2023 Virginia Concrete Conference
Count on Concrete for Life
March 16-17, 2023
March 16-17, 2023
Fares Abdo, PE, Director of Technical Services, Morgan Corp.
Mr. Abdo is a professional engineer recognized for advancing roller-compacted concrete and soil-stabilization technology for pavement and dam applications. He joined Morgan Corp. in January 2012 in the position of Director of Technical Services. Mr. Abdo has been leading Morgan Corp.’s business related to pavement and dam construction with a focus on business development, quality control and quality assurance in the areas of roller-compacted concrete, soil stabilization, cement-treated bases, and full-depth reclamation. Prior to joining Morgan Corp., Mr. Abdo served for more than seven years in multiple positions with the Portland Cement Association (PCA) managing Roller-Compacted Concrete and Soil-Cement programs.
Mr. Abdo also served for fourteen years in various positions with Law Engineering, Inc. and for three years with Vulcan Materials Company. Abdo is a registered professional engineer in multiple states in the southeast. He is an active member serving on multiple committees of the American Concrete Institute, the American Concrete Pavement Association, and the United States Society on Dams. He is also one of the founders of the RCC Pavement Council. Mr. Abdo is serving as the co-chairman of the Council and the chairman of the Council’s Research Committee.
Kwame Adu-Gyamfi, PhD, PE, Fredericksburg District Materials Engineer, Virginia DOT, Fredericksburg District
Kwame Adu-Gyamfi is a Materials Engineer with the Fredericksburg District at VDOT. In the private sector, he has over 10 years experience in the private sector as a Geotechnical/Pavement Engineer and another 11 in the public sector with VDOT. Kwame obtained a Masters and PhD in Geotechnical Engineering at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and enjoys playing tennis and watching almost all sports.
Thomas Andres, PE, Chief Structural Engineer, BCC Engineering
Prior to coming to BCC Engineering, Tom Andres worked for the Florida Department of Transportation for 34 years both in the District and in the Central Office in various Bridge Maintenance and Bridge Design capacities. He worked for 13 years as the Assistant State Structures Design Engineer overseeing the review of all Major Bridges in the State including the I-395 Project. He retired in 2020 and has been working for BCC Engineering for 2.5 years.
Gabriel Arce, PhD, Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC)
Gabriel Arce, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC). He earned his PhD in Engineering Sciences with a concentration in Advanced Materials and Sustainability at Louisiana State University. Dr. Arce has more than eight years of experience in the field of advanced concrete materials and has worked in the development of self-healing concrete technologies, the characterization and microstructure evaluation of cementitious materials, and the advancement of Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECCs). Dr. Arce has published more than 30 research articles and holds a patent on the development of ECCs incorporating agricultural waste products. Dr. Arce serves as a member of TRB AKM50 Standing Committee on Advanced Concrete Materials and Characterization. Furthermore, he is an associate member of ACI committees 236 on Material Science, 239 on Ultra-High Performance Concrete, and 564 on 3-D Printing with Cementitious Materials. He is also an associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Hessam Azarijafari, PhD, Deputy Director, MIT, Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub)
Hessam AzariJafari is the Deputy Director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His background is in construction management and engineering. As a principal investigator and researcher, he has been leading different projects on the life cycle sustainability assessment and nexus of pavement-building-vehicle. He is a voting and advisory member of several technical committees on sustainable construction and environmental assessment, such as ISO 14082 Radiative Forcing Management, ACI 130- Concrete Sustainability, and Low-carbon assets through the life cycle assessment initiative (LCA^2). Hessam has been serving as the chair of the ACI eco-concrete competition to promote and educate life cycle sustainability to undergraduate students in civil engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada.
Andy Babish, PE, State Materials Engineer, Virginia DOT
Andy obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Bluefield State College and his MSCE from Virginia Tech. Andy has been with VDOT over 25 years with the last 15 years as the State Materials Engineer. He started as a geotechnical engineer designing deep foundations for bridges within VDOT before moving to Materials where he worked on soft ground improvement methods for major projects. Subsequently, he took roles in various District Materials offices before becoming the State Materials Engineer.
Amir Behravan, PhD, PE, Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC)
Dr. Amir Behravan is a Research Scientist at the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC). He received his PhD in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University. After that, he joined Virginia Tech as a postdoctoral associate for 20 months. Dr. Behravan’s research interests are concrete materials and technologies, concrete durability, bio-concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete structures, sustainable infrastructures, and non-destructive testing. His academic efforts resulted in publishing one book, 27 published journal papers, 3 conference papers, and 5 technical reports. Furthermore, Dr. Behravan has 4.5 years of industrial experience and is a registered professional engineer in both Iran and the US (NC and VA boards).
