Virginia Tech - Invent the Future Virginia Tech SWIM Center

Conference - Speakers

photo Sunil Sinha, Professor and Director, SWIM Center

Dr. Sinha's research, teaching, and consulting are in the areas of asset management, pattern recognition, sensor informatics, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, especially water systems. He has a total of seven years of practical experience in the infrastructure industry. His doctoral degree in Civil & System Design Engineering and work experience in industry enables him to participate in interdisciplinary research opportunities, and to utilize his practical knowledge to teach students how to solve real-world problems using fundamental and practical approaches. He was the seed behind a PBS documentary titled "Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure," that throws light on a long-buried problem -- America's aging water systems. He has given many NPR interviews and featured as a water infrastructure expert in a new History Channel documentary titled "The Crumbling of America".


photo Stephen Cauffman, Lead, Disaster Resilience, NIST

Stephen Cauffman has thirty years of experience in management of research and development programs across a range of technical disciplines, supervision of research staff, and leadership of multidisciplinary project teams. He has managed programs of significant national interest (Disaster Resilience, World Trade Center Investigation; reconnaissance of damage to buildings and infrastructure due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita). His specialties include program management, business development, commercialization of new technology, composite materials and disaster resilience.


photo Sonia Brubaker, Program Manager, U.S. EPA

Ms. Sonia Brubaker is the Program Manager at the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center at USEPA. Prior to that, she was an Environmental Protection Specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. Ms. Brubaker is involved with activities that aim to build and maintain the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of water systems to ensure their long-term sustainability. Ms. Brubaker is the National Coordinator for the Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) asset management software. CUPSS helps smaller water and wastewater systems implement asset management practices and develop customized asset management plans. Her experience with asset management principles and site visits at smaller water systems has helped to frame these efforts. Ms. Brubaker earned a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).


photo Marilee Orr, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. DHS

Ms. Marilee Orr is Management and Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Prior to that, she has worked as a consultant with Stopso and IBM Global Business Services. She has her Bachelors in Biology from Duke University.


photo John Segna, Director, Utility Engineering, ASCE

John J. Segna, P.E., BCEE, F.ASCE, currently the director of ASCE's Civil Engineering Certification (CEC), Inc. program as well as director of ASCE's Technical Activities Department, is a leader in engineering certification programs and has also had extensive experience in hazardous waste management. As director of Specialty Certification, he is responsible for expanding the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers from 100 Diplomats to 650. In addition, he helped create 2 new certification programs, the Academy of Geo-Professional, and the Academy of Coast, Ocean, Ports, and Navigation Engineering.


photo Kenneth Eyre, APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Officer

Ken Eyre, P.E., has extensive environmental engineering experience (over 40-years) including having served as project manager for a number of Mid-Atlantic public works agencies, including asset management services such as, physical condition assessment evaluation, participated in a capital asset management pilot for the City of Philadelphia, developed databases to collect and record buried asset information, and used the observation results to assist in the design and construction services for both rehabilitation/remediation and new systems.


photo Philip Tiewater, Utility Management Division, WEF

Mr. Philip Tiewater is helping organizations manage their built environment in a sustainable manner, through a blend of coaching, mentoring, and consulting. With over 36 years of experience with public agencies, he understands the challenges of leading management and technical professionals, and achieving success from within a government structure. His blend of an engineering background, leadership positions, and management consulting practice, gives him a unique perspective on how to improve any type of organization, especially water and wastewater systems.


photo Kevin Morley, Security & Preparedness, AWWA

Mr. Kevin M. Morley, PhD is a Manager at Federal Relations for the American Water Works Association (AWWA). In this role he works closely with a variety of organizations tasked with advancing the security and preparedness of the nation's critical infrastructure, including DHS/FEMA, EPA, USACE, CDC and the Water Sector Coordinating Council. This has included facilitating the expansion of mutual aid and assistance via the Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) initiative. In addition, he has supported the development of water sector standards and guidance for security and preparedness, including ANSI/AWWA G430: Security Practices for Operations and Management, ANSI/AWWA G440: Emergency Preparedness and ANSI/AWWA J100: Risk and Resilience Management of Water and Wastewater Systems.


photo Lee Sears, Project Director, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Mr. Lee Sears is currently working as a Materials Engineer Mitigating Corrosion via Cathodic Protection at the Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Federal Center. He is the project director for the project – "Collection and Compilation of Pipeline Field Performance Data". His background and PhD is in Materials Science and Engineering. He is also board member of the Colorado Association of Black Professionals and Engineering Scientists.


photo Jian Zhang, Manager, Water Research Foundation

Mr. Jian Zhang is a Research Manager at the Water Research Foundation. He has a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering and extensive experience as a civil engineer on construction sites. He has been working with the Foundation for nearly 14 years. Most of his projects fall in the field of water utility infrastructure, ranging from pipe materials, pressure management, and distribution systems.


