Virginia Tech - Invent the Future Virginia Tech SWIM Center
The Virginia Tech Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center - Education & Outreach Program
Conference - Speakers

2018 Speakers

photo Sunil Sinha, Professor and Director, SWIM Center

Dr. Sinha is a tenured professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is also director of the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management Center (SWIM) Center. Dr. Sinha's research, teaching, and consulting are in the areas of infrastructure management, sustainability, pattern recognition, sensor informatics, and resilience, especially water systems. He has a total of seven years of practical experience in the infrastructure industry. His dual doctoral degree in Civil Engineering and System Design Engineering and work experience in the 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.  

Dr. Sinha serves as Vice-chair of NIST Community Resilience Panel for Water and Wastewater Systems Sector, and Chair of ASCE Utility Infrastructure Asset Management Division.   

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. The film is a startling look at water services that Americans use every day, but rarely consider. He has given many NPR interviews and featured as a water infrastructure expert in a History Channel documentary titled "The Crumbling of America".

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.

photo Carlton Chan, Manager, Pipeline Infrastructure Division, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)

Carlton is currently overseeing 40+ staff of engineers and designers for all pipeline designs at EBMUD where he has been for 20 years. He is a licensed civil engineer in California and previously supervised Treatment Plant Improvements Capital Projects. Prior to EBMUD, Carlton worked at City of Oakland Public Works and IT Corporation Environmental Consulting. Carolton is a Graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS Civil Engineering.

photo Kenneth Eyre, Senior Associate, Greeley and Hansen

Ken currently serves as the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Immediate Past-President, working with the many talented public works members from across the region, planning numerous outreach activities including lunch-n-learns, workshops, field trips, young professional social gatherings, and the annual Chapter conference and equipment show. He was one of the Chapter's first Steering Committee members of the Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute, a collaboration with Virginia Tech offering a two-year course (90 hours of instruction) for emerging public works leaders. Ken is also providing oversight to the Chapter's ad hoc Asset Management Committee.

Ken served as APWA's representative on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee to the US EPA's Wet Weather Flows ETV initiative. Ken has served on other national APWA committees. Ken was recognized nationally by his peers as one of the 2016 Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year.

In addition to his professional society activities, Ken's professional career is quite diverse and vast in scope and application. His environmental and civil engineering experience includes serving as project manager for a number of mid-Atlantic public works agencies, providing asset management services, physical condition assessment evaluation, capital asset management pilot for the Philadelphia Water Dept., developing databases to collect and record buried asset information, and using the results to assist in the design and construction services for rehabilitation / remediation and new systems. Early land and construction surveying and sewer infrastructure mapping suited future infrastructure roles and responsibilities, including planning and executing field investigations, studies, design, construction monitoring and equipment commissioning for municipal water, wastewater, storm water and solid waste facilities and systems. With more than 44 years of field and engineering experience, he has led team collaborations focused on delivering infrastructure system results and achieving expectations through open communications, partnering relationships and attention to program needs.

For Greeley and Hansen's Urban Infrastructure Group (UIG), Mr. Eyre leads this internal national practices group where technical and market horizontal infrastructure topics are discussed with outcomes and lessons learned. He actively monitors new and younger staff to participate with UIG meetings through utility engineering presentations.

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 K.N. Gunalan (Guna), Vice President of Alternative Delivery at AECOM and 2020 ASCE President

Currently based in Salt Lake City, UT with AECOM, Dr. Gunalan was previously a vice president for Parsons Brinckerhoff. He has 30 years of experience in civil and construction industry. He has served in several technical and management capacities. His management experience includes management of small local firms, and medium and large multi-national consulting firms. He has developed and successfully operated market and business lines at these large firms as well.

Guna is a senior manager with the experience and skill sets to manage large complex infrastructure projects. He has provided technical advice on civil, structural, geotechnical, pavement, and materials issues on a variety of projects around the world. His collaborative approach has contributed to many successful programs and projects ranging from a few thousand dollars to over 3 billion dollars.

His active membership in ASCE over many years includes leadership roles as Region 8 director (2009-2012), Region 8 governor (2005-2007), Utah Section president (2002-2003), and Texas Section High Plains Branch president (1992). He served as the chair of ASCE's 2014 Global Engineering Conference in Panama City, Panama in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. Most recently, he served as a governor for the Geo Institute and was a member of the steering committee for the 2017 ASCE India Conference.

