Atlanta 2017 Speakers


Tarek Bahgat, Project Controls Manager, CB&I

Tarek is currently the Project Controls Manager at CB&I.  He has over 35 years of experience in project management and project controls. Career highlights include leading the risk management program at the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center and facilitating risk-based value planning workshops to coordinate the $16 billion World Trade Center site design and construction.  He also led the coordination of 100 construction schedules in Lower Manhattan to minimize the impact on the community and to ensure on-time project completion at the World Trade Center site.

Tarek earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Structural Engineering from Cairo University.


Rod Dawson, Vice-President, Gannett Fleming, Inc.

Rod is Vice-President of Gannett Fleming, Inc., an International Engineering and Program Management Consulting firm where he specializes in providing clients program management and oversight services.  Throughout his career, Rod has focused on the delivery of major capital projects in urban rail transit, airports, wastewater, highways and public infrastructure.  Most recently Rod served on the executive management team of the program management consultant joint venture for the Baltimore Red Line transit project, and he is currently advising on the Regional Express Rail program in Toronto, Canada.

Prior to joining Gannett Fleming, Rod held various executive positions with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the nation’s second largest provider of public transportation, including Deputy Executive Officer, Construction; Deputy Executive Officer, Finance; and Interim Executive Officer, Finance.


Jesus de la Garza, Professor of Construction Engineering & Management Virginia Tech

Jesus M. de la Garza, PhD, is the holder of the Vecellio Endowed Professorship in Construction Engineering and Management at Virginia Tech and a member of the National Academy of Construction.  He, also, is the Editor-in-Chief for ASCE’s Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and has served as Director of the Civil Infrastructure Systems Program at the National Science Foundation. 

Jesus conducts research organized into three principle tracks:  Project Controls, Information Technology for Construction Management, and Infrastructure Asset Management.  He has co-authored ninety-two papers in refereed publications.  Jesus received his MS and PhD from the University of Illinois and his BSCE from Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.  He has held visiting professorships at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Arizona State University and Georgia Tech.


Steve Devaux, President, Analytic Project Management

Steve has trained and consulted in project management for over 25 years with corporate and governmental groups including the US Air Force, BAE Systems, iRobot, Siemens, Wells Fargo, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, American Electric and many others. He has taught graduate project management courses at Suffolk University, Brandeis University and University of the West Indies/Barbados, and in Executive Education programs at Bentley University and UMass/Lowell.

Steve is President of Analytic Project Management in Boston, Massachusetts, founded in 1992. He is a project management theorist, consultant and educator, author of Managing Projects as Investments: Earned Value to Business Value and Total Project Control:  A Practitioner’s Guide to Managing Projects as Investments.  Steve contributed chapters on his new CPM metric, critical path drag, to Project Management in the Oil and Gas Industries and Handbook of Emergency Response. His article in the Project Management Journal titled “When the DIPP Dips: A P&L Index for Project Decisions” was republished by PMI in 1999 as a featured article in Essentials of Project Control.  He is the author of numerous articles and PMI webinars, and has been a speaker at PMI Chapter meetings throughout the US.

Steve has developed several new metrics and concepts in project management including critical path drag (now computed by both Asta Powerproject and Spider Project software packages), drag cost, true cost, the value breakdown structure (VBS), the cost of leveling with unresolved bottlenecks (the CLUB), the doubled resource estimated duration (the DRED), the DIPP (Devaux’s Index of Project Performance) baseline for project value, and the DIPP Progress Index (DPI).

Steve has a BA in English from UMass and an MS in Project Management from Northeastern University and is a veteran of US Army Intelligence, Vietnam.


Diana Franco Duran, PhD Candidate, Virginia Tech

Diana is a PhD student in the Vecellio Construction and Engineering Program at Virginia Tech.  She received the Raymond G. and Madelyn A. Curry Graduate Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year which was granted by the Civil and Environmental Department.

Diana serves on the Board of the CMAA Virginia Tech Chapter.  She received her MSc and BS in Civil Engineering from Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia.  Some of her research interests are Project Controls, Scheduling, Forecasting and Uncertainty.


Adel Francis, Associate Professor, Construction Engineering, Quebec University

Adel Francis is an associate Professor, in the Construction Engineering Department, at the École de technologie supérieure, ETS, Quebec University.  He holds a BS in Civil Engineering (1982), an MS in Project Management (1992) and a PhD in Project Planning and Computer Management (2004). He is also a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers.

Adel’s primary research is focused on visualization, optimization and graphical modeling of project planning. The last decade has been primarily dedicated to the study, analysis, development and implementation of a Chronographic modeling approach for construction operation planning. Adel also has more than 25 years of experience in construction engineering working for public service firms, consulting engineering groups and general contractors.


Frank Giunta, Senior Vice-President, Hill International

Frank is Senior Vice President and Managing Director of HKA’s consulting operations.  He has more than 30 years of extensive experience in engineering and construction consulting overseeing and expanding all of Hill International’s North and South American consulting business units.  Since 2001 he has helped to build Hill’s consulting practice into one of the largest claims consulting groups in the United States.  In 2011 he established Hill’s first South American consulting operation which now employs over 60 professionals throughout the continent including Brazil, Columbia, Peru and Chile.  He has managed complex consulting assignments on behalf of public and private owners, engineers, contractors, insurance and financial institutions.  These assignments involve a wide range of notable projects which include highways and bridges, dams, power related facilities, water and wastewater treatment, landfills and building construction.  He has been engaged in the design of civil structures, including roads, highways, railroads, hydraulic structures, and underground piping systems.  His expertise has been utilized in the evaluation of the adequacy of design issues, professional performance, differing site conditions, defective specifications, contract terminations, cost and financial analysis, productivity and delay analysis.

Frank is an accomplished expert witness, providing testimony in various legal forums on issues including differing site conditions, defective contract documents, adequacy of design, construction defects, schedule delays, productivity evaluations and cost analysis.  He has extensive experience in various alternative dispute resolution formats.  Frank has been published in industry journals and textbooks on topics ranging from claim avoidance/contracting methods to project delivery.  He lectures extensively throughout North and South America on matters pertaining to project delivery, risk management and dispute avoidance/resolution.  Frank is a former adjunct faculty member of Drexel University and Widener University teaching in their construction management program.

Frank is a Professional Engineer in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  He earned a BS in Civil Engineering & Construction Technology and a BS Cum Laude in Civil Engineering from Temple University and an MBA in Financial Management from Drexel University.


Miklos Hajdu, Professor, Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Miklos Hajdu PhD received his PhD degree in construction management in 1995 at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.  He is a civil engineer with 30 years of experience in both industry and academia.  His research interests focus on project planning and controls.

Miklos is a past founding president of the Hungarian Project Management Association, and a past vice-president of the Hungarian Scientific Society for Building.  He serves as the editor-in-chief and member of the editorial board of numerous Hungarian and international journals.  He has dozens of publications including books and papers in internationally indexed journals. Miklos has been organizing the Creative Construction Conference series since 2012.


Jeff Huneycutt, Scheduling Consultant, US Army Corps of Engineers

Jeff is a subject matter expert in construction schedule management with the US Army Corps of Engineers.  He has been with the Corps since 1995 and currently works for the District Headquarters in Savannah, Georgia. 

Jeff works in the construction division claim section reviewing cause and responsibility of project delay and testifies as an expert witness when required where time impacts are in question.  He is involved with the updating and editing of the Corps scheduling guide specification in addition to helping Headquarters assure that construction scheduling engineering regulations and pamphlets are up to date.  Jeff assists Corps offices worldwide with hands on construction schedule management review and evaluation.  He has assisted in projects ranging in scope from dams in Puerto Rico to the AEGIS Ashore Missile Defense System in Romania along with projects in Israel and Afghanistan.

Jeff holds a BS in Civil Engineering from The Citadel.


Dennis Lane, Principal Consultant and Managing Partner, Accelerated PM, LLC

Dennis has a long history in managing higher technology projects and programs that involve complex systems, software development and integration, coordination of resources, vendor management and stakeholder relations.  He is adept at working closely with the key staff and project teams and also communicates effectively with senior management, always keeping the goals and objectives in mind.  Dennis has strengths in developing and managing project plans, yet employing creativity and agility to accomplish effective results.  He is results oriented and familiar with working in environments where competing agendas are normal and conflict management is needed, as well as risk management.  Dennis often acts in the capacity of mentor and coaches project managers and team members in best practices, and he assists others in career development.

Dennis is amongst the earliest PMPs with PMP No. 226 in 1987.  Dennis’ career has been dedicated to Project, Program, and Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM).  He effectively and enthusiastically managed many large projects, programs, and groups of programs during his 20+ years in the Defense and Aerospace industry, always being an advocate of Process Based Project Management.  He was a major contributor to companies developing a robust Project Management System capability including Magnavox, Hughes, Raytheon, Eaton, DRS Technologies, Marathon Oil, and Shell Canada. 

Dennis demonstrates in-depth experience in developing, understanding, and deploying Earned Value Management (EVMS) and Integrated Program Management Systems (IPMS).  He enjoys working with companies that have a passion for implementing project management systems among the users as well as the decision makers.

Dennis has accomplished many successful Primavera P6 business implementations and contributes to best practices for PM organizational change leadership. Primavera skills include detailed familiarity with the Implementation Methodology, Accelerated Implementation Methodology, database schema and complex report design and integration requirements and approach assistance. Dennis is a Certified Oracle University Trainer and has also developed curricula and acted as advisor to Graduate Students in pursuit of post-graduate degrees in Project Management.


Ed Mahler, President, Project Administration Institute

Ed Mahler is President of the Project Administration Institute, Inc. [PAI], a consulting firm providing project scheduling and administration services to the corporate world since 1992.   Prior to founding PAI, Ed served with IBM as a systems engineer and project manager on NYC international customer accounts and as project manager and consultant on IBM internal projects.  Ed was Vice-President of Programs for the New York City PMI chapter from 1994 to 2000 and founding president of the PMI Westchester chapter from 2002 to 2008.  Ed has presented at PMI Symposia and Congresses, Project World, Boston University Frontiers in Project Management, International Project Management Association conferences, Construction CPM conferences, PMI College of Scheduling conferences, PMCOS in Chicago 2016, AACEI in 2017 and at PMI and other organization chapter meetings.  Ed lives in Larchmont, NY, and sails on Long Island Sound.


George McLaughlin, Principal, McLaughlin and McLaughlin

George is a principal in McLaughlin and McLaughlin, an international project planning and management consulting firm.  He provides (1) Program/Project Development/ Planning, Program/Project Management, Construction Claim Preparation, Claim Defense and Counterclaim, Litigation Support/Testimony and other similar services, (2) domestic and international clients with project planning and management services and advice and (3) training and workshops on a worldwide basis on topics that include planning and management of large and complex projects.

In the recent past, George has been Program or Project Manager on a Hydrogen Plant, Sulphur Recovery Plant, Data Center Program, Refinery Retrofit and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility.  He has managed six disputes with a total value exceeding $500 million.  In addition, George has provided services in the following project types: Refinery (grass roots), Hot-Briquetted Iron, Oil Sands Downstream/Upgrading, Carbon Monoxide Plant, Ethanol Production, LNG Terminal, LNG Production, Power Generation (gas fired, diesel, geothermal), Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, and others.

George is an instructor in Austin PMI’s PMP exam preparation course.  He has spoken before the Austin PMI, Houston PMI, AACE, EVM World, PMI College of Scheduling and other international organizations.  He is a certified PMP and a licensed General Contractor in California.  He is a member of the Project Management College of Scheduling, College of Performance Management, Project Management Institute, Construction Management Association of America, Society of Construction Law, American Bar Association and The State Bar of Texas (Construction Law Section).  George holds a BS (US Naval Academy), MS (Catholic University of America) and MBA (The Wharton School).  His profile is on LinkedIn.


Andy Ness, Partner, Jones Day

Andy Ness assists owners and contractors with troubled projects, solving complex construction and design-related problems without need for formal dispute resolution whenever practicable.  In litigated matters, he has served as lead counsel on a wide variety of large construction disputes that were resolved in federal and state courts and via domestic and international arbitrations. Andy has drafted and negotiated design, EPC, and construction contracts for a wide range of major projects around the world.   He also has extensive experience in resolving disputes through the use of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution techniques; and he frequently serves as an arbitrator, mediator, or Dispute Review Board member.

The projects on which Andy has assisted encompass a broad range of energy, industrial and process, government, institutional, commercial and building projects across the United States and numerous other countries in Europe, South America, Asia, and (especially of late) the Middle East.

Prior to joining Jones Day in 2011, Andy was co-leader of the team that received the 2008 and 2010 Awards for Excellence in construction from Chambers USA.  He has been recognized individually by Chambers USA (Band 1) and Best Lawyers in America since each publication commenced coverage of construction law and has been named one of the global “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” by International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers each year since 2012.

Andy is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and was Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, the world’s largest organization of construction lawyers, in 2012-13.


Stu Ockman, President, Ockman & Borden Associates

Stu Ockman is President of Ockman & Borden Associates, project management consultants specializing in project planning and control, claims management and claims avoidance.  He has over 25 years of experience in engineering and construction management utilizing computerized project management systems for scheduling, estimating, cost control and financial analysis of projects including rapid transit systems, refuse-fired steam generating plants, food processing facilities, power plants and industrial research centers.  Previous experience with Bechtel Corporation and United Engineers & Construc­tors, Inc. has provided Stu with an extensive back­ground in the design and construction of both nuclear and conven­tional power generating stations.

Stu is a registered professional engineer in California and holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Construction Management from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.  He has authored a number of papers on scheduling and claims avoidance, many of which have been presented at PMI and College of Scheduling Annual Symposia.

Stu is President of the Project Management College of Scheduling and Chairman Emeritus of the former PMI College of Scheduling.  Previous positions within PMI include President and Chairman of the College, Vice-President of PMI International and a Member of its Board of Directors, President and Chairman of the PMI Delaware Valley Chapter and Vice-Chairman of the Project Management Journal Advisory Board.


Kirk Rainer, Consultant

Howard Kirk Rainer has worked with multiple organizations including Boeing/Global-Aeronautica, Northrop-Grumman, Honeywell and General Dynamics, supporting defense and commercial programs during proposal, development, planning, production and post-delivery phases as an industrial engineer involved in manufacturing, maintenance and materials management.  His primary pursuits involve scheduling, planning and control [SP&C], operations, and materials management, with applications and contributions ranging from master scheduling to shop floor control.

Kirk holds a BS in industrial engineering from Auburn University, an MS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle and an MS in Operations Research from the University of Central Florida.  He has acquired a PMP-SP along with other certifications:  ASQ, SSGB, APICS, CPIM and technical writing.  He was also an adjunct instructor in operations management, statistics and logistics from 1994 to 2003.


Rich Sieracki, Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Kenrich Group LLC

Rich is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Kenrich Group LLC. The Kenrich Group is an eighty-person national consulting firm with nine offices across the US. Kenrich provides business and litigation services with a focus on delay and damage related issues.  Prior to the creation of Kenrich in 2004, Rich was a Vice-President at Tucker Alan Inc. and Peterson Consulting firms providing similar services to Kenrich. Rich also spent eleven years at Bechtel prior to entering the consulting field.

Rich has consulted for Fortune 500 companies and others including electric utilities, construction contractors, architects, engineers and project owners, manufacturers, insurance companies, and various government entities, including state agencies.

Rich’s extensive experience on both damages and delay analysis has primarily been focused in the construction, electric utility and government contract industries. Rich’s experience includes work on numerous power plant projects, shopping centers, hotels and condominium projects and other facilities, including prisons and wastewater treatment plants. Rich’s work includes critical path schedule analysis intended to determine extended activity durations and responsibility for events delaying those activities, analysis of project cost growth issues, productivity studies and other analyses related to issues including schedule acceleration and disruption.

Rich has testified as an expert witness in state and federal courts, in domestic and international arbitrations, and has presented damage and schedule delay analysis in formal mediation and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He has also consulted to companies on techniques to avoid disputes and to minimize the impact of existing disputes.


Raquel Shohet, Vice-President, Hill International

Raquel has over 25 years of construction industry experience. She has provided professional services across all industries including hotel/casino, high rise, transportation, specialty, retail, water/ wastewater, heavy industrial, power, and petrochemical projects.   Raquel has extensive scheduling, cost control and estimating experience for large contractors on all project types including large, complex projects.

Raquel has extensive experience instituting ‘best practices’ for her clients in implementing Critical Path Method scheduling; proactive claims mitigation and analysis, document control and process training.  She directly manages baseline schedule roll-out and progress management for high profile and at-risk projects for both contractors and owners.

Raquel conducts presentations, and possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills.  She participates in professional organizations, provides mentorships and teaches Primavera scheduling subject matter at a local university.   Raquel also has a successful record in conflict resolution with a positive attitude and focus on collaborative teamwork.


Bruce Stephan, Executive Director, PMA Consultants

Bruce is a nationally recognized licensed civil engineer and attorney with more than 30 years of experience on medium, large/complex, and mega engineering/construction projects. His career includes public service, general contracting, and consulting nationally and internationally, and he remains actively involved in managing mega construction programs. As a program manager, Bruce has managed multiple projects as part of a larger program, and he has implemented systems, procedures, and reporting tools to ensure consistency. As a project manager, he has been responsible for projects from conception through closeout and warranty. As a construction manager, he has led teams of multiple consultants responsible for a full range of CM services. His award-winning experience includes design-build, integrated project delivery, CM-GC, and CM at-risk delivery methods; dispute resolution; complex change order negotiation; claims analysis; schedule management; technology solutions; and management consulting on public capital improvement programs. He is a frequent lecturer on topics designed to improve project delivery, and he has consulted with numerous public agencies to implement industry best practices. His project experience includes transportation, power, water/wastewater, architectural buildings, and process plants.

Bruce has a BS in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and a JD from Golden Gate University.


Clark Thiel, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Clark’s legal practice is concentrated on construction project counselling and dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and litigation. He advises facility owners and developers, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals on anticipating and managing the associated risks inherent in the construction process. His experience includes prosecuting and defending complex construction disputes involving delay and acceleration, cost overruns, breach of contract, professional liability, design errors and omissions, construction deficiencies, economic loss, and insurance recovery issues. Clark writes and presents extensively on issues involved in distressed or troubled construction projects.

Clark holds Bachelors and Masters of Architecture degrees from the University of Wisconsin and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis. He is a licensed contractor in California and a registered architect accredited by the National Council of Architect Registration Boards. As a practicing architect, Clark was involved in all phases of the design and construction of commercial and residential projects throughout the US and Asia.


Darryl Townsend, Senior Application Consultant/Risk Practitioner, 

                                       DRMcNatty & Associates, Inc.

Darryl has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry with the last fifteen focusing on planning and scheduling.  His skills include engineering, project planning and scheduling, performance reporting and risk analysis.  Darryl has the ability to work in a team environment to achieve results surrounding multi-project reporting and scheduling to achieve overall program goals.  He also has several years of experience as a database administrator for multiple Primavera projects/programs.

Darryl’s engineering background and work on the North Slope, Alaska, gives him the ability to better plan both engineering and construction activities while his engineering projects give him a better understanding of the tasks required to achieve a goal.  He is proficient with Primavera Enterprise as well as other planning tools such as Microsoft Project, SureTrak, Oracle Primavera Risk Analysis (Pertmaster), Acumen Fuse Analysis, Acumen Risk Analysis, Xena import tool, Milestone Pro and spreadsheet software.   Darryl was previously on the Oracle Primavera Product Strategy Council for Utilities, Oil & Gas.