Technical Sessions - July 2018


Topic: SH 161 Peak Hour Lane Before-After Study; I-30/SH360 Interchange Project Update

Speaker: Jason Crawford, P.E.

John Edens

Mr. Crawford is the Division Head for the Research & Implementation Division of the Transportation Operations Group overseeing the Arlington, Dallas, Houston, and Waco offices. He conducts research in the areas of work zone safety, transportation operations, transportation planning, transportation/air-quality, cash forecasting, and congestion monitoring.

He serves as the Mobility Coordinator for two high profile construction projects in TxDOT’s Ft Worth District: the I-30/SH 360 interchange and the I-820/SH 121 interchange.  In this role he serves as the project advocate and ombudsman, and liaisons to residents, commuters, business owners, and property owners.  He has served previously as Mobility Coordinator for several projects since 2011. 


Topic: Traffic and Project Modeling Using Virtual Reality; North Tarrant Express Project Updates

Speaker: Michael Gage, P.E.

Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2006. He began his career with a consultant and joined TxDOT as one of the Deputy Project Managers for the NTE Segment 3A and 3B project. Prior to TxDOT, Michael worked on various transportation projects in the DFW area including the DART Blue Line Extension, DFW Connector, and Horseshoe proposal. He became licensed in the state of Texas in 2012. He has 2 kids that keep him busy when he’s not working his real job.


Topic: Overcoming Mother Nature - Lessons Learned from the Field

Speaker: Mark Bouma, P.E.

Mark Bouma started with the NTTA in 1998 leading the design and construction of the President George Bush Turnpike and Addison Airport Toll Tunnel.  In 1999, he became Director of Engineering, leading the NTTA’s rapid growth in planning, design and construction of toll road and capital improvement projects.  In late 2007, with the creation of the Project Delivery Department, he assumed the responsibility of providing technical direction and quality assurance over row acquisition, design and construction of NTTA capital projects.

Previously, Mark was employed for 12 years by HNTB Corporation.  His work included construction management of the Dallas North Tollway extensions from IH 635 to SH 121, TxDOT bridge inspections, rehabilitation design of the historic Waco Suspension Bridge, and design of bridges and interchanges.

Mark earned his B.S. and M.E. degrees in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1983 and 1986, respectively.

Mark is the past Chairman of the Engineering and Design Committee for the International Bridge Tunnel & Turnpike Association.  He current serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Infrastructure Advancement Institute and he remains active in the Boy Scouts in Frisco as a Venture Crew Associate Advisor and Special Projects Advisor to the Boy Scout Order of the Arrow honor society.


Topic: Applications of Lean Techniques in Municipal Construction 

Speaker: Attah Aloysius, P.E.

Attah AloysiusAloysius (Al) Attah, P.E. is a scholar-practitioner with training in civil engineering (BS), industrial engineering (MS), and information systems management (PhD).Academic Experience: Al is a faculty member at the University of North Texas (UNT) where he teaches construction engineering/management courses. Prior to joining UNT, he taught at both Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and DeVry University. His research interests include lean project delivery systems, construction safety, and quality systems.

Industry Experience: Al has more than 30 years of engineering and management experience in the aerospace, manufacturing, and construction industries. He is the founder of MACVAL Associates LLC - an engineering and construction firm based in Dallas, Texas. Before establishing MACVAL, he spent 17 years with the Boeing Company holding various engineering and management positions in support of the design and manufacture of 737, 747, 757, 767, and 777 airplane models.

Professional Membership: Al is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers. He was a past national president of the Construction Division of Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers. He also belonged to the National Society of Professional Engineers.


Topic: Retrofit and Rehabilitation Using the Advanced Composite Materials & Unique FRP Anchoring Details are Proof Tested by New Zealand’s Earthquakes

Speaker: Sam Smith

Sam SmithSam Smith, is the Business Development Manager for the South Region at Fyfe Company since 2016. He has been in the construction and engineering industry for over 20 years. He continues to work with civil and structural engineers, as well as owners, on the design and implementation of retrofit and rehabilitation projects for both horizontal infrastructure as well as vertical construction. Sam has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Topic: Lessons learned from VDOT accelerated bridge construction project

Speaker: Jorge Suarez, P.E.

Jorge SuarezJorge M. Suarez, P.E. is a structural engineer with Michael Baker International. Mr. Suarez graduated from Manhattan College in New York with a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering degree in 1977. He has over 40 years of experience in the design and construction of numerous steel and specialized prestressed/post-tensioned concrete structures. Types of structures include concrete segmental bridges, cable stayed bridges, arch bridges, accelerated bridge construction, bridge rehabilitation, and tieback anchored walls. Mr. Suarez is presently a Vice President / Director of Structural Engineering in the Michael Baker Dallas Office and has been involved in various transportation projects throughout the United States. He is a registered Professional Engineer in 16 states.


Topic: The Use of Shallow Geothermal Energy for Bridge/Pavement Deicing in Texas

Speaker: Dr. Xinbao Yu

Dr. Xinbao YuDr. Xinbao Yu is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in civil engineering in 2009 from Case Western Reserve University. Before joining UTA, Dr. Yu worked as a research associate at Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC). Dr. Yu’s research areas include geothermal energy applications, deep foundations, bridge scour, and soil sensors. Dr. Yu is currently working as the PI on the geothermal bridge deicing project funded by Texas Department of Transportation. Dr. Yu is a member of the TRB Committees AFP20 and AFP60 and Geo-Institute Technical Committee on unsaturated soils and Scour and Erosion.


Topic: Drilled and Driven Foundation Testing: An Overview

Speaker: Brandon Phetteplace


Topic: TEXRail Construction Update

Speaker: Ritchey Thompson


Topic: Steel - AISC

Speaker: Brian Ward, Director - DFW

Brian WardBrian Ward is a Structural Steel Specialist with the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) serving the Dallas/Fort Worth market. He actively works with Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Owners to help them achieve better project outcomes by building on the past, delivering innovative solutions today, and shaping the future. Brian is the leading advocate and trusted resource for American structural steel in the DFW area.  Before joining AISC, Brian worked for a steel fabricator as a design engineer and regional sales manager in the DFW area for 16 years. Additionally, he served as a senior project engineer for the Dallas office of DPR Construction for two years.  Brian earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station.


Topic: Precast - PCMA

Speaker: Chris Lechner, Executive Director

Chris LechnerChris J. Lechner is a 1989 graduate of University of Illinois Springfield and for the last 28 years has successfully managed construction trade associations. In 2000, Lechner accepted a position with the Ohio Concrete Masonry Association that began his interest in plant manufactured concrete. In 2007, Lechner joined PCMA of Texas to direct the protection and promotion efforts of the precast concrete industry in Texas. In addition to PCMA, Lechner is also a Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute Regional Director serving Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Chris lives in New Braunfels, Texas and spends his spare time golfing, playing hockey and enjoying live music.


Topic: Wood - Woodworks

Speaker: Mark Bartlett, P.E.

Mark BartlettMark Bartlett is the Regional Director for WoodWorks, an organization that provides free technical support and resources related to the design of wood buildings. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and is a Professional Engineer in the states of Texas and Oklahoma. In his 25+ years of experience, he has worked as a consulting structural engineer and as a field engineer with Simpson Strong-Tie.