photo Michael Stuhr, Director, Portland Water Bureau, Oregon

Mr. Michael Stuhr, Bureau Director, is responsible for the ongoing operation of the Bureau, as well as security, long-range planning, organization development, facilitation of regional partnerships, and coordination with governments and regulators. For the past ten years, Mike served as the Director of Engineering and Chief Engineer, responsible for overall management of engineering, its support functions, and administration of the CIP including planning, design, construction, and emergency management. Mr. Stuhr has over 30 years of experience leading and managing a wide variety of engineering activities and more than 10 years as a senior executive with state, federal, and international experience managing multi-million dollar environmental, water resource, and facilities engineering programs. Mr. Stuhr has a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Davis.


photo Tom Keifer, Bureau Chief, Baltimore County, Maryland

Mr. Tom Keifer is the Bureau Chief of Utilities and Operations Manager for the county's sanitary sewer system and engineering and regulation operations. For the sanitary sewer system, he oversees inspection and cleaning operations, gravity and force main pipeline condition assessment programs, implementation of fats oil and grease program and rehabilitation work by in-house and contractor forces. For the engineering and regulation operations, he oversees the county's industrial pre-treatment program and analytical laboratory. Also he oversees the operation and maintenance of the piped portion of the storm drainage system and coordination with Baltimore City for water system repairs, maintenance and constituent concerns.


photo Elkin Hernandez, Manager, DC Water, Washington DC

Mr. Elkin Hernandez is currently working as Process Control Maintenance Manager at DC Water. In the past Mr. Hernandez has worked with EMA Inc. and Alstom Power at various positions. His specialties include DCS (Distributed Control System), PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), SCADA, and Alarm Management.


photo David Hughes, Manager, American Water, New Jersey

Mr. Dave Hughes is the Water Research Manager in American Water Company's Office of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship in Voorhees, NJ. He is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and a licensed professional engineer. His background includes serving as a public water authority manager, a hydraulic engineer for Aqua America, and an engineering consultant for the UK based Water Research Center. He is a member of ASCE and an active member of AWWA and is past Chairman of the Infrastructure Management Committee. He is also a member of the IWA and NASTT. His primary responsibility at American Water is to identify, promote, and develop effective use of new technology to manage water assets. He has also worked with Aqua Water.


photo Alberto Quiroz Centeno, Manager Master Planning, SUEZ Water, North America

Mr. Alberto Q. Centeno is a Manager of Master Planning at SUEZ in Paramus, New Jersey. SUEZ in North America operates across all 50 states and Canada with 3,430 employees dedicated to environmental sustainability and leading the resource revolution.


photo Walter Graf, Program Director, WE&RF, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Walter Graf is working as Program Director - Strategic Asset Management & Sensors Guidance and Implementation at WERF. He has directed the WERF Strategic Asset Management (SAM) and Sensors Research Challenges, and directed the recently completed the USEPA Aging Water Infrastructure cooperative agreement. He is knowledgeable of industry-standards related to asset management for both linear infrastructure and facility management including WERF SIMPLE and SAM tools, USEPA Advanced Asset Management, ISO 55001, and IIMM. He also has knowledge of strategies related to: system inventories, condition assessment, remaining life, gap analysis, field techniques/equipment, defining level of service, business risk exposure, prioritizing capital improvement projects, business case evaluations, and economic decision making. He has lead Collection Systems and Intelligent Water Systems focus area groups for the WERF Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT). He has also been a WERF representative to the Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC) and Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) for water sector security issues.


photo Anas Malkawi, HRSD, Hampton Roads, Virginia

Mr. Anas Malkawi is the Chief of Asset Management at the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) overseeing an engineering division responsible for providing systematic and risk-based analysis to manage the sustainable lifecycle of capital assets and the optimization of maintenance programs. In his role, he is responsible for developing and implementing programs to assess the renewal or replacement of assets and maximizing the value of capital as well as operations and maintenance expenditures of HRSD's wastewater infrastructure systems comprising of thirteen treatment plants with a combined capacity of approximately 250 million gallons per day, over one hundred pump stations, and more than 500 miles of primarily pressurized pipelines. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geography with an emphasis in Geospatial Technologies from Old Dominion University and a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University


photo Celine Hyer, Senior Vice President, Arcadis, Tampa, FL

Ms. Celine Hyer has 24 years of diverse environmental engineering experience including solid waste, environmental clean-ups, and water & wastewater facilities. Currently she is the U.S. Conveyance Market Sector Leader for ARCADIS in Client Development specializing in Utility Asset Management Programs and Buried Infrastructure programs including planning, implementations of CMMS programs, and condition and risk assessments. Her specialties include Asset Management systems, and water and wastewater asset condition assessments, pipe replacement planning including condition, and risk assessments.


