church in 1994. He is a member of the worship choir and went to Honduras in November 1999 with a mission team from the church.


Mr. Cato's involvement in his church, his family and his community exemplifies the character of the associates of Cato Engineering Incorporated. Not only do they strive to serve their churches, their families and their community; but they also strive to achieve excellence with as little cost to the customer as possible. If it can be done, we will.