External Assessment Panel

Sreenivas Alampalli

Sreenivas Alampalli, Ph.D., P.E., MBA
Director, Structures Evaluation Services Bureau, NYSDOT

Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli is the Director of the Structures Evaluation Services Bureau at the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). His responsibilities include managing Structures Inspection, Inventory, and Safety Assurance programs at the NYSDOT. He is a strong advocate of working together with researchers, industry, and owners in development and implementation of innovative technologies to assure effective infrastructure management at reasonable costs.


Dr. Alampalli obtained his Ph.D. and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, M.S. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India, and B.S. from S.V. University, Tirupati, India. His interests include infrastructure management, innovative materials for infrastructure applications, nondestructive testing, structural health monitoring, and long term bridge performance. Dr. Alampalli is a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (ISHMII), and Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). He authored or co-authored more than 250 technical publications including a two-volume book on "Infrastructure Health in Civil Engineering" in 2011. He also co-edited and contributed to two books on "Inspection, Evaluation, and Maintenance of Suspension Bridges." Two of the books he recently co-authored on Risk Management in Civil Infrastructure and Multihazard Considerations in Civil Infrastructure will be published in December 2016.

Dr. Alampalli has been an active member of technical committees in TRB, ASCE, and ASNT; served on the ASNT Board of Directors, and currently chairs the Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on "Testing and Evaluation (NDE) of Transportation Structures (AFF40)." He is on the editorial board of the ASCE Journal of "Bridge Engineering," Journal of "Structure and Infrastructure Engineering: Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and Performance," and Journal of "Bridge Structures: Assessment, Design and Construction." Among the awards he received include Bridge NDT Lifetime Service Award (2014) from ASNT, Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award (2014) from ASCE, Henry Michele Award for Industry Advancement of Research (2013) from ASCE, Herbert Howard Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award from ASCE Met Section (2009), ASNT Mentoring Award (2009), and Charles Pankow Award for Innovation awarded by the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (2000).

Glenn Bell

Glenn Bell
Chief Executive Officer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Glenn Bell is a Senior Principal and CEO of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, where he has practiced for forty years. He is a registered Professional Engineer in seven states and the District of Columbia, a registered Structural Engineer in Illinois, and a Chartered Engineer in the UK. A consultant in design, investigation, and restoration projects, he has lectured and published extensively on technical, managerial, and professional practice in structural engineering. His structural design projects include the Baha'i Temple in Santiago, Chile; Simmons Hall at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Spaceship Earth, the geodesic sphere at Walt Disney World Epcot Center.


Mr. Bell was cofounder of the ASCE Technical Council on Forensic Engineering, which strives to improve professional practice by learning from failures. He was a member of the SGH team that prepared progressive collapse analyses of World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 for NIST. Mr. Bell has been active in the earthquake engineering community. He helped to develop Procter and Gamble's Global Earthquake Risk Mitigation Program and has been active in earthquake standards and code development. Mr. Bell received the American Society of Civil Engineers 2014 Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award, the ASCE 2015 Forensic Engineering Award, and was a 2015 inductee into the University of California, Berkeley, Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Gary Chock

Gary Chock, S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, D.CE
President, Martin & Chock, Inc.

Gary Chock has been engaged in structural engineering since 1980. He is President of Martin & Chock, Inc., and he has been responsible for many major private industry projects in Hawaii, as well as numerous projects for public agencies. Under his leadership, Martin & Chock has established multi-faceted expertise in the fields of structural engineering and blast analysis, engineering research and development, planning for natural, man-made, and technological hazards, structural performance and reliability analysis, risk analysis, as well as spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems. In addition to the structural design of numerous buildings and infrastructure, his project portfolio also includes tsunami, earthquake, and hurricane hazard research, building risk assessments, hazard mitigation planning, coastal flooding hazard analysis, building code development, and emergency response planning.


In 2010, he was awarded the ASCE Hawaii Chapter Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement for Windspeed Mapping for the State of Hawaii Incorporating Topographic Effects. He developed uniform-risk wind speed GIS-based mapping products and topographic design provisions for adoption as County and State code amendments to the International Building Code. Gary Chock was selected by Engineering News Record as one of the 25 Top Newsmakers of 2012 for his work on developing a national standard for tsunami-resistant design and for leading the ASCE reconnaissance of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku Tsunami. His was the first group from the US to comprehensively survey the tsunami-damaged Tohoku coastline of Honshu, Japan. Mr. Chock is the national Chair of the ASCE 7 Tsunami Loads and Effects Subcommittee that in 2015 is completing the first national standard for tsunami-resistant design for the upcoming 2016 edition of the ASCE 7 Standard. As a result of this work, tsunami risk to coastal construction, particularly critical and essential facilities, will be comprehensively addressed in design. In 2014, he was bestowed the Western States Seismic Policy Council Lifetime Achievement Award, reflecting a multiple-decades long history of dedicated public service to the State of Hawaii in the areas of earthquake and tsunami mitigation. In 2015, Gary Chock was selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute to receive the Walter P. Moore Award for demonstrated technical expertise in and dedication to the development of structural codes and standards.

