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Committee Membership Information

Project Title: Intelligent Construction Systems and Technology for Highways: Program Review

PIN: TRB-SASP-12-06        

Major Unit:
Transportation Research Board

Sub Unit:

Jawed, Inam

Subject/Focus Area:  Transportation and Infrastructure

Committee Membership
Date Posted:   02/07/2013

Ms. Mary Lou Ralls - (Chair)
Ralls Newman, LLC

is a Principal and Engineering Consultant at Ralls Newman, LLC, based in Austin, Texas, and specializes in consulting work on the design and construction of highway infrastructure. Prior to her present position, she spent 20 years at the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), with the last 5 years as State Bridge Engineer and Director of the Bridge Division. Her other positions of responsibilities at the Texas DOT included Structural Research Engineer, Manager of Research Implementation and Technology Transfer, and Manager of Bridge Design and Construction. Ms. Ralls has served as member and chair of the TRB Design and Construction Group Executive Board, chair of TRB Structures Section, and as a member of the Implementation Committee and the Renewal Technical Coordinating Committee of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2). She also serves on the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Committee on Bridges and on the steering group for the Accelerated Bridge Construction Center at the Florida International University. Ms. Ralls is a recipient of a number of awards, including the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator’s Public Service Award, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) President’s Award in Research, Western AASHTO’s Dr. L.I. Hewes Award, and the Engineer of the Year Award by the Texas Precast Concrete Manufacturers Association. Ms. Ralls received a B.S. degree in civil engineering with highest honors and an M.S. degree in structural engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas.

Dr. Rachel K. Arulraj
Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc.

is an Assistant Vice President at Parsons Brinckerhoff where she manages major building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design and construction (VDC) implementation projects with international teams. She has extensive practical experience in the underlying technologies for BIM and VDC, and her work has focused on information technology and infrastructure solutions for the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Dr. Arulraj serves on AEC industry advisory boards, professional association boards, Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees, and is an award-winning speaker at international conferences. She has published several technical papers in various industry forums, focusing on Information and BIM/VDC technologies for the civil infrastructure industry, and has been interviewed by several AEC industry journalists for her innovative approaches to BIM implementation. Dr. Arulraj holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Madras (India) in geographic information systems. She is also a certified project manager and principal professional associate for information technology at Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Dr. Audrey Copeland
National Asphalt Pavement Association

is the Vice President for Engineering, Research, and Technology at the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). She is a recognized technical expert on materials and technologies used in the construction of asphalt pavements. Prior to joining NAPA, she worked as a research engineer in FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure Research and Development at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center and as a highway engineer in FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure. In both capacities at FHWA, she was responsible for leading research and development activities for improving pavement life, in particular understanding the properties of recycled asphalt pavements and she authored the FHWA’s Recycled Asphalt Pavement State-of-Practice publication. Dr. Copeland was also a member of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts core team for a rapid implementation of warm-mix asphalt technologies in the United States. Dr. Copeland earned an M.S. degree in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Mr. Brian P. Deery
Associated General Contractors of America

is the Senior Director of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America’s Highway and Transportation Division. He began his career with AGC in 1978 as the assistant director in the Heavy Industrial Division and later served as director of the Municipal-Utilities Division for 10 years. In his current position, Mr. Deery maintains liaison with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and a variety of industry groups with related interests. Mr. Deery has served on the FHWA’s Work Zone Safety Senior Working Group and Virginia’s Fairfax County’s Transportation Advisory Commission, chaired the Washington’s highway fraternity group “Road Gang” in 2009, and has represented AGC on various TRB’s committees and panels. Mr. Deery holds a bachelor’s degree in government from George Mason University and a master's degree in public administration from the American University in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Glenn M. Engstrom
Minnesota Department of Transportation

is the Chief Geotechnical Engineer at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In this position, he provides managerial and technical direction to the DOT’s geotechnical engineering section, including grading and base, foundations, aggregates, and geology as well as coordinating activities of the soils and materials engineers in the state’s eight construction districts to ensure that all soils, foundations and aggregate investigations, subsequent designs and associated recommendations for their use, together with the methods of construction and acceptance testing, result in the most appropriate and economically practical highways and other transportation systems in the state. Previously, Mr. Engstrom served as the DOT’s District 7 Assistant District Engineer for Maintenance and as Manager of Minnesota Road Research Section. In these positions, he directed and coordinated all maintenance activities for Minnesota DOT District 7 and provided leadership, strategic and organizational direction and managerial expertise to develop and manage public policy, establish priorities, and implement programs in an integrated manner. Early in his career, he worked for the FHWA as an Area Engineer, as a Project Manager and Structural Engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and as a Civil Engineer in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. Mr. Engstrom is a member of the Minnesota Society of Engineers and Surveyors. He received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Minnesota.

