Alumni Advisory Board
The UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Alumni Advisory Board’s mission is to promote the communication, growth, and shared activities of the CEE alumni, faculty, and students.
The AAB members offer unique inputs to help the Department understand the needs of industry, insights into how well the department is meeting the CEE needs of the future, and knowledge of current trends in the CEE industry, including suggestions for keeping the curriculum and degree programs current. They also provide input to academics, research, outreach, advocacy, and development.
Sean Ahdi ’13, MS ’14, PhD ‘18
Sean Ahdi is a Research Geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, Colorado. He also serves a Lecturer within the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) at UCLA. His expertise lies at the intersection of a broad range of interrelated topics across the domains of civil engineering and earth sciences, including geotechnical and earthquake engineering, engineering seismology, near-surface geophysics, and geology and geological engineering. In 2020, Sean joined the team that develops the USGS National Seismic Hazard Model, a product which underpins engineering design and risk assessments performed by practicing engineers to mitigate against seismic hazards nationwide. Sean earned his B.S. degrees in Civil Engineering and in Geology/Engineering Geology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, all within the CEE and EPSS at UCLA. Sean served as the President and Graduate Advisor for the CalGeo at UCLA student chapter and was involved in numerous other CEE and EPSS-based student groups during his 10+ years as a student at UCLA. He has prior work experience at geophysical, civil engineering, and forensic geotechnical consulting firms. You can often find Sean trying to explain geology, earthquakes, or tectonics to anyone interested enough to listen.
Benjamin Baker ‘10
Benjamin Baker is currently an assistant project manager with Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors, the prime contractor joint venture for Los Angeles County Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX rail transit project. In the past he has also worked as a project engineer in the civil division at KPFF Consulting Engineers, as an intern at the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering (Bridge Improvement Division), and as a utilities engineer in the Rail Transit and Crossings Branch at the California Public Utilities Commission. He has a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering and Project Management from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCLA. He has been involved with ASCE since 2006, including as a former officer and project manager for the UCLA student chapter, and he currently serves as Treasurer of the Los Angeles Younger Member Forum.
Laura Basualdo ’08
Laura Basualdo moved to the US shortly after graduating from high school in Argentina. She attended Cerritos College and transferred to UCLA afterwards. In 2008 she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCLA. In 2010 she graduated from Stanford University with a Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Structures. She interned at Degenkolb Engineers before starting graduate school; and has been working there full time since graduating from Stanford. She is currently a Project Engineer, and most of her projects are related to hospitals, ranging from simple equipment anchorage to design of new buildings and retrofits of existing buildings. Laura is a licensed California Structural Engineer.
Robert Campbell ‘07
Robert Campbell works at LA Metro in the ExpressLanes group, where he manages day-to-day operations on I-10 and I-110. He formerly worked as a consultant for Cambridge Systematics where his specializations included connected/autonomous vehicles, simulation modeling, economic analysis, and transportation systems management/operations (TSMO). He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Transportation) from UC Berkeley, and his Bachelor’s degree in the same field from UCLA. He has a Certificate in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) from UC Berkeley and a Certificate in Connected Vehicle Functions, Protocols, and Architecture from SAE.
Pavlo Chrysovergis ’12, MS ‘13
Pavlo Chrysovergis, PE graduated from UCLA with his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and his MS in Geotechnical Engineering. He is a Principal Engineer at SPC Engineering in Anaheim and manages both design and forensic investigation projects in the Geotechnical and Civil engineering fields. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of California and Nevada. Mr. Chrysovergis enjoyed his time at UCLA, where he gained the basis for his technical knowledge and developed leadership skills by serving as President of CalGeo and an officer for ASCE. He still stays involved at UCLA by giving presentations to Civil Engineering students. Mr. Chrysovergis is proud to represent UCLA in industry, where he has recently served as Chair of the ASCE Orange County Geo-Institute Chapter.
