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CEEAS Board Members

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Mark Alpert 

Mark E. Alpert currently serves as the chair of the board of the South Metro Denver Chamber as well as being the chair of the 2015 STEM Summit. Alpert recently retired as a senior vice president with CH2M HILL’s Water Business where he had responsibilities for its Design Build unit operating throughout North America. Alpert is the president of Integrated Delivery Solutions, a firm focused on business strategy and management, project financing, and new business acquisition with engineering and construction firms working on major infrastructure projects. Lastly, Alpert serves as the executive director of the Water Design Build Council, an association of integrated design and construction firms working in the water sector globally.

Alpert received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Lehigh University and his Master of Engineering from Penn State. He also attended the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Michigan.

He received the Designated Design Build Professional Brunelleschi Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 from the Design Build Institute of America and is a Professional Engineer in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. 

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Nicole Dato

Dato is a senior studying civil engineering and focusing in both structures and geotechnical. She is pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation through the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program. Along with her HESE team, she has been working on an energy startup in Kenya.

Outside of academics, she is involved in various organizations. She is currently the president of Penn State’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Last year, she presided as president of the Concrete Canoe Team. Additionally, Dato serves on the Engineer’s Undergraduate Council, participates in THON, and is a member of the civil engineering honor society, Chi Epsilon.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Dato is eager to explore and improve the world. She is excited to serve as an undergraduate representative for CEEAS to help promote students’ academic and professional development.

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Steven C. Devine, P.E.

Devine studied civil/structural engineering at Penn State. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1984 and a Master of Engineering in 1986. After a short stint as a stress analyst in the aerospace field after graduating, Devine has worked for over 30 years as a structural engineer in the building design field. Devine is a licensed professional engineer in many states including Dubai in the UAE. Over the years, Devine has worked on many challenging structural engineering projects including industrial plants and related structures, warehouses, commercial buildings, higher education buildings, retail, hotels, and residential structures. Design responsibilities include foundations and super structures for gravity and lateral loads and materials including wood, steel, and concrete designs.

After working for nearly 20 years as a consultant engineer, Devine is currently a principal at NORR’s Philadelphia office, a full service international architectural engineering firm. He oversees and manages the structural engineering for the Philadelphia office as well as handling principal management responsibilities.

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Jack Diviney, P.E.

Diviney received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at Penn State in 1968 and his Master of Engineering degree in 1977, with an emphasis in geotechnical engineering. After working for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for 11 years, he joined Gannett Fleming in 1979. 

At Gannett Fleming, Diviney has served in many roles including: geotechnical engineer, senior project manager, office manager of the Pittsburgh regional office, Midwest USA Regional Director, and member of the Gannett Fleming, Inc. Board of Directors. He is currently a senior geotechnical engineer working from the firm's Pittsburgh regional office.

Diviney has been involved in professional societies throughout his career, having served as president of the Harrisburg section of the American Society of Highway Engineers, and as president of the Central Pennsylvania section of The American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also a former member of the Penn State Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Industrial Professional Advisory Council.

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Matthew J. Gombeda, EIT

Gombeda graduated from Penn State with a degree in civil engineering (structural) and a minor in engineering mechanics in 2014. He is currently a graduate student at Lehigh University working toward his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees. Gombeda has also been employed as an intern by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 4-0 and Alexander Building Construction.

At Lehigh, Gombeda is employed as a graduate research assistant at the Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Center as he works to complete his graduate studies. His current areas of research include the behavior and design of concrete structures subjected and blast and impact loads, progressive collapse mitigation, composite behavior of precast concrete sandwich wall panels, structural fire engineering, and concrete materials. Gombeda also serves as an associate member of American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee 377 - Performance-Based Structural Integrity & Resilience of Concrete Structures.

During his time at Penn State, Gombeda served as the president of both the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and ACI student chapters and also the design engineer and project manager for the Concrete Canoe Team.

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Willis S. Heisey III, P.E.

Since completing his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at Penn State in 1972, Heisey has spent the last 45 years in the construction industry working throughout the United States and in Algeria. Heisey has constructed projects in the highway, heavy civil, marine, concrete construction, environmental, pile-driving, and industrial markets. He has performed field engineering and field management duties, managed multiple concurrent projects and large national programs, provided operational leadership for multi-state construction operations, participated in the estimating process, developed bid and construction schedules, implemented successful strategies for project execution, selected equipment, and provided lead interfacing with owner's representatives.

Heisey is currently retired from Allan A Myers, LP as construction manager with overall responsibility for major bridge and highway projects in the Mid-Atlantic. He is married to Bonita and is the proud father of a son and daughter and four granddaughters.

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Migara Hewavitharana, E.I.T.

Hewavitharana graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 2013. During his time at Penn State, he served in numerous leadership positions within the department related to student organizations – culminating in presidency for the ASCE Student Chapter and hull design captain for the Concrete Canoe Team, both during his senior year. He also assisted in bringing a Bridges to Prosperity student chapter to Penn State.

He is currently employed at Stantec in their New York City office, where he serves as a structural engineer in their building design group. During his time at Stantec, Hewavitharana has provided design and analysis assistance to senior project engineers to complete a wide variety of projects involving steel, masonry, and cast-in-place concrete.