Dr. James H. Garrett, Jr.
Carnegie Mellon University

is the Dean of the College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the faculty co-director of the Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator, a research center aimed at creating and evaluating sensing, data analytics, and intelligent decision support for improving the construction, management, and operation of infrastructure systems. Prior to his appointment as Dean, he served as Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic and Graduate Affairs of the University’s Engineering School. Dr Garrett’s research and teaching interests are oriented toward applications of sensors and sensor systems to civil infrastructure condition assessment; application of data mining and machine learning techniques for infrastructure management problems in civil and environmental engineering; mobile hardware/software systems for field applications; representations and processing strategies to support the usage of engineering codes, standards, and specifications, and knowledge-based decision support systems. He is the recipient of the Steven J. Fenves Award for Systems Research, the ASCE’s Computing in Civil Engineering Award, the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering Best Paper Award, the ASCE’s Wellington Prize for his paper entitled "Knowledge-Based Design of Signalized Intersections," and the ASCE’s Moisseiff Award for the paper entitled "Knowledge-Based Standard-Independent Member Design.” Dr. Garrett has published more than 150 refereed articles as well as a number of sections or chapters in books or monographs and served as the co-Chief Editor of the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering from 2008-2012. Dr. Garrett received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Mr. John J. Hannon
University of Southern Mississippi

is an Associate Professor and Interim Director of the School of Construction in the College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. His research interests include optimizing effectiveness of construction contracting organizations through organizational management and psychology, work-flow process mapping, and the effects of technology and law on organizations. Prior to his academic career, Mr. Hannon spent 24 years in construction management activities at various construction organizations in Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Maryland, and Virginia with increasing managerial responsibilities. He has authored refereed papers on construction engineering and management; the most relevant publications to this committee’s activities are his two TRB/National Cooperative Highway Research Program Synthesis Studies, Technologies for Construction Delivery and Information Technology in Design and Construction. Mr. Hannon has served on several TRB and ASCE committees, including the TRB Committees on Contract Law and Application of Emerging Technologies to Design and Construction. He has also served on the Education Board of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International. Mr. Hannon holds a B.S. degree in construction management from Oklahoma State University and an M.S. degree in construction administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. W. Allen Marr, Jr.
Geocomp Corporation

is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Geocomp Corporation, a geo-structural company specializing in technologically advanced solutions for management of risks related to the underground portions of large civil construction and infrastructure projects. Among his technical contributions during his 45-year professional career are the development of techniques for monitoring the stability, movement, and pressure in earthwork projects using sensors, wireless communications, automated analysis, and visualization of data. By applying these techniques, Dr. Marr enabled full-scale construction projects to be built more safely and efficiently and at a lower cost. In addition to developing the concepts of “Active Risk Management,” “Key Risk Indicators,” and “Risk Monitoring” to better manage risks associated with heavy civil construction, he is also the co-developer of “The Stress Path Method,” which is used worldwide in teaching, research, and practice. Over the past 30 years, he has consulted on a number of major projects in the United States and abroad, including Boston’s Central Artery Tunnel, Dulles International Airport, the new World Trade Center, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Eastside Access and 2nd Avenue Subway in addition to projects in the Netherlands, Japan, Venezuela, and Korea. Dr. Marr has widely published in professional journals, edited 5 books, and serves on the committees and boards of a number of professional societies. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his “innovative applications of numerical methods, risk analysis, advanced laboratory techniques, and field instrumentation to geotechnical engineering and construction.” Dr. Marr received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of California at Davis and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Brenda McCabe
University of Toronto

is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. Previously, she also served as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Civil Engineering and Vice-Dean of Graduate Studies for Engineering at the University of Toronto. Dr. McCabe’s teaching activities include graduate and undergraduate level courses in construction modeling, construction estimating, construction engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship for engineers, and engineering strategies and practice. Her research interests include use of artificial intelligence—specifically belief networks—to improve and automate construction engineering and management processes, statistical analysis of project control parameters, computer simulation, site safety, automated data collection, construction procurement methods, and productivity analysis. Dr. McCabe continues to serve on a number of committees at the professional, university and faculty levels and is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and a member of the ASCE. She has also served as specialty editor for the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering. Dr. McCabe received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in construction engineering and management from the University of Alberta.

Mr. Mark J. Nahra
Woodbury County Government

is the County Engineer for Woodbury County in Iowa. In this capacity, he is responsible and accountable for the overall planning, direction, coordination, and control of the County Secondary Road Department, including the construction, maintenance, and engineering of all county secondary roads and related services. Previously, he worked as the County Engineer for the Delaware and Cedar counties and as Assistant County Engineer in Linn and Benton Counties in Iowa with main responsibility for secondary road project development, construction, and maintenance. In addition, he served the Genesee County Road Commission as project design engineer and bridge inspector. Mr. Nahra has held various positions in the ASCE, the National Association of County Engineers (NACE), the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Iowa County Engineers Association. He also served on the Iowa Highway Research Board, the contractor coordination/highway specification committee, highway needs and function classification committee, and the Farm to Market Review Board. At TRB, he served on Committees on Low-Volume Roads, International Low-Volume Road Conference Planning, and Traffic Control Devices. He is also a NACE representative to the Council on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and Markings. Mr. Nahra has received several awards for his service and contributions, including the Iowa County Engineers Association’s Special Service Award, Iowa Section ASCE’s Outstanding Government Engineer and Associate Member of the Year Awards, and Fred R. White Award in Transportation Engineering. Mr. Nahra holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University, and is a licensed professional civil engineer in the states of Iowa and Michigan.

