Civil Engineering Advisory Council Members
Fitzpatrick - Chair
Senior Vice President
Kevin Fitzpatrick is Senior Vice President and Great Lakes Regional Manager at Alfred Benesch & Company (Benesch). Additionally, he serves on the firm's Board of Directors. In his role, he is responsible for all operations and business development within the Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin Divisions, as well as contributes to the long-range vision of the firm. Kevin has over 25 years of experience in highway and railroad bridge design and construction management, having managed several complex projects. One of his most notable project accomplishments was serving as the construction manager for the $200 million Wacker Drive Viaduct Reconstruction project, located in downtown Chicago. His work has received local, state and national recognition for exceptional project management. Kevin is a member of several professional organizations and is actively involved in the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association's Planning and Design Group, of which he is a past Board Member. Benesch is a multi-disciplined engineering firm, providing a range of services including civil, structural, construction management, geotechnical and environmental consulting. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the firm employees over 370 professional staff in 15 offices covering nine states including: Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado and Ohio.
Everett - Vice Chair
BSCE 1976, MSCE 1978
M. Janet Everett is a Vice President with URS Corporation Southern and the Business Line Leader for Surface Transportation in Florida. In this capacity, she is responsible for business development and project management for roadway, bridge, transit and design/build projects. She has spent her entire career working for private consulting firms specializing in multi-disciplinary assignments involving area-wide transportation studies, corridor studies, project development/NEPA studies, arterial and controlled access facility design, and interchange justification reports, with the last 25 years at URS Corporation. Ms. Everett is a Registered Professional Engineer in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona and Washington. Major project accomplishments during her career include serving as Project Manager for FDOT District 5 General Engineering Consultant contracts since 1999; an EIS for reconstruction of 43 miles of I-4 through the Orlando metropolitan area; managed lanes projects in Hillsborough County and the Orlando metropolitan area; and the development, evaluation and implementation of SunRail, the commuter rail system currently under construction in the Orlando metropolitan area.
Client Service Manager
Paul Amico is a Client Service Manager in CH2M HILL's Indianapolis office. He has more than 18 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of water and sewer utility infrastructure projects, and in providing utility management consulting and asset management solutions. Paul received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1996 and he is a licensed professional engineer in the states of Indiana and California. In his spare time, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, rock climbing, and brewing beer.
BSCE 1962, HDR 2007
Robert Bowen has distinguished himself in the construction industry as the founder and owner of Bowen Engineering Corp., a multi-market company specializing in water and wastewater treatment plants and energy utility construction. The company, based in the Indianapolis area, works in 15 states in the Midwest and Southeastern United States. Mr. Bowen was born in Bluffton, Ind., and raised in Indianapolis, where he currently resides. He attended Purdue, receiving his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1962. After several years as a project manager and stockholder at W.M. Lyles Construction Co. in California, he returned to Indiana in 1967 to start his own company. He is considered an authority on preplanning and leadership practices in construction. He is a founder and instructor of the Associated General Contractors Project Manager Institute. Bowen Engineering has received four AGC Build America Awards (the Oscar of the construction industry), including one for the $57 million Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant addition in 2004. Robert, along with his wife, Terry, established the Bowen Foundation 13 years ago to provide scholarships to minority students in Indianapolis to help them pursue an education past high school. About 300 students have received more than $750,000 in scholarships through this foundation. The Bowens, along with Purdue President Martin Jischke, founded Science Bound, a Purdue program initiated in 2002. The program mentors students from Indianapolis Public Schools starting in eighth grade through high school and encourages them to pursue careers in science and technical fields. Science Bound students receive an opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship to Purdue. The Bowens also provided financial support to Purdue for the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen High-Scale Performance Civil Engineering Laboratory, an $11 million research facility that allows engineers to test structures such as bridges and buildings while focusing on making construction materials more durable, safer, and earthquake resistant. In 2005, the Bowens received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Indiana chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their generous financial support of education.
BSCE 1977, MSCE 1979, Ph.D. 1983, HDR 2010
Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. The Burke Group of Companies have a total staff of 400 with 8 offices in Indiana and Illinois. Dr. Burke is active in professional societies including leadership positions in ASCE and the Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois. He has received awards from Purdue including the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in 1998. He has served on the Advisory Board since 1992 and Chair of the group in 1997-1999.
