The primary goal of the mentorship program is to help prepare undergraduate and graduate students for the workforce. The ABC-UTC connects the student to an industry mentor who (1) welcomes the student to the ABC-UTC, (2) supports the student throughout the student’s studies, and (3) advises the student as the student approaches graduation and prepares to enter the workforce.

If you are interested in partnering with the ABC-UTC as a mentor, please contact David Garber.

List of Mentors

Mike Culmo

Mike Culmo, P.E.:  Mr. Culmo serves as the Chief Bridge Engineer of CHA Consulting, Inc., and has over 35 years of experience in structural engineering. He is considered an expert in the field of bridge design and innovative construction strategies. He possesses a wealth of experience in traffic engineering and materials specifications and is a nationally-recognized expert in Accelerated Bridge Construction practices. He has authored numerous papers, articles, and manuals in the field of bridge engineering design methods and construction techniques. Mr. Culmo has also worked on several high-profile projects including Massachusetts’s 93Fast14 Bridge Replacement Project, and has helped Departments of transportation including Utah, Connecticut, and Rhode Island in the development and furtherance of pilot projects and standards using ABC methods. He serves on numerous industry committees and groups including the National Steel Bridge Alliance, the Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute, and the Transportation Research Board. He was the recipient of the 2014 American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) Special Achievement Award for his national contributions to Accelerated Bridge Construction.

Reza Farimani, PhD, P.E.:  Dr. Farimani joined Thornton Tomasetti in 2006 and has experience in the structural analysis and design of steel and concrete structures including high-rise, commercial, education, residential, sports, mixed-use developments and investigations. He is responsible for analysis, design, preparation of drawings and coordination and communication with outside consultants.

Jawad Gull

Jawad Gull, PhD, P.E.:  Dr. Gull is Senior Structural Engineer at WSP and has 13 years of experience in design, research, and teaching. He has expertise in cable structures and steel bridges. He has worked on diverse structural engineering projects. He was the structures lead of 5 segments (90 miles) of the Texas High Speed Rail project that will be connecting Houston and Dallas. He was also part of the I-4 Ultimate Improvement project in Florida that involved design and construction of over 60 new bridges and replacement of over 70 existing bridges. Dr. Gull obtained his doctorate degree from Florida International University. He worked on several research projects and successfully addressed issues related to construction, inspection, and rehabilitation of bridges. He served as the assistant director of the ABC-UTC at Florida International University. He was principal investigator of key ABC-UTC research projects addressing the issues related to service life and database management of ABC projects.

Finn Hubbard

Finn Hubbard, P.E.:  Mr. Hubbard joined Fish & Associates, Inc. in November 2012 with over 30 years of structural design, construction, maintenance, policy, and management experience. He has been involved in a variety of structural design and construction projects within the transportation industry and has extensive experience with simple and complex multi-phase, multi-year projects. He has personally designed and overseen production of thousands of bridge plans and projects. Mr. Hubbard started his career with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 1985 and advanced through the ranks to become State Bridge Engineer for Wisconsin. He also served on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures as Wisconsin’s primary representative working directly with the other 49 DOT’s on national bridge-related policies for seven years. Mr. Hubbard led the stabilization and reconstruction efforts for the Hoan Bridge failure in downtown Milwaukee Wisconsin in December 2000.This work included the emergency response, stabilization, implosion, cleanup, and reconstruction of the failed span in a highly congested urban environment. The forensic investigation from the Hoan failure changed the AASHTO bridge specifications.

Michael LaViolette

Michael LaViolette, P.E.:  Mr. LaViolette joined HDR following many years as a senior bridge manager at HNTB and as a bridge research specialist at the Iowa State University Bridge Engineering Center. His unique combination of 15 years of practical bridge design and construction experience along with academic research experience with proven results was applied to work in developing useful plans and specifications suited for simplified deck panel systems. Mr. Laviolette is currently serving as the principal investigator on several projects. He is an active member of Transportation Research Board Committee AFH40 (Construction of Bridges and Structures). He is also an active member of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Committee on Bridges as well as its Subcommittee on Accelerated Bridge Construction.

Francesco Russo, P.E.:  Mr. Russo is a senior structural engineer and technical and project manager at Michael Baker Corp. His experience includes all phases of engineering practice, including project engineering; staff, schedule and financial management; construction support services; forensic investigations; and report writing. He has design-build experience on multiple projects, including serving as part of design teams, as an owner’s advisor, and directing design quality control efforts for a multibillion dollar design-build project.

Ardalan Sherafati

Ardalan Sherafati, PhD, P.E.:  Dr. Sherafati is a structural project engineer at BlueScope Construction Inc. As a structural engineer he has been involved in analysis and design of stadiums, office buildings, parking structures, underground structures, and industrial buildings. For his PhD dissertation he was involved in the SHRP2-R19A project, where he proposed and successfully tested a pile/cap connection detail that is proven to significantly increase the length of jointless bridges. His research involved extensive analytical and experimental study of soil-pile interaction and the effect of these substructure elements on jointless bridges. On a separate research topic, he researched the folded steel plate girder system and led associated experimental studies conducted at the University of Nebraska. He has extensive experience in nonlinear finite element analysis as well as computer programming. He has developed several structural design and analysis tools.