Kristina Cydzik ‘05, M.S. ‘06
Kristina (Tina) Cydzik is a Senior Consultant and the Regional Operations Manager of Engineering Systems Incorporated’s (ESi’s) Southern California office. Ms. Cydzik is specialized in Civil Engineering with a focus in water resources, hydrology, and hydraulics and is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in the State of California and several other states. She has extensive experience performing forensic investigations related to natural disasters, creating natural hazard mitigation plans, and preparing infrastructure investment strategies for developing countries. Her consulting in the U.S. has included investigation in the context of litigation or insurance claims to assess damages related to flooding, erosion, and sedimentation. One significant component of her professional practice includes the assessment of wildfire impacts and damages at residential, agricultural, and commercial properties both in suburban and rural areas. Her expertise addressing wildfire impacts stems from the undergraduate and graduate research projects that she conducted while obtaining her B.S. and M.S. degrees at UCLA. Her international work includes strategic planning for water resources and land management and advising government entities regarding water security and international water rights negotiation. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and baking, studying languages, traveling, and researching her family history.
Kevin Ellis ‘14
Kevin Ellis graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a minor in Italian studies in 2014. Since 2015, Kevin has worked in site development at KPFF Consulting Engineers in their Los Angeles Civil office. Kevin’s work includes design of site utilities, grading and paving, as well as stormwater treatment systems for a wide variety of project types including multifamily residential, mixed-use, hospital, educational, and civic projects. Kevin stays involved with UCLA as a volunteer with the Alumni Association and Chancellor’s Society and is an avid fan of UCLA’s various athletics programs.
William R Goodin MS ’71, PhD ‘75
William Goodin has worked at UCLA in both corporate and alumni relations for most of his career. First, at UCLA Extension presenting technical courses for industry partners around the world, and later at the UCLA School of Engineering enhancing relationships among corporate partners, faculty, students, and alumni. Prior to joining UCLA, he was a Senior Environmental Engineer in the R&D Center at Dames & Moore (now part of AECOM). There, he developed air quality simulation models for government and industrial customers in the US and abroad, testified at government hearings, managed projects, and worked with potential customers to develop new business. Prior to that, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Environmental Quality Laboratory at Caltech, where he conducted computer simulation of photochemical air pollution.
Dr Goodin has served as Practitioner Advisor for the UCLA American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Chapter; and received the ASCE Outstanding Practitioner Advisor award from Region 9 (State of California) in 2014 and 2017. He holds a BA in applied mathematics (SJSU), MS in computer science (UCLA), and a PhD in environmental engineering (UCLA).
Christine Goulet MS ’04, PhD ‘08
Christine Goulet is the Executive Director for Applied Science at the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). In that role, she acts as the science lead and technical integrator for large-scale collaborative projects involving diverse disciplines related to earthquake hazard and risk. Her research interests are in geotechnical earthquake engineering and applied seismology in the context of performance-based design, with a focus on ground-motion modeling, structural response and seismic hazard analysis. Dr. Goulet studied Geological Engineering in Canada and obtained her MS. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from UCLA where she developed a graduate course on ground-motion characterization for engineers. Before joining SCEC, she co-led the NGA-East program at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center and also consulted for engineering and seismology projects.
Martin Hudson BS/MS ‘90
Martin (Marty) Hudson is the Director of Geotechnical Engineering for the Turner Engineering Group of Turner Construction Company. He has over 29 years of industry experience covering a variety of building types, sizes and market sectors. Dr. Hudson is a Licensed Civil and Geotechnical Engineer. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Hudson has worked as geotechnical engineer of record on some of the largest projects in California history, including the Wilshire Grand tower, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and New Century twin tower development. He has worked as one of the plan check reviewer on behalf of the City of Inglewood for the geotechnical aspects of the SoFi Rams Stadium. He has extensive experience with deep excavations, shoring, soil nailing, MSE walls, ground improvement, shallow and deep foundations including driven piles, drilled shafts, caissons, and micropiles. He also has extensive experience with ground motion studies on many high-rise buildings, reservoirs, subway stations and tunnels, and hospital buildings, including base-isolated and damped structures. He is an Honorary Member of the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC), and serves on the seismology committee of SEAOSC. He has served on the Board of the American Society of Civil Engineers Los Angeles Branch Geo-Institute and on the Board of SEAOSC. He also teaches courses on foundation engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. He has dozens of publications on seismic and geotechnical engineering topics.