President and Chief Operations Officer
American Structurepoint, Inc., a multi-discipline engineering and architecture consulting firm headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. The firm currently has a staff of over 250 with 5 offices in Indiana and Ohio. Founded in 1966, American Consulting specializes in transportation planning and design, environmental and civil engineering, architecture, structural engineering, surveying, forensics, information technology consulting and construction inspection services. Rick graduated from Purdue University, is a past President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana and is active in other service groups in his community. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Indiana and 25 other states. Rick is married to Penny Kaylor Conner (Purdue '76). They have two children, Greg (Purdue '05) and Amy (Wittenberg '06).
Jim's hometown is Martinsville, IN, where he graduated from high school in 1965; he entered Purdue that fall in Industrial Design. In 1968 he joined the Navy, serving four years in the Naval Security Group as a Communication Technician (CTO2). After his discharge in February 1972, Jim returned to Purdue to pursue a Civil Engineering degree in Construction Management. During Jim's senior year, he served as the President of the ASCE student chapter. Post-Purdue, Jim worked for BMW Constructors in Indianapolis for four years, and in 1979 he was hired by Hoffman Construction in Portland, Oregon, as a Contract Manager. In 1982 Jim joined Fullman Company where he became a Vice President of the Advanced Technology Division specializing in high purity piping systems for the semiconductor industry. In 2000, Jim joined Advanced Technology Group as President, where he remained until his retirement, July 1st, 2007. Jim remains active on various boards and chairs a Veteran's Day golf tournament, Get Wet for Vet. (Think November in Oregon!) Jim has been married to Carol for 42 years. They have three children, BJ (BSCE Purdue 1998), Katy and Libby, and four wonderful grandchildren. Jim is active in their church and enjoys golfing, singing with The Glory Singers, travel and hiking, among other things. Jim comes from a long line of Purdue people-his dad and all four siblings are proud alumni.
Assistant Chief C/S/A
Al Dausman is currently a Project Engineer with Bechtel National Inc. working out of their Oak Ridge, Tennessee office. He has been involved in a wide range of projects including Nuclear Power, Chemicals, and hazardous waste treatment. His previous assignment was as a Chief Engineer in Bechtel's Civil/Structural division. He is a registered professional engineer in over seven states. He has been active with ASCE serving in various capacities at the local branch level. Outside of work interests include running, bicycling, reading and travel and he is recognized as a Category B (International) Measurer by the USA Track & Field for distance running events. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Trine University Alumni Association where he received his bachelor's degree.
Claudia Gunsch is an Associate Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. She began her academic career at Purdue University where she earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1998. She then matriculated to Clemson University where she earned her M.S. in 2000 and immediately entered the doctoral program at the University of Texas at Austin. After obtaining her PhD, she joined the Duke Faculty in August 2004. Dr. Gunsch's research bridges environmental engineering and molecular biotechnology. Current research projects focus on investigating the impacts of emerging contaminants on biological treatment processes, developing genetic bioaugmentation technologies for improving the bioremediation efficacy of recalcitrant contaminants, studying microbial evolution following exposure to anthropogenic contaminants and developing innovative water treatment technologies for industrial and developing world applications. She is the recipient of the 2009 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award. She is a member of the Editorial Board for Industrial Biotechnology and also serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Biodegradation.
Senior Vice President
Carlos M. Hernandez is senior vice president, chief legal officer and secretary for Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR). He joined Fluor in 2007.
Prior to joining Fluor, Mr. Hernandez served as general counsel and secretary for ArcelorMittal Americas of the ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) steel group. Mr. Hernandez also served as general counsel and secretary of International Steel Group (NYSE: ISG), Inc. prior to its acquisition by Mittal Steel Company.
Before joining ISG, Mr. Hernandez served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for a large, NYSE-listed consumable products distribution and retail company in Dallas. From 1984 to 1999, Mr. Hernandez served in a number of different legal capacities for Armco Inc. a diversified public company, with interests in steel, manufacturing, oil-field equipment, financial services, including insurance, and aerospace. Early in his career, Mr. Hernandez worked as a civil engineer with HNTB.
Mr. Hernandez holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Purdue University and a juris doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.
Mr. Hernandez is currently on the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, the Board of Advisors of the Southern Methodist University Corporate Counsel Symposium, Southern Methodist University Tate Lecture Series Board of Directors, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Campaign Cabinet, the Board of Governors of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Advisory Council of the Civil Engineering School of Purdue University.
