Jonathan Oliver, P.E.
Hi, I’m Jonathan Oliver and I’m excited to be serving as your branch President this year after serving the past three years in other positions. I was born and raised in Conyers, GA, a suburb of Atlanta in the heart of the deep south. I attended Clemson University in Clemson, SC where I graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2009 (and am an avid fan of the Clemson Tigers). I worked as an engineer in Atlanta for a large natural gas company for a year before deciding to return to school at Georgia Tech, where I graduated with a M.S. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Transportation in 2011. I moved to Richmond in 2011 after grad school to take a position as a roadway engineer with Kimley-Horn.
My work as a roadway engineer has exposed me to a variety of projects including roadway designs associated with light-rail and rapid transit systems, designing improvements to and/or widening of rural/urban collectors and arterials, limited-access highways, streetscapes, and sidewalks in addition to becoming our office’s stormwater management and hydraulics design specialist for transportation projects. Outside of work I enjoy running, playing soccer, bicycling, and traveling whenever possible.
Nancy Lehr, PE, APMP
Biography: My name is Nancy Lehr and I have been involved with ASCE in some fashion since my undergraduate years in college and I look forward to working with the ASCE Richmond Branch board this year. Since joining this branch last year after relocating from Florida, I found it to be a welcoming group of people and dependable source of rewarding activities. Along with working with the board, I enjoy the opportunity of helping with other ASCE events, such as judging the student Concrete Canoe Competition.
I am a University of Florida graduate with a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering, focused in structures, and a Master’s in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering. As an undergraduate, I participated in the Concrete Canoe Competition where I fostered my appreciation for ASCE. I worked for about 9 years in Jacksonville, Florida until my husband and I were relocated to Richmond in the summer of 2014. We have enjoyed learning about this new city and state and look forward to more adventures.
What takes up your time outside of work/ASCE?
My husband and I spend a great deal of time with our two children and all of their sports and school activities. We enjoy going to the beach, hiking, biking and just relaxing.
Favorite Sports Teams: Go Gators!
Loai El-Gazairly, P.E., Ph.D.
Years Involved with ASCE: Since 1988. I serviced as Secretary of ASCE Georgia Tech Student Chapter, 2004 as Chairman of SEI Group Georgia Chapter, Member of the Board of Directors (Internal Affair) ASCE Georgia Chapter.
Biography: Hello fellow Engineers. I went to school at Alexandria University, Egypt where I earned my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Structural Engineering in 1981 and 1985, respectively. In 1988 I joined the graduate program at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where I finished my Doctorate degree in Structural Engineering in 1993. I have more than 30 years of engineering experience in project management, post-tensioning systems and application, steel and concrete bridge design, segmental bridge design and construction, advanced structural analysis and construction of complex bridges. I am Professional Engineer in the States of Virginia, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Why do you help out with ASCE Richmond? I am always interested in helping engineers within our profession. I enjoy reaching out to my colleagues who can make a difference in the engineering field. I like sharing my expertise in the area of bridge design with those who are just about to start their career or with those who have been involved in landmark projects both nationally and internationally. I believe that professional communication is a powerful tool for building great civilizations.
What takes up your time outside of work/ASCE? I like sailing and traveling. I enjoy going to the beach and my favorite places would be the Mediterranean, the Greek Islands or the Gulf of Mexico.
Company: Moffatt & Nichol
Biography: My name is Jeremy Kraft, and I will be the Richmond Branch Treasurer for the 2016 – 17 year. I grew up in Wyoming and went to college at the University of Oklahoma where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. After graduating, I spent a few years working in Seattle, WA and then relocated to Dallas, TX where I spent the next 9 years working on transportation projects ranging in scope from rural highways to urban interstates as a roadway and drainage engineer.
In 2012, I relocated to Richmond and have been employed as a transportation design engineer for Moffat & Nichol. With Moffatt & Nichol I have had the opportunity to work on numerous bridge replacement projects providing roadway and drainage design. Though typically smaller projects in scope, it is often challenging to balance the need to provide a cost effective design with the appropriate amount of improvements to construct a safer facility. On my off time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two young children, traveling, hiking, and camping.