Ryan Betz, Assistant Technical Director, Argos USA
Ryan Betz is the Assistant Technical Director for Argos Cement, a division of a multinational cement and ready-mix concrete producer in the Americas. In this role he provides technical support for activities relating to the manufacture, distribution, sales support and marketing functions of their US cement operations.
Ryan graduated from Alpena Community College with an Associate degree in the Applied Sciences of Concrete Technology in 2002. Over the next eleven years he worked in ready mixed concrete in the Midwest and Southeast US, performing roles related to technical and quality and management. In 2013 he moved to the cement industry as a technical services engineer, until assuming his current position in late 2019.
Ryan’s participation in industry groups include the Portland Cement Association’s Product Standards and Technology Committee and acting chair of the PLC Subcommittee; Slag Cement Association’s Technical and Marketing Committee and the Southeast Promotion Task Group. Ryan is also an active participant in ASTM C01 and C09 committees and currently serving as Vice Chair for C01.95 (Coordination of Standards). He is a voting member of ACI committee 225 (Hydraulic Cements) and associate member in committee 233 (Slag Cement).
Shane D. Boone, PhD, Senior Vice President for NDE at BDI
Shane has spent over 20 years in the government, academic, and private sectors of specialized infrastructure inspection and monitoring. He specializes in the research, development, and application of nondestructive testing & evaluation technologies and monitoring for civil infrastructure. Previously, Dr. Boone has managed NDE programs at the Federal Highway Administration and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He serves as the chair of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing’s (ASNT) Infrastructure Committee and sits on the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) AKB 40 – Field Testing and Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) of Transportation Structures Committee.
Nicholas “Nick” Davis, International Grooving & Grinding Association
Nicholas “Nick” Davis is from Troy, NY graduating from SUNY Polytech in Utica, NY with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering Technologies. Nick has 7 years of heavy highway experience with the New York State Department of Transportation in which he managed the Concrete pavement, ride quality, and diamond grinding programs. Nick is passionate about investing, and as a tax payer, has a strong desire to help municipalities optimize the life cycle costs of their heavy highway portfolio. He plans to do this by enlightening program managers to see the benefit of diversified investments of both asphalt and concrete pavements and explaining the benefits of early pavement preservation efforts.
Nathaniel C. Dubbs, PhD, PE, PENG, Associate Vice President – Testing, Monitoring and Engineering, BDI
Dr. Dubbs is Associate Vice President – Testing, Monitoring and Engineering for BDI and runs their Philadelphia office. He is a professional engineer in multiple states and provinces with more than 15 years’ experience in diagnostic load testing and the design and implementation of structural monitoring systems for bridges, buildings, dams, and other unique constructed facilities throughout the world. He has a Ph.D. which focused on the investigation of uncertainty in the correlation of field measurements with analytical models for the evaluation of civil infrastructure.
Dr. Dubbs serves on the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) AKB10 Standing Committee on Innovative Highway Structures and Appurtenances.
Sam Fallaha, PE, District Bridge Engineer, Virginia DOT, NOVA
Sam Fallaha, PE graduated from the University of Nebraska. After four years in the industry, Sam joined Nebraska Department of Transportation and served in various position for over 18 years, ending this tenure as Assistant State Bridge Engineer. Sam Joined the Florida Department of Transportation as Assistant State Structures Design Engineer where he managed the Marcus H Ansley Structures Research Center for about 5 years and the Special Projects for about 8 years. Sam Joined the VDOT-NOVA District as a District Bridge Engineer in July 2022 after a short stint as in the Richmond District.
Roger A. Faulkner, PE, Executive Director, Southeast Cement Promotion Association (SCPA)
Roger is Executive Director of the Southeast Cement Promotion Association, Inc. (SCPA). SCPA is a trade association of cement companies in the southeastern United States which promotes cement and concrete infrastructure solutions in the 9-state area of AL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA and WV. He has over 40 years of experience in the construction and engineering design industry and has been in his current role since 2011. He has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Capital University, a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) Degree from The Ohio State University and is a Professional Engineer.