Guna has been married for 35 years to Duru. They have a son, Kabilar, and a daughter, Pallavi. He loves to read, travel, and learn about new cultures.

photo Doug Hatler, Chief Revenue Officer, Fracta

Doug is responsible for delivering revenue and market share for Fracta. He is also responsible for the marketing strategy, tactics and programs to create interest, demand and brand recognition of Fracta. Doug brings 31 years of experience as a sales and marketing leader, management consultant, environmental regulatory specialist and civil/environmental engineer. Doug earned a BS in Environmental Science and an MBA from Rutgers University. He earned an MS in Environmental Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

photo Elkin Hernandez, Director of Maintenance Services, DC Water

Mr. Hernandez has over 20 years of experience in the design, construction, commissioning, maintenance and operation of large utilities as a contractor, consultant and utility employee. Early in his career, he performed research on telecommunication protocols interoperability and alarm management. More recently, his work is focused in the fields of management, maintenance optimization. Mr. Hernandez holds Bachelors and Master's degrees in Electrical and Computer science.

photo Nicholas Hoffman, Project Engineer, Philadelphia Water Department

Mr. Hoffman has worked at the Philadelphia Water Department for the past 3 years. He has spent the entirety of his time with the department working as a project engineer in the Linear Asset Management team. He is currently responsible for maintaining and updating the water distribution risk model as well as packaging and initiating replacement projects. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from Temple University.

photo Jessica Hou, Client Services Manager, Gannett Fleming

Jessica is celebrating 20 years at Gannett Fleming, currently working as a client services manager for Virginia water clients. She is a double graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering and Masters in Environmental Engineering. She is a Board Certified Environmental Engineering in Water Supply and Wastewater and is an Envision Sustainability Professional. She has stayed active in the professional societies including Virginia AWWA and VWEA, and is Past Chair and Research Committee Chair for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Old Dominion University.

photo Celine Hyer, SWIM Industry Board, ARCADIS

Ms. Celine Hyer has 25 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 Takashi Kato, Co-founder, President and CEO of SCHAFT, Inc.

Previously, Takashi was the co-founder & CFO of SCHAFT Inc., the humanoid robotics venture which was awarded first prize at the 2013 U.S. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Robotics Challenge Trials. SCHAFT was acquired by Google in the same year. Takashi was a visiting scholar at Stanford's US-Asia Technology Management Center. Takashi has been published in the various articles including Bloomberg, The Economist and The Financial Times. Takashi holds a B.Eng. degree in applied physics from Waseda University and a MBA from the Australian National University.

photo Peter Kraft, Asset Management Practice Lead, Confluence Group, Colorado

Mr. Peter Kraft has 13 years of experience working in the asset management and water utility space. He spent over a decade helping Denver Water develop their enterprise asset management strategy and program. As Confluence Group's AM Practice Lead, he helps utilities operationalize asset management through better alignment of business processes and technology solutions. Peter 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 Jon Martin, Engineering Supervisor, Philadelphia Water Department

Mr. Martin has worked at the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) for the past 5 years. He has spent 3 years working as a project engineer and supervisor in the Linear Asset Management team and 2 years with the Water Facilities Management team. Throughout his time at the department, he has been responsible for helping develop a risk model of the department's water distribution system and aiding in the development of a long-term plan for water facilities. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College and a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst.

photo Louis Martinez, Director of Waterworks, City of Newport News

He oversees an operating budget just over $90 million, approaching 140,000 connections, with a population service area over 400,000, and a staff of more than 350. Martinez has more than 20 years of experience in municipal utilities. Mr. Martinez is currently initiating a system wide three-phased Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project. He most recently was the director of operations and maintenance for Lake Havasu, Ariz. Previously, he worked for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County New Mexico Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) with a service area of over 500,000, serving as the Sr. infrastructure Asset Manager. While in this positon, he lead the creation and development of the agency ‘Comprehensive Asset Management Program' to manage the existing $5+ billion in ABCWUA assets and to more effectively plan for future needs. He also has worked with several regulatory agencies, including serving as a commissioner for the New Mexico Coal Surface Mining Commission and the Oil and Gas Commission. Martinez holds a master's degree in water resources, and has a bachelor's degree in geology with minors in chemistry, math and physics, and both from the University of New Mexico. He resides with his wife Melissa in Newport News.

photo Patricia McCarney, President and CEO, World Council and City Data Director, Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto

Patricia McCarney is President and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, Canada. She has served as Associate Vice President, International Research and Development at the University of Toronto.