Hewavitharana has also continued to stay involved with ASCE in his post-Penn State life. He previously served as the vice president for the Central New Jersey Younger Member Group – a position that involved developing programs and creating events focusing on professional development, social outreach, and student outreach for ASCE younger members in the area. Hewavitharana has also stayed involved with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State by assisting in development of the CEEAS mentor program and acting as a member on the CEEAS Board. He also remains involved in the national ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition by providing his service as a judge in the Metropolitan Regional Competition.

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Thomas E. Lawson, P.E., P.L.S

Lawson is a registered professional engineer and professional land surveyor in multiple states.  He is currently executive vice president of Borton-Lawson, a 189 multi-discipline architectural/engineering firm he co-founded in 1988. A 1972 graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, Lawson has been recognized as Engineer of the Year four times by his peers in Luzerne County. 

Lawson's career includes employment in the 1970s with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, after which he entered private practice with a focus on building design, land development, highways and bridges.

Professional affiliations and accomplishments include: past president of the Luzerne County chapter of the Professional Engineering Society; past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers in Private Practice; past president of the American Society of Highway Engineers, NE Pennsylvania Section; currently serves as president of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association and is a board member of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors; Technical Advisory Committee member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties; a member of the American Consulting Engineers Council; and the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

On a community level, Lawson was chairman of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce Board in 2006 and 2007, and recently served on Pennsylvania Governor Corbett's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. He also chairs the Focus 81 committee, a community organization working to improve safety along Interstate 81 in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania area.  

Laura Maynard

Larissa Maynard

Maynard was born and raised in Wexford, Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. During her time at Penn State, she was heavily involved with Penn State’s ASCE Chapter, was an avid dancer in Penn State’s Tapestry Dance Company, and danced for 46 hours in THON.

Maynard currently is a water resources engineer for WSP’s Water and Environment Group in St. Louis, Missouri. Her current role spans the design and construction of hydraulic management and water facilities for private- and public-sector clients. Previously, she worked as an engineer for Missouri American Water and was employed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as project manager for multi-faceted construction ventures.

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Casey Mrazik

Originally from Pittsburgh, Mrazik is a junior studying civil engineering. She is heavily involved with the Women in Engineering Program, the Concrete Canoe Team, and Utree at Penn State. For two summers, she interned at Mascaro Construction working in their estimating department and with their operations team in D.C. at the D.C. United Soccer Stadium. Her favorite pastime is traveling; she's been to 13 countries, and the newest edition to her bucket list is to make it to all seven continents. She looks forward to being a student representative on the CEE Alumni Society Board of Directors and positively impacting students as well as the department. 

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James D. Policaro, P.E.

Policaro has worked in the commercial real estate industry for over 20 years, during which he has performed development and construction management for numerous high-profile projects within the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Policaro has been employed with Lerner Enterprises for the past fourteen years and is currently vice president of development. Policaro has performed the oversight of more than 3 million square feet of Class A office building, multi-family residential, hotel, and retail projects for Lerner. Policaro has directed the design and construction of numerous projects within Lerner's portfolio, including The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II, The Falls at Flint Hill, Windmill Parc at Dulles Town Center, Dulles 28 Centre, Fallsgrove Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites, Fallsgrove Plaza, 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, and 20 M Street, Southeast. Many of these projects have been recognized for outstanding design and construction within the building industry; including 1800 Tysons Boulevard in Tysons Corner, which was the recipient of Fairfax County's 25th Anniversary Award for Design Excellence.  

Policaro is currently responsible for the master planning of numerous smart growth initiatives for Lerner. These include the redevelopment of The Spectrum at Reston Town Center, White Flint Mall Redevelopment, Brightseat in Prince George's County (formerly Landover Mall), and Crystal Rock in Germantown, Maryland. 

Prior to joining Lerner, Policaro performed design oversight and construction management for over 2 million square feet of commercial projects with another major real estate firm in Washington, DC; which included such developments as Crystal City, Skyline, Worldgate and University Center. 

Policaro is a civil engineering graduate of Penn State (1982). He is a current board member of the District Advisory Board to the Phase I Metrorail Tax District, The Tysons Partnership, TYTRAN (Tysons Transportation Association) and The White Flint Partnership. Policaro also represents Lerner as a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.   

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Thomas Skibinski

Skibinski is an lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State. His interest areas include construction engineering management; project management; ethics; professional practice; and professional development; advisor, ASCE Concrete Canoe.

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Rowland Smith

Since Smith was young, he has always had an interest in construction, from building sandcastles, legos, and snowforts. In May of 2017, Smith graduated from Penn State with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering with a focus on geotechnical engineering. After graduation, he worked as a full-time project engineer on the Penn State East Halls project for a year while pursing his master's degree part-time. The M.Eng. degree requires an independent study or capstone course. Smith's capstone project will be an owner’s guide for commercial roofing systems under the supervision of Dr. Ali Memari. He is certified as an E.I.T. in Pennsylvania and after graduation he plans on finding a job that will support his growth to become a P.E. Kayaking and football are a few of his hobbies.



The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084