Company: Kimley-Horn and Associates
Biography: Hi I’m Catherine Hyland, and I will be the Richmond Branch Secretary for the 2016 – 17 year. I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2015 and moved to Richmond to work in the Kimley-Horn Roadway group. I enjoyed being involved in ASCE at UVA and look forward to helping out the Richmond branch and meeting all the members.
Outside of work I enjoy exploring Richmond’s amazing food scene, live music, DIY furniture projects and traveling.
Favorite Sports Teams: I’m a loyal Virginia Cavaliers fan already counting down the days until basketball season! Wahoowa!
Janelle Boncal, P.E.
Company/Job: Parsons/Environmental Engineer
Biography: I am originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. I attended Virginia Tech where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2008. I loved Virginia Tech so much that I just wasn’t ready to leave and earned a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering in 2010.
My career began at Parsons in the Baltimore, Maryland office in 2011. In 2014, I relocated to the Richmond, Virginia office where I am currently an Environmental Engineer specializing in environmental remedial design projects at Superfund sites in the mid-Atlantic region.
As Communications Chair, my goal for the year is to develop new and innovative strategies to grab the attention of our members in the monthly newsletters and get them more involved in the exciting activities and opportunities that Richmond ASCE has to offer.
When I’m not working, I enjoy getting outdoors, biking, bocce, cooking, live music, sporting events, sustainable gardening projects and exploring RVA.
Favorite Sports teams?
How much room do I have to type here? I have a long complicated family history as a New England Patriots fan, which became even more complicated when I moved to Baltimore and jumped on the Ravens bandwagon. Now that I’m back in Virginia, I do feel a sense of obligation to the Redskins even though I’m not quite ready to commit. So, while I figure things out, there will always be my unwavering allegiance to my Virginia Tech Hokies. (Let’s GO!)
Co-Educational Outreach Chair
Matthew S. Amonette, E.I.T.
Biography: My name is Matt Amonette and I will be serving as a Co-Education Chair for the Richmond Branch. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in May 2013 and a M.S. in Civil Engineering (with a Geotechnical focus) in December 2014. Following my graduation from Virginia Tech, I accepted a job offer with ECS Mid-Atlantic in Richmond to work as a Geotechnical Project Manager with the Special Projects Group. My time so far with ECS and in Richmond has been a fun and rewarding experience! Also, my boss Randy Wirt, whom many of you know, is the man!
Why do you help out with ASCE Richmond?
In my time at Virginia Tech, my participation as the outreach chair for the Geotechnical Student Organization (GSO) was a great way to branch out and meet other engineers in our industry as well as host outreach events for kids to stimulate the minds of our future engineers. I had the pleasure of creating a relationship between Virginia Tech’s ASCE chapter and GSO to the point where we held joint meetings. I enjoy hearing everyone’s perspectives on how to approach issues that confront us as Civil Engineers. Being a part of the GSO and now continuing that participation with the ASCE helps me advance in the fundamentals behind the role of Civil Engineers in our society.
What takes your time outside of work/ASCE?
I enjoy fishing, golf, running, and pretty much anything out on the water.
Favorite Sports Teams: Any Virginia Tech sport. Go Hokies!
Co-Educational Outreach Chair
Biography: My name is Ryan Abalos, and I just recently graduated from the University of Virginia where I served as president of the ASCE Student Chapter. For the year 2016-17, I will be serving as Education Co-Chair. I grew up just outside Richmond in Glen Allen, Virginia and have moved back since graduation. I passed by FE exam a few months ago and am employed with Dewberry’s Glen Allen, Virginia office where I have been working on numerous projects for the University of Virginia. My favorite project so far has been the site rehabilitation at UVA’s Rotunda. When I’m not at work, I play music with friends, write and record my own music under the moniker “Snowmass”, and recently joined a young adult Bible study at the church I grew up in, St. Mary’s.
Government Relations Chair
This position is currently vacant. If you are interested in getting involved with the ASCE Richmond Board, please contact Jonathan Oliver, P.E.