Rita Kampalath MS ’06, PhD ‘10
Rita Kampalath joined Los Angeles County’s Chief Sustainability Office in June 2017. As a Sustainability Program Director, she supports development and implementation of the County’s first sustainability plan, as well as sustainability-related policies. Prior to joining the County, Rita was the Science and Policy Director of the non-profit Heal the Bay. Rita also worked for Geosyntec Consultants on a range of water quality projects, primarily focusing on stormwater. Rita received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University, and an M.S. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in civil/environmental engineering from UCLA. Rita is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.
Christine Lee ’05, MS ’06, PhD ‘10
Christine Lee graduated with a B.S. (2005) in Chemical Engineering and M.S. (2006) and Ph.D. (2010) in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA with Professor Jenny Jay. After an astrobiology postdoctoral fellowship at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she worked in Washington DC as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at NASA Headquarters, in Earth Science / Applied Sciences.
Christine is now a research scientist in the Terrestrial Hydrology Group at JPL, focusing on remote sensing for water resources and water quality applications. She is also an associate program manager for the NASA Water Resources Program and the JPL lead for applications for ECOSTRESS, a thermal instrument on the International Space Station, and for an Earth mission concept, Surface Biology and Geology.
Paul Lee ‘15
Paul Lee is an Energy Policy Analyst at the LA Mayor’s Office of Sustainability where he leads work on renewable energy, greenhouse gas monitoring, and air quality. He previously worked for the Los Angeles Angeles Department of Water and Power on projects to reach 100% clean energy by 2035.
He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. He also serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Technical Advancement, focusing on preparing our infrastructure for a changing climate.
Paul received his B.S. in Civil Engineering with minors in Urban Planning and Geology in 2015. He later obtained his M.S. in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley with a focus on energy and climate. He is currently working towards his Master’s in Public Administration degree from USC.
Nolan Lenahan ’07, MS ‘09
Nolan Lenahan is an Associate Principal in DCI Engineers’ Los Angeles office. His expertise includes structural design and evaluation of building types across the cultural, performing arts, justice, civic, education, hospitality, commercial, mixed-use, and residential sectors; and managing teams of engineering professionals. He is a California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Safety Assessment Program-certified building evaluator, and is proficient in building codes, design practices, and seismic mitigation strategies for new and existing buildings. Nolan is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Structural Engineers Association of California. Nolan earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering (2007) and M.S. in Structural/Earthquake Engineering (2009), both from UCLA. Outside of work, Nolan enjoys watching and playing sports, fitness, music, restaurants, movies, reading, and traveling.
Zachary McFann ‘16
Zachary is a Traffic Engineer at Kimley-Horn with experience in traffic engineering and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) design, planning, and analysis projects. He has worked with both public and private sector clients and his experience includes traffic engineering design, traffic intersection operations and modeling, planning level traffic studies, fiber-optic master planning, and contractor maintenance management. His key areas of expertise include traffic signal design, signal interconnect design, street lighting design and photometric analysis, and signing and striping design. Zach graduated from UCLA in 2016 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. While attending UCLA, he was heavily involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter along with various other civil engineering student organizations. Zach is a registered civil engineer in the State of California.
Reza Mortezaie MS ’10, PhD ‘12
Reza Mortezaie is currently a Transpiration Engineer with Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) working on various statewide projects, including I-5 widening in Orange County and seismic retrofit studies of various freeway bridges. Prior to joining Caltrans, he worked in a number of consulting companies on a variety of projects, both nationally and internationally. The most notable projects included Presidio Parkway Freeway in San Francisco, Port of Cristóbal in Panama, Regional Connector Metro line in Los Angeles, and High-Speed Rail in Fresno. He is also a registered Civil Engineer (P.E.) and Geotechnical Engineer (G.E.) with the State of California.