BSCE 1990, MSCE 1992, Ph.D. 1999
Senior Project Manager
Wessler Engineering, Inc. is a multi-disciplined engineering firm headquartered in Indianapolis. Dr. Holden is the head of the Wastewater Group and a senior project manager for Wessler. Dr. Holden is experienced in project design and management, production oversight and on-site inspection of municipal and industrial projects. He has 24 years of experience with a focus on wastewater treatment, collection systems, combined sewer separation, and sewer rehabilitation. His industrial experience includes design and regulatory activities in several fields of engineering and a wide array of industries ranging in size from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. He has participated in the planning, design, construction inspection and administration on wastewater projects ranging in size from 0.25 to 300 million gallons per day in capacity. Dr. Holden graduated from Purdue in Civil Engineering earning his BSCE in 1990, MSCE in 1992 and Ph.D. in 1999.
MSCE 1976, Ph.D. 1979
President & CEO
Dr. Keramida has over 25 years experience in investigations and remediation technologies, water and waste management, and sustainable development, and holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University. She is the author of chapters on waste treatment processes and landfill remediation in two technical textbooks and has published and presented over 200 technical papers and lectures. She holds a patent on the treatment of hazardous wastes and has received many awards for technical excellence and business leadership. Dr. Keramida is a nationally recognized expert on the management of contaminated properties, Brownfield processes, water pollution, and environmental management. She has served as an expert witness in many cases involving complex investigation/remediation issues; water quality, permits and fish kills; and toxicology and the impacts of chemicals on human health. She is a member of the KERAMIDA Senior Experts Group.
Vice President, Experience Development
Doreen Mitchell serves as Vice President, PMO at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Lake Buena Vista, FL where she oversees various projects within the company's Parks and Resorts sectors. 2010 included Doreen's most recent promotion to VP of Experience Development in the project management office where she works on an interdisciplinary project designed to enhance the overall guest experience. Over the course of Doreen's 25 year career at Disney, she has been recognized for her efforts by receiving prestigious accolades such as the Walt Disney World Partners in Excellence award for Lifetime Achievement recognizing business leadership, guest focus, and cast excellence; as well as, the opportunity to participate in Purdue University's 2011 Old Masters program. Doreen's extensive career at Walt Disney Co. began with the company's in-house construction company, Buena Vista Construction, where she rose to the position of Executive Director. She developed diversified leadership experience by transitioning to leading the company's $50 million yearly manufacturing organization and leading 500 cast members in the process. By transferring to the Resort Facility Asset Management Team, Doreen continued to expand her level of experience through the strategic planning and implementation of renovation enhancement projects at Disney's 18 resorts in support of 26,000 individual rooms.
Engineering Department Manager
Joshua A. Nixon joined The Schneider Corporation in 2000, starting full-time in 2002. Mr. Nixon currently holds the position of Engineering Department Manager in Schneider's West Lafayette office, where he leads teams working on a variety of civil engineering projects for a diverse group of clients. He received a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 2001, and obtained Professional Engineering licensure in 2006. Joshua has served as the President of the A.A. Potter Chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE), as ISPE Secretary and Vice-President, and was honored as the 2010 ISPE Young Engineer of the Year. For the past several years, he has served as a volunteer for the MATHCOUNTS Regional and State competitions at Purdue University. Mr. Nixon and his family currently reside in Lafayette, IN.
Ersal Ozdemir is the CEO of Keystone Group. Keystone is a commercial construction, real estate development, and investment firm that was established in 1997. Mr. Ozdemir graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. He is also a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Class XXVIII. Mr. Ozdemir speaks to various groups about diversity and has been interviewed for different international issues over the years. Some of his hobbies are traveling, spending time with family and friends, playing soccer and table tennis. Mr. Ozdemir enjoys the arts and attends, as well as supports the local art community.
BSCE 1974, MSCE 1976
Mark Perniconi is the Executive Director of the Charles Pankow Foundation, a position he has held since June of 2012. After receiving an MSCE degree in 1976, Mark began his career with the W.M. Lyles Company in Central California serving as a project manager for 7 years before returning to Purdue in 1983. After receiving an MBA from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue in 1984, Mark went to work for the Pankow Companies in southern California and held the position of Vice President responsible for the commercial real estate activities of the company. In 1998, Mark accepted the position of Vice President of Development for the C.E. John Company in Vancouver, Washington and spent the next 10 years involved in small and large retail development projects in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. As Executive Director of the Charles Pankow Foundation, Mark has transitioned the Foundation from principally a funder of research in the AEC Industry to a more proactive catalyst role in driving key industry research initiatives. Mark has been a resident of Vancouver, Washington for the last 14 years.