Professor Patricia McCarney received her Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1987. Before joining the University of Toronto, between 1983 and 1994, Professor McCarney worked as a professional staff member in a number of international agencies, including the World Bank in Washington, and the United Nations - HABITAT in Nairobi.

Leading the World Council on City Data, Patricia McCarney is building a globally standardized data base for cities worldwide inviting cities to build city data in conformity with ISO 37120, the first international standard for city data. As host of this new knowledge platform, the WCCD is positioned to be the leading global city data base with standardized, verified, comparable and open city data for a growing network of smart and prosperous cities.

photo David Neitz, CIO at CDM Smith

David is responsible for all aspects of the CDM's Business Technology practice, including a transformative Digital Capital strategy that creates value and delivers business outcomes. His focus on innovation has resulted in the application of new disruptive technologies and processes that capture digital assets and provide new visualization and collaboration capabilities, resulting in superior results for the firm's clients.

In recognition of his accomplishments, David was selected by EFCG as "CIO of the year" in 2018, MIT for their 2016 "CIO Leadership Award", Finalist for Boston ORBIE award for Global CIO of the year in 2017, ComputerWorld magazine as one of their "Premier 100 IT Leaders" in 2011 and CIO magazine as their "Ones to Watch Award" for 2010. In addition, David received the Standout award for "Change Leadership" by CIO Magazine. He holds an M.B.A from University of Colorado Executive MBA program.

photo Jim O'Dowd, AECOM

Jim is a professional engineer with over twenty-three years of experience in water and wastewater consulting. He worked for the past ten years as the Infrastructure Asset Manager for the Western Virginia Water Authority. He recently left the Authority to begin a new chapter of his career with AECOM. He holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from University College Cork, Ireland. Mr. O'Dowd is a past Vice-Chair of the ASCE Pipelines Division Underground Pipeline Asset Management (UPAM) Committee and also served on the UPAM Task Committee for Sewer Condition Assessment. He has presented papers at National and International conferences with a primary focus on hydraulic modeling and asset management.

photo Marilee Orr, Management and Program Analyst, US Department of Homeland Security

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 Jeremy Raney, P.E., Louisville Water Company

Jeremy is the Manager of the Infrastructure Planning division, which oversees the development of the Capital Infrastructure Plan for the company. He also serves as the asset manager, developing and implementing enterprise asset management programs and approaches to replacing and maintaining the company's assets. Jeremy has been with Louisville Water for 6 years, and prior to that served as the Assistant Director of Engineering for the Louisville Metro Public Works Department where he held a similar asset management role for 10+ years. Jeremy has been a licensed engineer in the state of Kentucky for over 10 years.

photo Dwayne Roadcap, Director of Office of Drinking Water, Virginia Department of Health

Dwayne Roadcap, REHS, LPSS, AOSE, has been the Director of the Office of Drinking Water since November 25, 2017. Dwayne has over 25 years of experience with environmental programs in Virginia. He began his career as a Water Treatment Operator with the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority in Charlottesville, Virginia and later transitioned to the Virginia Department of Health as an Environmental Health Specialist and Technical Consultant with the Thomas Jefferson Health District. In 2000, Dwayne started working with the Office of Environmental Health Services and served multiple roles, including Director, Division of Onsite Sewage, Water Supply, Environmental Engineering, and Marina Programs, and Acting Office Director. Dwayne has presented at several national and state conferences regarding the Virginia Department of Health's environmental health programs, including the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association and the National Environmental Health Association.

For over five years, Dwayne helped mentor environmental health program managers and leaders across the country through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI). EPHLI was a 12-month program that assigned students to a complicated real world work problem and taught methods of problem analysis, verbal judo, conflict resolution, project management, logic models, strategic thinking, and systems thinking.

Dwayne holds an Environmental Sciences degree from the University of Virginia and enjoys spending time with his wife and teenage daughter. Dwayne also served as a volunteer reserve deputy sheriff for two years and has a second degree black belt in a traditional martial art.

photo Mr. Hugh Sinclair, Manager, Asset Management, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

At the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), Mr. Sinclair oversees the staff that is responsible for the development and implementation of the Asset Management Program for vertical infrastructure, which includes seven wastewater treatment plants, two water filtration plants and many other supporting facilities. This includes tracking the condition and performance of vertical assets, optimization of operations and maintenance strategies, capital planning, with the objective of continuous improvement of WSSC's level of service. He has spearheaded the development of several programs and projects in asset management at WSSC many of which have been industry first initiatives. Mr. Sinclair holds a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from Howard University.