William Coulbourne

William L. Coulbourne, P.E.
Structural Engineering Consultant

Mr. Coulbourne has a BS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Masters in Structural Engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in three states. He is a national expert in wind and flood mitigation and has been involved in FEMA Mitigation Assessment Teams and natural hazard damage assessments for 20 years. He has been involved as an investigator or Project Manager with every major hurricane, tornado and flood since 1995, and was involved in a building collapse caused by terrorism and a tsunami in Japan. He has investigated failures and mitigation design techniques for thousands of buildings including residential structures, schools used as shelters, hospitals, and other critical facilities. He holds Certifications in Structural Engineering and Building Inspection Engineering.


Mr. Coulbourne has written articles for journals and given presentations, seminars and webinars for homebuilders, engineers, architects, building officials and homeowners on high wind and flood design and coastal construction issues and has taught as an Adjunct Faculty member in the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware. He was the primary author and Project Manager for FEMA 55: Coastal Construction Manual. He has co-authored books and journal articles on high wind design issues and strategies including Guides to the Wind Load Provisions of ASCE 7-05 and ASCE 7-10, an ATC Design Guide on Basic Wind Engineering for Low-Rise Buildings and a book on Engineering Investigations of Hurricane Damage for ASCE. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a Fellow in the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE. He actively participates on the ASCE engineering standards committees for ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, ASCE 24 Flood Resistant Design and Construction, and a new standards committee for improving tornado wind speeds using the EF Scale.

Ann Margaret Esnard

Ann-Margaret Esnard
Professor, Georgia State University

Ann-Margaret Esnard is a Professor in the Department of Public Management and Policy. She was hired in 2013 as part of the cluster on "Shaping the Future of Cities," during the third phase of the University's Second Century Initiative. In 2014, she was appointed as the Chair of GSU's Council for the Progress of Cities.

Her expertise encompasses urban planning, disaster planning, vulnerability assessment, and GIS/spatial analysis. She has been involved in a number of research initiatives, including NSF funded projects on topics of population displacement from catastrophic disasters, and long-term recovery. She is the coauthor of the 2014 book Displaced by Disasters: Recovery and Resilience in a Globalizing World.


Esnard has served on a number of state and national committees including the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Research Council's committee on Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience, and the State of Florida Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning initiative.

Esnard holds degrees in Agricultural Engineering (B.Sc., University of the West Indies-Trinidad), Agronomy and Soils (M.S., University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez) and Regional Planning (Ph.D., UMASS-Amherst). She also completed a two year post-doc at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jim Harris

Jim Harris
J. R. Harris & Company


  • Ph.D.(1980), University of Illinois, 1980, Structures and Foundations
  • MSCE (1975), University of Illinois, 1975, Structures
  • BSCE (1968), University of Colorado, 1968, Structures

Professional Employment:

  • 1984- J.R. Harris & Company, Principal, Denver
  • 1981-84 Structural Consultants, Inc., Principal, Denver
  • 1975-81 National Bureau of Standards, Research Structural Engineer, Gaithersburg, MD
  • 1973-75 University of Illinois, Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant
  • 1969-73 Zeiler and Gray, Engineer and Associate, Denver
  • 1968-69 Ken R. White Company, Engineer, Denver

Selected Awards:

  • Distinguished Service Award, College of Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, 2010
  • Life Membership, Structural Engineers Association of Colorado, 2008
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumnus, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2007
  • National Academy of Engineering, elected 2005
  • Walter P. Moore, Jr., Award, Structural Eng'g Inst. of the Am. Soc. of Civil Engineers, 2002
  • BSSC Honor Award, Building Seismic Safety Council of the Nat'l Inst. of Bldg Sci, 1997
  • Outstanding Public Service Award, U. S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1986

