Company: Austin Brockenbrough & Assoc. LLP
Biography: My name is Mike Howell and I have the pleasure of serving as the 2011-2012 President of the ASCE Richmond Branch. I have been a member of the Richmond Branch since moving to the area in 2008 and have served as the Outreach chair for 2 years prior to being elected as President-Elect in 2010. I am originally from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. While attending Pitt, I became involved in ASCE through the student chapter and participated in the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge team’s.
My current position as President is one which I am honored to have been selected for. The 2011-2012 officers I serve with are some of the most dynamic and energetic individuals I know and are working extremely hard to serve our members. I feel that this opportunity is a great privilege to be part of. I continue to be amazed by the energy our officers are bringing back into the branch and I am excited to see how this group can move forward in the future.
Biography: My name is Amy Bird, and I am currently serving as the President-Elect of the Richmond Branch of ASCE. Originally, I am from outside of Buffalo, New York, but relocated to Richmond in 2008. By day, I work in Dewberry’s Richmond office, focusing mainly on site-civil projects. When I’m not at work, I enjoy golfing, reading, and traveling with friends and family.
I first became involved in ASCE through the University at Buffalo chapter. My first experience in ASCE involved participating in the concrete canoe competition, and I’ve been involved ever since. My current role on the board is to support all of the other board members, and to attend meetings of the Richmond Joint Engineers Council on behalf of our branch. I am looking forward to working with all of you in the next couple of years, and continuing to build our program to better serve our members.
Mark Yanik EIT
Company: Parsons Brinckerhoff
Biography: My name is Mark Yanik, and I serve as the 2011-2012 Vice President for the Richmond Branch of ASCE. I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and in 2008 I graduated from the academically renowned, football powerhouse of Virginia Tech. I am a structural Engineer-In-Training in Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Richmond, Virginia office, and I specialize in the design of bridges and transportation structures. My most exciting project so far involved the design of the world’s first recycled thermo-plastic railroad bridge at Fort Eustis, Virginia. In my free time I enjoy golfing, traveling with my wife, and of course- watching Virginia Tech football.
My involvement in ASCE began in college, where I served in numerous officer roles for the student chapter and competed as part of Virginia Tech’s student steel bridge team. Upon graduating from Tech I became involved in the Richmond Branch, first as the Scholarship Chair and now as the Vice President. I enjoy the high level of involvement of our local membership and the wide variety of activities the club offers each year. I look forward to the start of our new Branch year; with a strong new set of officers and chairs, it is shaping up to be our most active yet!
Amanda received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University and her Master’s of Business Administration degree (MBA) from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a registered PE in Virginia. Amanda has seven years of consulting and design experience, including traffic and transportation projects, policy planning, land development and municipal projects, and construction administration. Amanda served as the branch president for the 2010-2011 cycle and is currently serving as Past President.
Anthony P. Gaynord, P.E., II A.M.ASCE
Company: McKinney & Company
Biography: Tony is a civil engineer for McKinney & Company in Ashland. In addition to serving on the Board, Tony is an all-star for the YM kickball team.
I am originally from Manassas, Virginia and went on to get my Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech. I became a Civil engineer because I have always wanted a better understanding of why things are the way they are. From the ground to the building, I have always thought the way things were designed was interesting and have wanted to be involved.
I joined ASCE while at Virginia Tech and enjoyed the socials and staying connected with other Civil Engineers. When I moved to Richmond, I became involved through the younger member group activities such as the socials and kickball team. After meeting lots of great people and learning about what ASCE did for the Richmond area, I became more involved with the other aspects of ASCE and now I am the Treasurer/Secretary.
Currently my role is Treasure/Secretary. I am involved with most ASCE activities in one form or another. As Secretary I recording and distributing minutes from each meeting. As Treasurer I keep track of all finances and make sure that events are and can be funded.
Denise E. Nelson, P.E., M.ASCE
Company: Greeley And Hansen LLC
Biography: Mrs. Nelson received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and her Master’s of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. She is a registered PE in Virginia and Ohio and is also a LEED AP (USGBC). She has eight years consulting experience in sanitary sewer planning, modeling, design, and inspection related to wet weather capacity issues, as well as design experience in water distribution and sustainable infrastructure. Her experience includes time on the east coast and in the midwest as well as overseas in New Zealand. Mrs. Nelson is also active in many professional societies at the local and regional levels. She was previously the Younger Member Group Chair for the Richmond Branch and is currently the Communications Chair.
Kevin O’Neill, E.I., M.ASCE
Company: CH2M HILL
Biography: Hello! My name is Kevin O’Neill and I was recently elected to serve as the new Webmaster for the Richmond Branch. I have been working with website design for the better part of the last 10 years, mainly as a self taught hobby, with some freelance from time to time when opportunities arise.