photo Michael Stuhr, P.E., Director, Portland Water Bureau

Currently, Director of the Portland Water Bureau, Mr. Stuhr served previously as the Bureau's Chief Engineer for 10 years and Group Director of the Construction and Maintenance Group for two years. Combined, Mr. Stuhr has more than 40 years experience leading and managing a wide variety of engineering activities including twenty-two years of distinguished service as a military officer in the United States Army Corps of Engineers including tours as Director of Public Works, Deputy District Engineer, and Deputy Division Engineer. He has been involved in a variety of emergency response activities in the United States including flood fights on the Missouri, Snake and Sacramento-San Joaquin River systems, and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Louisiana. Mr. Stuhr graduated from the United States Military Academy with a B.S. in Engineering. He has an MSCE in geotechnical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from University of California, Davis. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Oregon and California. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, and is a Fellow in the Society of American Military Engineers.

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 Ken Thompson, Global Technologist, Jacobs Engineering

Ken Thompson has 38 years of experience in the industry and is a Senior Technology Fellow for Jacobs Engineering in their Denver Office. He serves as the Global Technology Leader for IoT and Smart Sensors for the Jacobs Digital Solutions Team, which includes the design and implementation of smart systems for water, wastewater and other sectors.

Ken has managed or served as the technical lead in many Surveillance and Response systems and water quality optimization projects for U.S. clients that include: Glendale Arizona; Department of Defense; San Francisco Public Utility Commission; City of Arlington, Texas; New York City Department of Environmental Protection; Dallas Water Utilities; Fort Worth, Texas; and Fort Collins, Colorado. The combined value is over $60M in project work for the smart grid systems in 10 US water systems and one military base. The work focused on the optimization of water quality, quantity, and cost and the development of new machine to machine technologies to enhance the capabilities to create knowledge from real time data for operations staff.

Ken has also been working on an innovative solution using Advanced Metering Infrastructure, DMAs weather, and pressure to reduce water loss for agencies and customers in near real time. He has recently been working with the Veterans Administration Medical Centers developing a smart system to assist in optimizing water quality indie their buildings to prevent the growth of legionella.

Ken presently serves as the Chairman for the Smart Water Network Forum Council

photo Jessica Torrey, Engineer and Program Manager, Bureau of Reclamation

Jessica Torrey is a Materials Engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver, CO. Her work focuses on corrosion control and mitigation planning for Reclamation's hydraulic infrastructure throughout the western United States. She is also a program manager for the Water Pipeline Field Performance Data Study and the Infrastructure Sustainability Prize Competitions. Jessica holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington and is a NACE-certified Cathodic Protection Technologist and Coating Inspector - Level 2.

photo Eric Wilson, Deputy Director, MOR

Mr. Wilson manages climate adaptation programs in land use and buildings. Eric oversees a team of architects, urban planners and policy experts working to identify fiscally responsible and socially equitable approaches to the climate challenges facing New York City's building stock and neighborhoods. Eric and his team coordinate with individuals, households, communities and local, state, and federal agencies to get ready for New York City's climate vulnerabilities, including sea level rise, extreme heat, and powerful storms.

Eric joins ORR from 100 Resilient Cities, a program of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed relationships with 11 cities and staffed special initiatives such as the ReImagine Puerto Rico Commission following Hurricane Maria. His 15+ year career spans several New York City agencies, including the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, the Economic Development Corporation, and the Department of City Planning. Eric has also worked in the United Arab Emirates and Detroit.

Originally from Littleton, Colorado, Eric holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Environmental Conservation and Plant Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Eric, his spouse, and Eskie dog reside in Brooklyn.

photo Zheng Yi Wu, Ph.D., F. EWRI, Fellow, Bentley Systems

Zheng Yi Wu, is a Bentley Fellow with more 25 years of experience. Since 2007, Dr. Wu has been managing the applied research projects for Bentley Systems in developing the computational intelligence with the emerging computation paradigms. Prior to joining Bentley, he had various positions of software development, engineering consulting and applied research at MWH Global in Pasadena CA, Sinclair Knight Merz in Sydney Australia, Sembawang Engineers and Constructors in Singapore, and Danish Hydraulic Institute in Copenhagen Denmark. Dr. Wu is an author of more than 160 technical papers, contributing author of three technical books, primary inventor of 15 patents, and also awardee of ACM, ASCE, AWWA and IWA. He holds bachelor and master degrees in Civil and Structural Engineering from Guizhou University in China, master degree in Hydroinformatics from UNESCO-IHE Delft in the Netherlands, and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Adelaide in Australia.