Selected Professional Committees and Activities

  • American Concrete Institute: Committee 318, Standard Building Code, 1989-present
  • American Institute of Steel Construction: Task Committee on Seismic Provisions 1999-present; former Chair, Committee for the Design for Blast Resistant Steel Buildings
  • American Society of Civil Engineers: Member 1979-present, and former Chair, Standards Committee for Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE 7); formerly Chairman, Task Committee on Earthquake Loads; Member 1988-2014 Standards Committee for Loads on Structures During Construction (ASCCE 37); Member, core team for the Pentagon to study building performance in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks
  • Applied Technology Council: President of Board of Directors 2008
  • Building Seismic Safety Council: Member, Provisions Update Committee, chair of committee for the 1985 edition of NEHRP Recommended Provisions (first edition) Mid-American Earthquake Engineering Research Center: former Member, Executive Advisory Board (Chair 2002-3)
  • Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE: President of Board of Governors 2008-2009
  • Structural Engineers Association of Colorado: President 1990; Snow Load Committee
  • The Masonry Society: Board of Directors 2004-2009

Christopher P. Jones, P.E.

Christopher Jones is a consultant specializing in coastal flood hazard analysis and coastal building codes. Mr. Jones uses his knowledge of construction and forensic studies to improve coastal hazard mapping and mitigation guidance, and his flood hazard mapping knowledge to inform post-storm damage investigations.

He has been deployed after major hurricanes since 1995 as part of FEMA's Building Performance Assessment Teams and Mitigation Assessment Teams (Hurricane Opal 1995; Fran 1996; Ivan 2004; Katrina 2005; Ike 2008; Isaac 2012; Sandy 2012). He was a member of the ASCE team investigating 2009 tsunami damage on American Samoa.


Mr. Jones serves as chair of the ASCE-24 (Flood Resistant Design and Construction) Standards Committee and the ASCE 7 Flood Loads Task Committee. He is a member of the ASCE Codes and Standards Activities Division Executive Committee. He is a member of the ICC-500 (Design and Construction of Storm Shelters) Standard Committee.

Ifa Kashefi

Ifa Kashefi, Ph.D., S.E.
Assistant General Manager, Permit & Engineering Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety

Dr. Kashefi has over 30 years of structural engineering experience, extensive managerial and leadership experience in the private and public sectors. As the Chief of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) Permit and Engineering Bureau, since 2008, she has directed the entire Bureau's operations and technical enhancement programs including development and implementations of the Bureau administrative policies and procedures. She is responsible for the following major Department-wide operations with over 260 employees (managers, engineers, office technicians, supervisors, and clerical support staff) and an annual budget of 43 million.


Professional Affiliations include Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (Past President, 2013), Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (Board of Directors, 2012-2014), International Code Council (Los Angeles Basin Chapter).


  • Ph.D. - Civil/Earthquake Engineering, University of Southern California
  • M.S. - Civil Engineering, University of Southern California
  • B.S. - Structural Engineering, Aryamehr (Sharif) University of Technology, Iran
Leon Kempner

Leon Kempner
Principal Structural Engineer, Transmission Engineering (TEL-TPP3), Bonneville Power Administration/USDOE

Dr. Kempner has 41+ years of experience as a structural engineer for the Bonneville Power Administration, USDOE. Assignments have included structural engineering analysis, design, assessment, and research of transmission line facilities (transmission line towers, substation and microwave structures, and seismic upgrade high-voltage transmission line facilities). The last 20+ years Dr. Kempner has been performing seismic evaluation, research, qualifications, standards development, and mitigation design of the Bonneville Power Administration transmission line facilities.



  • University of Nebraska, Omaha, B.S.C.E., Civil (Structural) Engineering, With Distinction, 1972
  • Oregon State University, M.S., Civil (Structural) Engineering, 1974
  • Portland State University, Ph.D., System Science: Civil Engineering, 1997

National Professional Awards:

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE), Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award, 2009
  • ASCE, Committee on Electrical Transmission Structures, Gene Wilhoite Innovations in Transmission Line Engineering Award, 2001

Member of the following technical committees:

  • ANSI/ASCE, Standard 48 - Design of Transmission Pole Structures,
  • ANSI/ASCE, Secretary, Standard 10 - Design of Latticed Steel Transmission Structures,
  • IEEE, Co-Vice Chair, Standard 693 - Seismic Design of Substation Structures,
  • National Electrical Safety Code Subcommittee 5, Overhead Lines (Strength and Loading),
  • National Electrical Safety Code, Executive Subcommittee,
  • CIGRE, US Representative and Convenor, WG24 "Static and Dynamic loads on Overhead Transmission Lines" of Study Committee B2 (Overhead Line),
  • ASCE M-74, Committee on Electrical Transmission Structure Loadings,
  • ASCE M-113, Committee on Substation Structure Design,
  • ASCE 7, Ice Subcommittee,
  • CEATI (Centre for Energy Advancement Though Technology Innovation) International, Overhead Transmission Line Design Working Group,
  • EPRI, Inter-Utility Seismic Design Group.