T.R. Fluker, PE, Senior Associate at Schnabel Engineering, President of VA American Concrete Institute
T.R. Fluker, PE is Senior Associate with Schnabel Engineering and the current President of the Virginia Chapter of the American Concrete Institute.
Martha Gross, PE, Virginia DOT
Martha Gross was VDOT’s first full-time employee on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion when she joined the Department in 2016. She led the development of the technical scoping for this $3.9 billion project and was closely involved in its design-build procurement. She now focuses on design and construction implementation.
Before joining VDOT, Martha worked as a construction engineer at Skanska, a consultant at Arup, and a PhD researcher at Virginia Tech. She was also a Fulbright Scholar in structural concrete design at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Gregory Henion, PE, State Structure & Bridge Engineer, Virginia DOT
Gregory recently assumed the role of State Structure & Bridge Engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation. Prior to this assignment Greg served in roles such as Deputy State Construction Engineer, Fredericksburg District Maintenance Engineer and Fredericksburg District Construction Engineer. Greg has extensive private sector experience with the management of complex construction projects and programs throughout the USA, including assignments such as Program Manager for the Pentagon’s Roads, Grounds and Security Program and Project Manager for the Port of Paulsboro Marine Terminal. He is active in both AASHTO and CMAA, and currently sits on the Board of Governors for the Construction Management Certification Institute (CMCI). Greg is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia and Florida, and holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University.
Shabbir Hossain, PhD, PE, Associate Principal Research Scientist, VA Transportation Research Council (VTRC)
Shabbir Hossain is an associate principal research scientist at the Virginia Transportation Research Council, a research division of the Virginia Department of Transportation. He is involved in applied research for pavements for more than 30 years. His research areas are subgrade, base and rigid pavements. He obtained his masters and doctorate degrees from Auburn University in the areas of pavement materials. Dr. Hossain is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the state of Texas. He is a member of TRB committee on Concrete Pavement.
Andy Johnson, PhD, PE, Pavement Design Engineer, Southeast Cement Promotion Association
Andy has been the Pavement Design Engineer for the SCPA since 2014. He retired from the South Carolina DOT in 2014, where he had worked in the Office of Materials and Research for 25 years. Before retirement, he was the State Pavement Design Engineer. Andy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, a Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Civil Engineering, all from the University of South Carolina. He was the first engineer hired by SCDOT specifically to perform pavement designs. During his career at SCDOT, he performed or directly supervised over 1,500 pavement designs for both new location and rehabilitation, on routes ranging from low-volume rural secondary roads to urban interstate highways. Andy served on PCA’s Technical Advisory Committees for the development and creation of the guides for Cement-Stabilized Subgrade Soils and Full-Depth Reclamation.
Matthew Kosar, PE, Structures Division Manager, BCC Engineering
Matt Kosar currently serves as a Structures Division Manager for BCC Engineering, LLC (Tallahassee Office). Prior to joining BCC, Matt served as an Assistant State Structures Design Engineer in the FDOT Central Office, responsible for the review of Major Bridges across the State of Florida. Matt’s experience includes the design, analysis, load rating, inspection, and rehabilitation of bridges across several states. Matt is also a former Adjunct Instructor for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, having taught Structural Analysis and Strength of Materials.
John W. Lawson, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Transportation
John Lawson was appointed Deputy Secretary of Transportation by Governor Glenn Youngkin in January 2022, following having served in the same role in the prior administration since April of 2019. Prior to that, John served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for nine years, following several other positions since joining the agency in 1987. John was instrumental in the development and implementation of significant transportation funding legislation over the years. In his role as Chief Financial Officer, he was responsible for the execution of the agency’s financial planning, capital investment, fiscal management, and tolling programs. He also provided executive leadership and direction in the development and funding of major transportation P3 projects. John received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Christopher Newport University and is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute.
Tim Martin, PE, Sr. Vice President, ACPA National
Tim is the Senior Vice President of the American Concrete Pavement Association in charge of Technical Services. A Distinguished Graduate award recipient of Texas A&M University, he received both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Civil Engineering, specializing in pavements and materials. He has practiced pavement engineering nationally and internationally for the past 30 years and was the Manager of the FHWA’s Southern Region Long Term Pavement Performance program. He provides pavement consulting services and forensic engineering and litigation support to contractors, agencies and engineering firms.