Reza received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Civil Engineering in 2000 and 2004 from Iran. Subsequently, he obtained his second Master and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) degree from UCLA in 2010 and 2012 in Civil Engineering with a focus on Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.
During Reza’s graduate studies, he established the “CalGeo Student Chapter at UCLA” in 2007 and served as its first president and graduate advisor for 3 years. Today, the chapter is one of the most active chapters at UCLA’s Civil Engineering department and has won several statewide awards. He was also voted as the Teaching Assistant (T.A.) of the Year by ASCE at UCLA in 2011-2012 and 2010-2011 academic years. Upon Reza’s graduation in 2012, he was awarded the “Engineering Achievement Awards for Student Welfare” by Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the prestigious “Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year Award” by UCLA’s Civil Engineering Department.
After graduation from UCLA, Reza has served as a board member and chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute Los Angeles chapter from 2013 to 2019. He has also published several papers in high-impact factor journals such as Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering journal and ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. Finally, Reza teaches as a part-time faculty at CalState Long Beach (CSULB) and University of California, Irvine (UCI) and serves as one of Caltrans’s Bridge Academy instructors.
Dennis Nguyen ’11, MS ‘13
Suraj Patel ‘17
Suraj is a Structural Designer at Holmes Structures. He graduated with a B.S in Civil Engineering from UCLA and a Masters in Structural Engineering from Berkeley. His love for college and the civil engineering community got him hooked to all things civil. He currently is on the Board for the UCLA Engineering Alumni Association (EAA) as well as the University Outreach Co-Chair for the ASCE Los Angeles Younger Member Forum, and the Practitioner Adviser for the ASCE at UCLA Student Chapter. Suraj loves to play basketball, ultimate frisbee, go biking, dance, and watch movies.
Melanie Rivera ‘16
Melanie is currently a Water Project Engineer at HDR working on a variety of water infrastructure projects, with her most recent work involving the implementation of large municipal stormwater programs in Southern California. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from UCLA in 2016, and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2017. Previously, Melanie was a Staff Engineer at Kennedy Jenks Consultants, where she created water master plans, modeled large- and small-scale water infrastructure systems, designed water treatment systems, and analyzed water demand trends across Southern California. She also worked as a Staff Scientist at Los Angeles Waterkeeper, advocating for better water policy in Los Angeles and becoming heavily involved in the Safe Clean Water Program. Melanie has maintained her passion for water throughout her career and continually strives to lessen the impact of climate change and create a more water-resilient California every day.
Matthew Runyan ‘11
Matt graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. For the last 10+ years, he has worked at W.E. O’Neil Construction in a variety of capacities in both construction operations and human resources. After managing a wide range of construction projects, from retail to multifamily, he shifted his focus to recruiting, training, and people development. He is actively involved on UCLA’s campus in both a formal and advisory capacity: currently serving as an industry lecturer for CEE 170 and often acting as an industry advisor for the UCLA ASCE construction management teams.
Melineh Zomorrodian ’08, MS ‘10
Melineh graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Structural/Earthquake Engineering from UCLA. She joined Structural Focus in 2008 as an intern and continued with the firm after completing the UCLA Masters of Science program. She is currently an Associate at Structural Focus. Melineh is a licensed California Structural Engineer with experience in structural analysis, design and construction administration for existing and new structures. She has worked on several seismic upgrades and tenant improvements including work on Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, an animation studio in Glendale, SRF Windmill Chapel in Pacific Palisades, Red Bull North American Headquarters, and KTLA Channel 5. Melineh worked on the renovation of the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, and the adaptive reuse of the 710 Wilshire Professional Building. Her experience in the design of new structures includes Fox Studios Building 105, Sony Pictures eight-story building in Culver City, and the multi-building Culver Studios innovation project.