Dr. Kempner has over fifty technical papers discussing structural engineering (analysis, design, and research) of transmission line facilities. He is a registered Professional Civil Engineer (P.E.) in the States of Washington and Oregon.

Jamie Brown Kruse

Jamie Brown Kruse
HCAS Distinguished Professor of Economics
Senior Scientist, Institute for Coastal Science and Policy
Director, Center for Natural Hazards Research, East Carolina University

Dr. Jamie Kruse is recognized for her research in economics and decision making under uncertainty especially as it relates to natural hazards. She completed her doctoral work at University of Arizona under dissertation advisor, Vernon Smith (2002 Nobel Laureate). Dr. Kruse has published over sixty refereed journal articles in addition to proceedings, abstracts and reports.


Her work has appeared in Econometrica, RAND Journal of Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economic Inquiry, Natural Hazards Review, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Environmetrics, Weather and Forecasting, Risk Analysis, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Insurance Issues and others. She has held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Texas Tech University, East Carolina University and a visiting position at Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.

Her work has been supported by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, US Geological Survey, Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Niagara Mohawk, State of Texas and the State of North Carolina. In 2010 she held the position of Chief Economist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. At the interagency level, she served as a member of the Whitehouse Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences and OSTP Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology. At East Carolina University, Dr. Kruse was inducted to the 2011 Women of Distinction. Since then she has been recognized by East Carolina University with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Creative Work and honored with the HCAS Distinguished Professorship.

Patrick Otellini

Patrick Otellini
Chief Resilience Officer, City and County of San Francisco

Mr. Otellini is tasked with developing the city's resiliency strategy in conjunction with the 100 Resilient Cities initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Mr. Otellini was originally appointed by Mayor Ed Lee in October of 2012 as the Director of San Francisco's Earthquake Safety Implementation Program. This public policy driven group has recently passed unanimously approved pieces of legislation that range from mandatory retrofits of soft story building to post-earthquake repair standards with the goal of making San Francisco more resilient in the face of disaster.


Prior to his appointment Mr. Otellini was a Senior Associate with A.R. Sanchez-Corea & Associates, San Francisco's premier permit and code consulting firm. His work there included the management of the permit and inspection process for over $2 Billion worth of construction in San Francisco. He Is a Certified Building Inspector through the International Code Council (ICC) and a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Patrick lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Westmont College in Political Science.

Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez
Provost and Excutive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez is the Founding Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and a tenured professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). He also served as President, Ad Interim, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas - Pan American (UTPA). Prior to arriving at UTPA, Dr. Rodríguez served as the Deputy Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. He was also a core faculty member and former director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC), the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. He obtained his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Dr. Rodríguez held a faculty position and several administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) for over a decade; and he served as Director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association (1995-1998). He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan's Population Fellow's Program (Summers, 2001-2003); was selected as the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Spring, 2002); received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Outstanding Achievement Award (2004); was recognized as one of the Hispanics of the Year in the State of Delaware for which he received the Professional Achievement Award (2007); was awarded the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (2015); was the featured cover story of the national publication, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine (July, 2015); and was highlighted in the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (September 2015).

Dr. Rodríguez served on a number of committees for the National Academy of Sciences and on review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ford Foundation, and was the Chair of the Latina/o Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Dr. Rodríguez has received funding from NSF, the Ford Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the UPRM Sea Grant Program, among others, for a number of research projects focusing on the social science aspects of disasters and for projects aimed at providing hands-on research training and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students. He was also the principal investigator for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Training the Next Generation of Disaster Researchers, funded by NSF. Currently, he serves as the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant aimed at increasing the representation, participation, and leadership of women faculty in STEM fields.

Dr. Rodríguez has led and participated in a number of field research projects, including trips to Honduras, following Hurricane Mitch; India and Sri Lanka, following the Indian Ocean Tsunami; and the Gulf Coast, following Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Rodríguez has a significant number of publications in the area of disasters, as well as Latinos/as in the United States. He is the co-editor (with Quarantelli and Dynes) of the Handbook of Disaster Research (2006) and the co-editor (with Sáenz and Menjívar) of Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of América (2008).

His role in community engagement and service to the community, at the local, regional, and national level has been significant and extensive. He has served on numerous community, professional, and university boards, organizations, and committees.