photo Devan Thomas, Vice President, AECOM, Ontario, Canada

Over his career as a Professional Engineer, Mr. Devan Thomas has assumed increasing levels of responsibility from on-site inspection/administration of infrastructure projects, through project design and management, to the overall leadership of corporate programs. Devan currently leads the Infrastructure Services Technical Practice in AECOM comprising approximately 1100 staff globally. Devan has previously acted as National Practice Leader (North America) for Wastewater Collection Systems, National Lead (Canada) for Asset Management and leader of AECOM's Water Infrastructure Technical Practice Group. He brings extensive experience in municipal engineering and information technology combining experience in the detailed design, analysis and construction of water and wastewater systems.


photo James Carolan, Vice President, CDM Smith, Boston, MA

Mr. James Carolan has spent the first 15 years of his career developing Geographic Information Systems data sets and the past two years developing advanced ways to use that data in capital planning. Statistical modeling of failure modes and damage risk for water systems is his professional passion and his family and home repairs consume the rest of the time. His specialties include GIS, capital planning, water and wastewater networks, and energy policy.


photo Robert Keefe, Chief Technology & Information, Mueller

Mr. Bob Keefe has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Mueller Water Products since early 2007. Most recently, he was Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Russell Corporation. Prior to that Bob was Vice President and Chief Information Officer for ConAgra Refrigerated Foods from 1996 to 2002. He also held progressively responsible systems positions with Kraft Foods and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Bob started his career as a scientific researcher with Brookhaven National Laboratories. He earned his MBA, with distinction, from Pace University and holds a Bachelor's Degree from the State University of New York at Oswego.


photo Jon Greensill, Director, SEAMS Ltd., Sheffield, UK

Mr. Jon Greensill has experience related to Business Development for software product companies. He has extensive knowledge of Asset Management focused industries on an international basis including, utilities (water, electric, gas), transport (road, rail), civil structures and buildings. He has a good understanding of key business drivers in these sectors such as regulatory, rate case, financial and how these vary in different geographical locations. He is familiar with all aspects of software product development, sales and support including: client and market requirements capture; definition and management of product strategy; sales pipeline development and technical demonstrations; and bid management


photo Peter Kraft, Practice Leader, Confluence Group, Colorado

Mr. Peter Kraft has spent the past 10 years working on developing Denver's water enterprise asset management strategy and program. He currently holds the position of Asset Management Practice Lead with the responsibility of aligning AM strategies, processes, and technology across all infrastructure programs at the Confluence Group. Peter plays an integral role in developing and supporting data driven decision making for capital and operational planning. He holds a Master's degree in Urban Planning and GIS from the University of Colorado with an emphasis in urban water systems and spatial analysis.


photo David Totman, Global Industry Manager, ESRI, California

Mr. David Totman is the Industry Manager of the Esri Global Water Practice providing thought leadership and market direction. He has been using GIS for over 25 years in business process optimization, project analytics, and infrastructure management. Before joining Esri, Totman served as the Manager of Asset Management for Colorado Springs Utilities, one of the largest four-service municipally owned utilities in the United States. He was educated in chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received his Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from Arizona State University. He completed graduate work at ASU included a Research Assistantship with the College of Construction and thesis development in groundwater transportation methods.


photo Zheng Wu, Fellow, Bentley Systems, Inc., Watertown, CT

Since the 1980's, Mr. Zheng Wu has been involved in academic research, engineering consulting, and technology development of computational simulation and optimization techniques around world. He has earned his Ph.D. from Adelaide University in Australia, where he did research in Genetic Algorithm optimization for water distribution system design including water hammer. He received a M.Sc. in hydroinformatics from UNESCO-IHE in Deft, the Netherlands, where he applied the genetic algorithm optimization to MOUSE hydrological and hydrodynamic modeling system at DHI in early 1990s. He obtained a M.Sc. in hydraulic & structural engineering in 1986 from Guizhou Institute of Technology (now Guizhou University), Guiyang, China, where he developed structural optimization methods based on fuzzy set theory and applied to arch dam design optimization. He has published peer reviewed technical papers in simulation and optimization analytics for water systems, buildings and bridges, and frequently given presentations. 


photo Greg Baird, Director of Enterprise Strategies, Cityworks, Utah

Mr. Greg Baird is a Financial Management and Infrastructure Asset Management Specialist for Municipalities. Mr. Baird has experience as a municipal finance officer, utility CFO, financial and infrastructure consultant with MWH and GHD. He is focused on helping governments and utilities improve the cost effectiveness of their operations through the use of technology and asset management practices. Mr. Baird is a leader in the efforts to address the Aging Water Infrastructure Funding.



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