I grew up in N. Ireland and my family immigrated to the United States in 1995 to Orlando, FL. I maintain dual citizenship with the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. I attended the University of Central Florida for both my Undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and also my Graduate Degree in Structural and Geotechnical. Recently, this April, I accepted a job to move to Richmond to work with CH2M Hill as a Structural/Bridge Engineer, and couldn’t be more stoked! Richmond is a great little city! I have settled in very well.
My involvement with ASCE as a participant was kick started by the National Steel Bridge Competition. I participated heavily for 2 years with a high point of qualifying for the National level after finishing a top team within our region. Very exciting time! No longer a participant I took up leadership in running the National Steel Bridge competition the following year as UCF was to named the host school for the first time in its history. Judging for many structural and geotechnical competitions followed!
I’m excited to have a new project to work on (ASCERichmond.org). I believe having a great website for the Richmond community is essential, and we aim to do just that!
Government Relations Chair
Austin L. Clark, P.E., M.ASCE
Biography: My name is Austin Clark, and I serve as the 2011-2012 Government Relations Chair for the Richmond Branch of ASCE. I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in 1999 I relocated to Richmond. I am a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth and am employed with TranSystems’ Richmond, Virginia office. I specialize in the design of bridges and transportation structures. A local bridge project on which I worked was the replacement of 11 bridges on I-95 through Richmond. As of October, 2011 these bridges are under construction. The superstructure design replacement was based on the pre-constructed composite unit method of construction. At an offsite location, the superstructure is assembled in two to three girder units with the deck cast in place. Typically over a weekend one span of the bridge will be replaced with these new units. This construction method allows for the bridges to be open each morning for traffic which is critical on an interstate with the volume of traffic on I-95. During my non working hours, I volunteer with my church, River Road Church, Baptist supporting causes which seek to end homelessness in Richmond and I also began training this summer with Seal Team Physical Training, which provides an excellent team based approach to fitness.
My involvement in ASCE began in college, where I participated with the VMI student chapter building a concrete canoe. Upon moving to Richmond I began attending the monthly meetings and three years ago became involved with the government relations board. In the spring of 2011 I attend the National Fly-In in Washington, DC. Attending this event better prepared me to organize and promote our annual Meet and Greet with the Virginia General Assembly. My goal for this event is for it to grow into a Civil Engineering Day at the Capitol in which ASCE members meet to promote civil engineering issues with their legislators.
Edward E. Buchanan, P.E.
Company: Environ-Civil Engineering, Ltd.
Biography: Mr. Buchanan received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently working towards his Master’s in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. He is a registered PE in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. He has over 10 years of engineering consulting experience, including experience working for municipal utilities and experience with design and rehabilitation of water and wastewater infrastructure. Mr. Buchanan lives in Mechanicsville with his wife, Lori, and their three young boys. He is currently the Membership Chair.
Younger Members Chair
Chris Vaught, EIT, A.M.ASCE
Biography: My name is Chris Vaught, and I am currently serving as the Younger Member Group Chair of the Richmond Branch of ASCE. I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and received my BSCE and MSCE from Virginia Tech in 2008 and 2009. I am now a bridge engineer for AECOM working on complex bridge projects all around North America. Outside of engineering, my favorite activity is playing outside – right now that mainly consists of taking my daughter on stroller rides and drawing pictures of my wife using sidewalk chalk.
I am on the record of being a member of ASCE in college, but I didn’t become active until I moved to Richmond in early 2011 and used it as a tool to meet people. My role now is to get and keep our younger members interested in Civil Engineering and what it has to offer. My goal is that our group will continue to evolve and move forward and the success that we’ve had since I came here continues to grow.
Company: Kimley-Horn and Associates
Biography: My name is Brooke Young, and I am currently serving as the Education Chair of the Richmond Branch of ASCE. I was born in Toledo, OH, and lived in various parts of Ohio for 10 years, and then my family moved to Richmond, VA. I went back to my roots for college, and graduated from Ohio Northern University in 2009. I was surrounded by engineers growing up. My dad and his three brothers were engineers (two Electricals, a Mechanical, and a Chemical). I wanted to follow in their footsteps, but I was determined to bring something new to the table so I choose Civil Engineering as my path.
I originally joined ASCE at Ohio Northern as a student member and later served as Treasurer. I was a paddler and Mix Design Engineer for our ASCE Concrete Canoe team. Hard work paid off, and we were the 2009 North Central Conference Champions! Thanks for having me as your Education Chair, as I am honored to be a part of such a dedicated group of members.