Catherine C. McGhee, PE, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Virginia DOT
Cathy was appointed as VDOT’s chief deputy commissioner in May 2022. McGhee carries a wealth of industry knowledge that will continue to place VDOT as a leader in transportation innovation and technology. She is skilled in collaborating and working across multiple state agencies while working to find solutions to transportation challenges. McGhee has more than 30 years of experience in traffic engineering and system operations, intelligent transportation systems, and data and performance measurement. Prior to her appointment, McGhee served in a dual role as the Director of the Office of Transportation Research and Innovation for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Director of the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC). McGhee received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and master’s degree and from the University of Virginia, both in civil engineering. She has held a professional engineer’s license in Virginia since 2004.
Michael Mo, PE, Senior Bridge Engineer, HDR
Michael is a senior bridge engineer for HDR Engineering Inc.’s Mid-Atlantic Structures group. He has over 30 years of experience, including the design of straight and curved girder bridges over major rivers and highways, movable bridge rehabilitation, bridge concept studies, and construction inspection. He has performed seismic analysis, seismic retrofit design and finite element analysis on various structures and has served as project manager and lead designer for many VDOT projects including Rte. 671 over Nottoway River. Michael has his Master’s degree from University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio in Civil Engineering.
Vijay Modi, PE, Mid-Atlantic Bridge Manager, HDR
Vijay has 34+ years of experience managing, designing and delivering a variety of new/repaired/rehabilitated structures including movable bridges, water crossings, retaining walls, and sign structures. He is HDR Engineering Inc.’s Mid-Atlantic Bridge Manager. In this role he leads a team of 40+ bridge engineers and manages various bridge contracts across the commonwealth of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., including VDOT’s New and Rehabilitated On-Call Contract and their Movable Bridge On-Call Contract. These bridges have involved the design of simple and continuous bridges utilizing steel, reinforced concrete, prestressed beams, voided slabs, box beams, and cast-in-place post-tensioned boxes including fast track projects. He has Bachelor of Engineering from NIT Surat India and MS from Old Dominion University.
David Morgan, PE, Chief Engineer, Coastal Precast Systems
David Morgan is the Chief Engineer for Coastal Precast Systems, headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia. Dave graduated from Drexel University in 1995 with a degree in civil engineering specializing in structural design and analysis. Obtaining his initial professional engineering license in 1999, he is now registered in nine states throughout the east coast. Dave’s experience traverses a multitude of precast and prestressed components from architectural cladding to parking garages to heavy highway and marine structures. Since his start with CPS in 2012 Dave has been a fundamental resource in their involvement and growth in the bridge market. He is here today to share some of the lessons learned in efficient design and detailing for Virginia’s bridge structures.
Evan Morris, PE, Associate, Schnabel Engineering
Evan Morris, PE has 25 years of experience in geotechnical engineering, construction monitoring and project management for transportation, power station and transmission, water treatment, industrial and commercial projects in the Mid-Atlantic. Evan went to Widener University and Virginia Tech. Evan uses a creative approach to solve geotechnical problems on transportation projects throughout Virginia including highway widening, embankments and structures in karst topography, roadway improvements, culvert replacements, new bridges and bridge replacements.
Matt Munsick, Vice President, ACEiT Industries / New Product Development, Andale Construction
Matt has over 25 years of managing industrial, commercial, residential, environmental, and heavy highway civil construction projects including Design Build. Prior to joining Andale Construction, he was an independent Civil Construction Consultant to Contractor and Engineering Firms; Project Manager for McCarthy Improvement Company. Previously, he was with Lane Hauling and Excavating; Morgan Corp.; Pinkerton and Laws, Inc. His experience spans many different facets of construction. Munsick holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of South Carolina.
Thomas L. Nelson, Jr., PE, Virginia Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration
Thomas Nelson, Jr. has served as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)Virginia Division Administrator since June 2019. In this capacity, he provides leadership and direction to a diverse professional staff in implementing the $1.2billion Federal-aid highway program. Most recently, Thomas served for 4 years as the Division Administrator for FHWA in Kentucky.
Prior to his position as Division Administrator, Thomas was the Special Assistant to the Administrator. In this capacity, he provided direct support to the Administrator and served as a key adviser on program and policy issues having national, regulatory, and legislative implications. He also coordinated critical Agency initiatives, and interacted regularly with senior officials inside and outside of FHWA. He assisted the Administrator in the delivery and implementation ofMAP-21 and the implementation of the Agency signature initiative for accelerating project delivery, Every Day Counts.