Dr. Clifford J. Schexnayder
Independent Consultant

is the Emeritus Eminent Scholar at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction. His professional career combines practical heavy construction experience with academic teaching and research. He has taught construction engineering courses at Arizona State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Israel Institute of Technology, and universities in Peru and Chile. He has also consulted for the California Department of Transportation on the Bay Bridge, for the Panama Canal Authority, and as the U.S. State Department advisor to the Government of Chile following the 2010 Maule earthquake. Dr. Schexnayder is the lead author for four editions of the textbook Construction Planning, Equipment, and Methods and two editions of Construction Management Fundamentals. He has served as Section Chair of the TRB Committee on Construction and as a member of the SHRP Renewal Technical Coordinating Committee. He is also a past chair and director of the Construction Engineering Committee of the American Society for Engineering Education. Dr. Schexnayder is the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE’s) award for life-time achievements in education (the OPAL Award) and the Norm Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications from the American Association of Engineering Societies. He also received the ASCE’s John O. Bickel Award for his research on tunnel construction. Dr. Schexnayder received B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Purdue University.

Ms. Melissa Serio
Iowa Department of Transportation

is the Earthwork Field Engineer in the Office of Construction at the Iowa DOT. In this capacity, she provides direction, consultation, and support relating to specifications, construction techniques, and policies of highway construction inspection and administration in the areas of grading, drainage, subbase construction, erosion control practices, storm water regulations, and landscaping. Previously, Ms. Serio worked for 7 years for a consulting engineering firm in the Chicago area as a Construction Project Manager where she had the opportunity to administer a variety of construction projects including roads, underground utilities, subdivisions, and treatment plants. Ms. Serio is a graduate of Iowa State University, receiving a B.S. degree in construction engineering and an M.S. degree in civil engineering with concentration in construction engineering and management. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Iowa.

Mr. Ranvir Singh
Oregon Department of Transportation

is the Chief of Surveys and Geometronics Manager at the Oregon Department of Transportation, where he has been employed for 36 years and involved in many aspects of transportation engineering, including surveying, design, and construction at both technical and management levels. In his present position, he directs the agency’s surveying program, which includes surveys for project development, construction, monumentation, photogrammetry, geodetic control, and right-of-way engineering. For the past 28 years, Mr. Singh has been particularly involved in engineering automation and is the author of Engineering Automation – Key Concepts for a 25-Year Time Horizon, an Oregon DOT special report providing a vision for the future of automation in highway infrastructure construction. In addition, he has been leading the DOT’s efforts in 3-D design and automated machine guidance and related technologies. He is also involved in LiDAR technology and is the founder of the Oregon Real-Time GPS Network and the Oregon Coordinate Reference System. Mr. Singh attended Oregon State University where he took courses in aerospace engineering. He is a member of American Congress of Surveying and Mapping, National Society of Professional Surveyors, Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, ASCE Geomatics Committee, Oregon Association of County Engineers and Surveyors, TRB Committee on Geospatial Data Acquisition Technologies in Design and Construction, and several FHWA committees relating to engineering automation.

Mr. James F. Trost
Gallagher Asphalt Corporation

is the Vice President of Operations with Gallagher Asphalt Corporation based in Thornton, Illinois. In this position, he is responsible for all aspects of Gallagher's plant operations and equipment fleet management. Mr. Trost has more than 13 years of experience in the construction industry, with primary focus on asphalt plants and road construction equipment. Prior to coming into the construction industry, he spent 12 years in various technical and management roles in the petrochemical industry. Mr. Trost holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Association of Equipment Management Professionals.

Mr. Lief G. Wathne
American Concrete Pavement Association

is the Vice President of Highways and Federal Affairs for the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA). In this capacity, he is responsible for various technical, policy, and federal/state agency issues related to concrete highway pavements and sustainability and serves as the Association’s primary contact with the U.S. Congress, FHWA, AASHTO, and other key national agencies and organizations. He also plays an important role in the concrete pavement industry’s ongoing research and development efforts and provides technical support and develops technical publications. Mr. Wathne has more than 20 years of experience with concrete and pavement materials from both the consulting side as well as the public sector. Prior to joining the ACPA, he worked at the FHWA as a project engineer on its mobile concrete laboratory and as a concrete pavement research engineer. He is the author of more than two dozen peer-reviewed papers and journal articles and serves on a number of technical panels, committees, and task groups. He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, TRB, and the Road Gang (Washington’s Transportation Fraternity) and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Concrete Pavements. Mr. Wathne received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. degree in civil engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.