Founder and CEO
Jude Rake is a proven leader with a 30+ year track record of building businesses to create economic value, from well known consumer packaged goods companies such as Clorox, PepsiCo, and SC Johnson, to smaller family owned and private equity-backed businesses. He founded JDR Growth Partners to help other leaders achieve sustainable growth.
Before founding JDR Growth Partners, Mr. Rake was CEO at ETA hand2mind, Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, and Recycled Paper Greetings. He also served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Fellowes. In each of these roles Mr. Rake built and led impressive leadership teams that fueled profitable growth and significant improvements in workforce commitment, performance, and results.
Earlier in his career Mr. Rake led sustained growth and increased market share on some of the most notable global brands including Pepsi, Clorox 2, Formula 409, OFF!, Body Glove, and Windex. He has been recognized for leadership, creativity and marketing excellence including Clio, Mobius, and Effie awards, and he received the Burnham award for innovation. He also was named a Top 100 Marketer twice by Advertising Age.
Mr. Rake began his career as a Structural Engineer for Bechtel Power Corporation designing and building nuclear power plants after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. He achieved certification as a Professional Engineer in the state of California. He secured his MBA from the Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago, with concentrations in marketing and finance.
Mr. Rake is an independent Board Director for the Wall Family Enterprise. He also is on the Board of Directors of A Safe Place, a center for the prevention of domestic violence. He is an active member of the Theta Chi Fraternity Alumni Board.
BSCE 1975, MSCE 1979, Ph.D. 1981
Jim Rowings is Vice President of Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc. After graduation in 1975, Jim began his career working for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia as a construction engineer on projects ranging in scope from 60 million to 2.3 billion dollars. Jim completed his MSCE, then on his PhD modeling energy use in construction. After completing his PhD in 1982, Jim accepted a faculty position at the University of Kansas. In 1986, Jim moved to Iowa State University as the Professor-in-Charge of Construction Engineering. During his academic career, Jim taught every fundamental construction engineering course and many graduate level courses related to Construction Engineering and Management. He also authored and co-authored numerous papers and books. On a national level, Jim served in leadership positions as President of AACE, International (Cost Engineers), Chairman of the Engineering Management Group in ASCE, and Chairman of the DBIA Education and Research Foundation. He is a fellow in ASCE and AACE. After 15 years at Iowa State University, Jim joined Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc. in 2001 as Vice President for Organization Development. He was named Chief Learning Officer and Vice President - Kiewit University in 2007. Jim is responsible for the education, training and development programs of Kiewit's 20,000 employees.
Vice President & General Manager
Mr. Spellman is responsible for the leadership and overall management of the Chicago office of the Minneapolis, MN based Opus Development Group. His primary responsibilities include the pursuit of real estate developments, third-party construction and investment opportunities in the Chicagoland area. As such, Mr. Spellman plays an integral role in defining Opus' daily business strategies and future growth plans. Mr. Spellman has been actively involved in the commercial real estate industry since 1996, joining The Opus Group in 2011. He is actively involved in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), serving as President of the Chicago Chapter in 2008. He is also an active member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers (AIRE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Builders Association of Greater Chicago (BAGC) as well as numerous Chicagoland Chambers of Commerce.
Vice President Safety and Chief Safety Officer
Greg Workman was named Vice President Safety and CSO on July 1, 2015, where he is responsible for developing and implementing corporate safety, security and environmental policies, processes and practices, as well as compliance with Operations-related policies and regulations. Additionally, Greg is the company's Chief Safety Officer, reporting to the board of directors on safety performance, and environmental and security matters.
Prior to his current position, he was Regional Vice President of Union Pacific's Southern Region since March 1, 2008. In that position, Greg was responsible for the daily operation of the Southern Region territory that consists of 9,225 miles of main track, and approximately 8,000 employees. His regional responsibilities included safety, train and terminal operations, mechanical support, engineering and financial performance.
Greg started as a trainee with Union Pacific following his graduation from Purdue University in 1984 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He has held a number of positions in the Operating Department prior to being named assistant vice president-operations in 2003.
Greg and his wife Leah have two children.
Faculty Advisory Members
Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering
Transportation and Infrastructure Systems
Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering