Imad L. Al-Qadi, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
President and Principal Engineer
Hasan Ozer, Ph.D., M.ASCE
Director of Infrastructure and Principal Engineer
Imad Al-Qadi is an internationally renowned expert in pavements and sustainability. He has served as principal investigator on more than 100 projects sponsored by various federal, state, and international agencies and industry and has managed more than 200 projects. He has also consulted for more than 50 agencies and companies. He served as the Via Professor at Virginia Tech and Founder Professor of Engineering and Director of the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL) and the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Al-Qadi holds a Ph.D. (1990) from Penn State and is a registered professional engineer. He is an elected Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), honorary member of the Societa Italiana Infrastrutture Viarie, honorary professor at several international universities and served on the board of numerous international conferences. He has received numerous awards, some of which is the only pavement engineer to earn. He is the Past President of the Board of Governors of the ASCE Transportation and Development Institute and served as a committee chair on various professional and technical committees and has organized and chaired more than 20 international conferences. As a leader in his field, he has contributed to the pavements field through many developments and authored/coauthored more than 600 publications and delivered more than 550 national/international presentations.
Hasan Ozer’s research and teaching interests are in the area of infrastructure materials, structural performance modeling of pavements, and transportation sustainability. His research is primarily concentrated in the areas of computational fracture mechanics, numerical modeling of pavement response, sustainable pavement systems, use of recycled materials in pavements, rheological and mechanical characterization of highly polymerized asphalt binder, and wireless sensor networks for monitoring infrastructure’s health. Dr. Ozer currently serves as principal or co-principal investigator of several Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored studies on recycled material characterization and development of sustainable pavement systems. Dr. Ozer is currently involved in nationwide and several Illinois based research projects on the development and promotion of transportation sustainability. Sustainability has emerged as a critical consideration in the transportation sector as well as in the construction industry worldwide. An objective sustainability rating system and life-cycle assessment tool is under development for the use of Illinois State Highway Agencies (SHAs). A critical outcome of these programs is to increase the awareness, visibility, and the body of knowledge of sustainability considerations in the design, construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation of pavement systems. Dr. Ozer’s research scope on sustainability encompasses development of guidelines to improve sustainable practices, sustainability assessment of highway infrastructure, and alternative materials used in asphalt mixture production and aggregates production.
Yanfeng Ouyang, Ph.D., M.ASCE
Director of Operations and Principal Engineer
Rebekah Yang, Ph.D., E.I.T.
Director of Technology and Principal Engineer
Yanfeng Ouyang brings in many years of technical experience in transportation systems analysis, operations management, large-scale optimization, and data analytics. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005, Dr. Ouyang has served as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator of over 50 research projects, with over $13 million of total funding, from various sponsors such as the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Toll Highway Authorities, and the private sector (e.g., ADM and CSX). His research outcomes have been successfully transferred to field practice, leading to various prestigious awards such as a 2014 High Impact Project Award from the Illinois DOT, a 2013 Chairman’s Award of Excellence from CSX Inc., and a 2015 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is an active member and officer of professional societies such as the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science (INFORMS), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has authored/coauthored well over 100 technical publications and delivered more than 250 national/international presentations. He is also a Department/Area/Associate Editor of multiple top academic journals.
Rebekah Yang holds a Ph.D. (2017) in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a graduate student researcher at the Illinois Center for Transportation, her work focused primarily on evaluating highway and airfield pavement sustainability. Dr. Yang has extensive experience conducting life-cycle assessments (LCA) and life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA). She has worked on various projects with state, federal, and international clients to collect and analyze LCA data as well as develop various software tools for pavement LCA. Dr. Yang has attended and presented at various conferences and workshops related to LCA. She is interested in working with clients to develop, assess, monitor, and achieve their sustainability goals through quantitative means. Dr. Yang also holds a B.S. in engineering from Swarthmore College and a M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, she received the Airport Cooperative Research Program Graduate Research Award and a Dwight Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship to conduct research related to airport and highway pavement sustainability during 2015–2016.
Ghassan Chehab, Ph.D, M.ASCE
Yara Hamdar, M.Eng, M.ASCE
Ghassan Chehab, Ph.D, M.ASCE is an associate professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at AUB. He had earned is PhD in Pavements and Materials from North Carolina State University (2002). His expertise lies in the areas of pavement engineering, material characterization, non-destructive testing, recycled materials, sustainability, and life cycle assessment. Dr. Chehab has provided independent expert consultancy for more than 50 high profile airport and roadway projects in the Middle East and consulted for numerous leading international engineering firms. He has also organized and served on the board of regional conferences, workshops, and seminars. He serves on editorial boards of several professional journals and is currently the secretary of the Academy of Pavement Science and Engineering (APSE). Previously, he served as assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University and research scientist at the Indiana Department of Transportation. He is a member of various organizations and editor or associate editor of several engineering journals. He has authored more than 100 reports and publications and managed more than 3 million dollars in research funds.
Yara Hamdar, M.Eng, M.ASCE graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Masters degree in Pavement Engineering (2016). Her Masters thesis, and other research projects she worked on at the university, drew on regional challenges that pavement project stakeholders commonly face in the Middle East. Among her achievements is the development of a simplified mechanistic-empirical pavement design tool. Her practical experience includes consultancy on regional airport and highway pavement projects. She has also actively participated in the organization of regional conferences and workshops. Through research and practice, she has cultivated experience in pavement design, performance-based specifications, and sustainability.
Ghia El Rifai, B.Eng, M.ASCE
Ghia El Rifai, B.Eng, M.ASCE holds a B.E. (2017) in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the American University of Beirut. Her primary interest is sustainable infrastructure. She has trained in design, management, and construction of large infrastructure projects in prestigious companies in the Gulf. She also has experience in laboratory testing of geotechnical materials. She interned with the Facility of Planning and Design Unit (FPDU) at the American University of Beirut for three years. She has attended a number of workshops and courses related to marketing and leadership to build her entrepreneurship skills. Her final year project involved a sustainability study in a challenging area in Beirut, and was awarded the Dean’s Honorable Mention in the FEASC 16th Conference held at AUB.