Thomas also served as a Major Projects Engineer in the Office of Innovative Program Delivery where he was responsible for providing technical and policy assistance to FHWA field offices, partners and stakeholders in implementing risk-based project management. Before joining FHWA, Thomas served for over eight years as a Vice President and Area Manager for CH2M Hill (now Jacobs). Thomas also gained 10 years of valuable design and project management experience with the Michigan Department of Transportation where he served as the Unit Leader for Highway Design. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
H. Celik Ozyildirim, PhD, PE, Principal Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC)
H. Celik Ozyildirim, PhD, PE, is a Principal Research Scientist with the Virginia Transportation Research Council, a division of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). His research areas are concrete materials – including ingredients, properties, testing and specifications – and concrete reinforcement. He received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia. He is active in the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He is a Fellow of the ACI. He is past chairman of the TRB section on concrete and member emeritus of TRB Committee AKM50, Advanced Concrete Materials and Characterization. He was an instructor in civil engineering at the University of Virginia. He is a registered professional engineer in Virginia.
Kirk Roberts, Vice President of Construction, CJGEO
Kirk Roberts is Vice President of Preconstruction at CJGeo. Kirk started in construction as a fine grade laborer, went to Mary Washington and William & Mary (not an engineer), and has subsequently led CJGeo’s transition from a residential sitework company to a nationally-recognized specialty grouting and lightweight fill contractor. Kirk focuses on special projects design assistance and constructability consultation for settlement avoidance and correction in the infrastructure and vertical markets.
Farinaz Safaei, PhD, PE, Senior Pavement Engineer/Client Service Manager, Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering
Dr. Safaei is a senior pavement engineer and client service manager in Infrastructure Consulting and engineering based in Virginia Beach, VA. She is a professional engineer with over 15 years of progressive experience in pavement design, evaluation, management, and construction material testing. She holds a PhD in civil engineering with a focus on transportation material and pavement engineering from North Carolina State University. She has managed and directed federal, state, and municipal projects from plan development to oversight of costs, schedules, quality, information, and contracts.
Mary Sharifi, Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC)
Mary’s research areas are concrete materials and reinforcements as well as environmental issues for sustainability. She received her Master degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia. She is the author of two papers in the field of renewable energy, and co- author of papers that were presented at recent TRB annual meetings in the field of high performance concrete, pervious concrete, culvert repair, and workable and durable concretes for bridge repairs.
Jay Thompson, PE, Vice President of Pavement Consultancy Services, Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering
Jay Thompson began his career at Clemson University, participating in Asphalt and Concrete research while pursuing his graduate degree in Civil Engineering. He has been involved in the fields of pavement engineering and CE&I for 22 years. He had the opportunity to spend 10 of those years at SCDOT serving in the roles of Resident Construction Engineer and State Pavement Design Engineer. He is currently employed by Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, as their VP for Pavement Consultancy Services operating around the South East. His role at ICE is focused on pavement design and management, along with supporting construction projects through problem solving or value engineering activities.
Jay spends most of his free time with his wife Sherree and two young children, Jesse and Daisy doing whatever he can talk them into doing outdoors.
Sivaraman Venugopalan, President, Siva Corrosion Services, Inc.
Siva Venugopalan graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering. He is a Cathodic Protection Specialist certified by NACE. He has published his work in several peer-reviewed journals. Mr. Venugopalan is President and Principal Engineer of Siva Corrosion Services and a member of Tau-Beta-Pi Engineering honor society. He has 30 years of experience in degradation of concrete, and embedded steel corrosion, non-destructive testing (NDT), Design & installation of sensors for bridge health monitoring, and design/inspection of conventional as well as electrochemical rehabilitation techniques. He received an award for developing the corrosion protection plan that provides 100-year service life for Harry Nice Middleton Bridge between Virginia and Maryland.
Kyle Wiley, Project Manager, Heavy Civil Division, Crowder Construction Company
Kyle Wiley joined Crowder in 2014 having 6 years previous experience and has proven his ability to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously. He is currently managing a $10M streetscape project for the City of Charlotte. Kyle has also managed DOT projects in VA and NC. Kyle has significant experience in design build construction in North Carolina. He is responsible for safety, quality, budget and forecasting, project schedule, submittals, as well as communication with owner and personnel on the job. He is responsible for contributing to weekly progress meeting, producing monthly billings to owner, negotiating, and writing purchase orders for materials acquisition. Kyle takes pride in maintaining great working relationships with owners and his peers.
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