Jeff La Hood
Biography: My name is Jeff La Hood and I am the current Membership Chair for the Richmond Branch. I was born in Sterling Heights, MI and I am a proud Michigan State Alumni where I graduated with a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering in 2014. Upon graduations I accepted my offer to become part of the Richmond Roadway Design team for Kimley-Horn and Associates. I plan on helping to expand the Richmond ASCE Branch to promote current members and encourage future members to get the most out of ASCE. In my free time I like to travel and play Ice Hockey. I am also an avid fan of any Detroit Sports Team and the Michigan State Spartans. Go Green!
Co-Young Member Chair
Biography: I am currently serving as the Co-Younger Member Chair for the Richmond Branch of ASCE. I was born in Michigan and grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, but remain an avid Boston Red Sox fan (due to familial ties). I moved to Richmond, VA in 2013 after obtaining my BS in Civil and Environmental (Structural) Engineering from the University of Maryland and my MS in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University. I work as a structural engineer for Atkins with a current focus on structural bridge design, but am interested in all different types of structures.
I hope that as I continue to grow throughout the industry I can incorporate more sustainable design ideas into the structural model. In my free time I love hanging out by the river, playing ice hockey as well as other sports, and just simply being outside (whether it be a hike in the mountains, a trip to the beach, or spending time at a Richmond festival). I am very excited to become more involved in ASCE, and am looking forward to this year!
Co-Young Member Chair
Christopher Friend, E.I.T.
Company/Job: JMT / Structural Engineer
Biography: Greetings! My name is Chris Friend and I am currently serving as a Co-Young Member Chair for the Richmond Branch. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in May 2012 and from Penn State with a M.Eng. in Civil Engineering (with a Structures focus) in December 2013. Following my graduation from Penn State, I accepted an offer with JMT in Richmond to work as a Design Engineer with the Richmond Structures Division. My time so far with JMT and in Richmond has been a very fun and rewarding experience!
Why do you help out with ASCE Richmond?
In my time at Virginia Tech, my participation with ASCE was always a great way to branch out and meet other members within the community. I enjoy hearing everyone’s perspectives on how to approach issues that confront us as Civil Engineers. Being a part of ASCE continually reminds me the fundamentals behind the role of Civil Engineers in our society, helping further the quality of the public’s day-to-day lives.
What takes your time outside of work/ASCE?
I enjoy weightlifting, oil painting, and hiking when I find the time – Virginia is definitely a great place for it.
Favorite Sports Teams: Redskins (which has been painful lately…), Nationals, and any Virginia Tech sport. Go Hokies!
Sam Castonguay, E.I.T.
Biography: Greetings! I was born outside of Seattle, Washington but spent most of my childhood in suburban Central Pennsylvania. I graduated from Virginia Tech in December of 2013 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and EIT Designation. I am now working as a Project Engineer at Timmons Group here in Richmond, focusing predominantly on residential land development projects.
After having minor involvement in ASCE during college, I jumped at the opportunity to help with the Richmond branch. I am excited to hold the webmaster position for the second consecutive year. I look forward to continuing to learning about web design. Please shoot me an email if you have any suggestions on for the website!
Outside of work and ASCE I enjoy mountain biking, running, camping, ice hockey, and live music. I root for the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, and Virginia Tech Hokies.
Past President / Advisor
Ashley Johnson, P.E.
Biography: My name is Ashley Johnson and I am the Past President for the Richmond Branch. As a Navy brat, I grew up all over the southeast, but I claim Birmingham, AL as my hometown. I attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where I received both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Civil Engineering. I went on to Virginia Tech and obtained another Masters Degree in Structural Engineering in 2009. I began my career in Northern Virginia, and moved to Richmond in 2011 after taking a position at Rummel, Klepper, & Kahl (RK&K) as a structural engineer, focusing on bridge design.
Outside of work and ASCE, I stay busy with my husband and hilarious and adorable two year old daughter. I enjoy fixing up our 1915 house (slowly!), running, playing on the RK&K softball team, and most importantly, Alabama football – ROLL TIDE!