Board of Trustees

George A. Sholy – Chairman of the Board 

George Sholy - 2014Mr. George Sholy is an Associate Vice President/Senior Project Manager with over 28 years of experience in the transportation private sector. Currently, he is working for AECOM Technology, Inc. in Piscataway, NJ. Mr. Sholy graduated in 1986 from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. with a B.S. degree in Civil/Construction Engineering Technology. Mr. Sholy also graduated in 1984 from Franklin Peirce University in Rindge, NH with a B.S. in Business Management.
As a Project Manager, Mr. Sholy managed several large scale projects including the Route 42 widening in Gloucester and Camden Counties ($42M), Route 33 Bypass Extension in Freehold, NJ (43M) and Route 31 Bypass ($125M) and westbound Atlantic City Expressway from MP 8 to MP 31. Mr. Sholy was also involved in several value engineering workshops including the Route 18 widening project in New Brunswick, NJ which was completed recently and had received ASCE and ASHE awards from the NJ Chapters as well as being one of the top 10 projects nationally recognized by the ASCE Magazine.

Michael A. Shamma, PE  – Vice-Chairman of the Board 

20) Michael A. Shamma, PE - Photo 2017Michael A. Shamma, PE, is currently the northeast region transportation (DOT)/tolls business line leader for Gannett Fleming. Based in the New York City office, he is responsible for guiding the firm’s DOT/tolls business strategy and growth across the northeastern U.S., serving as project director and manager on key projects, and supporting the company’s broader transportation business line initiatives.  Prior to joining Gannett Fleming, Shamma was the president of HAKS Engineers and Architects, a 650-person firm where he led all aspects of the company’s operations and business development activities.
Shamma brings nearly 30 years of transportation experience to Gannett Fleming. He served as chief engineer of the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation where he was responsible for a $1.5 billion, multi-year capital program encompassing 2,400 lane miles of interstate, 809 bridges, and 1,025 building facilities, as well as 524 canal system miles. During his tenure, he served as ombudsman for the new $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge replacement in Tarrytown, New York, the largest bridge project in North America.
Prior to his position with the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, Shamma served 24 years with New York State Department of Transportation. He held progressively senior positions while working at NYSDOT, including Region 2 director with responsibility for the safety and integrity of the region’s six-county transportation system that included 2,800 lane miles of state highway, nearly 800 bridges, and other significant infrastructure, and chief engineer responsible for leading all activities of the Engineering Division to ensure the delivery of an annual $2.2 billion capital construction program.

Shukri Abuhuzeima – Board Member

Shukri Abuhuzeima - 2014Shukri Abuhuzeima is a Executive Regional Manager with the NJ Department of Transportation, Division of Local Aid and Economic Development. Shukri has 31 years of experience with the Department. He is currently in charge of the federal Aid section of the Division of Local Aid. He oversees the development and performance of locally administered federally funded programs such as Federal State Transportation Program (STP), Safe Routes to School, Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program, and the Local Safety/High Risk Rural Roads Program. Shukri worked as the Program manager of the NJ American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Program for Local Projects. His experience also includes State funded transportation programs and projects for counties and municipalities. He also represented the NJDOT Local Aid on the FHWA and AASHTO’s Every Day Counts initiative that promotes the speed up of the delivery of highway projects and to address the challenges presented by limited budgets.
Prior to Local Aid, Shukri worked on major highway projects in the State of New Jersey including the construction of the Route 287 missing link that was completed in 1994. He served several years as a resident engineer on various NJDOT construction projects.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University with an MS degree in Construction Management and a B.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Suhail Albhaisi, PhD, PE- Board Member


Dr. Albhaisi is the leader of the Structural-Bridge Group for Jacobs Engineering in New York. His responsibilities include the technical development and oversight of major structural-bridge projects. He also provides peer reviews and independent reviews for major national bridge projects. He holds a PhD degree in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University. Dr. Albhaisi is the Chairman of ACEC Committee for NYCDOT, a voting member of the Post Tensioning Institute (PTI) Bridge Committee, and a member of several ACI committees on bridges. He has authored numerous technical publications and has taught the bridge design class at the University level. Dr. Albhaisi is a licensed professional engineer in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Virginia, Florida, and Kentucky.

Tarek Khouri, PE- Board Member

T Khouri Photo - HAKSMr. Khouri has more than 20 years of experience in the Real Estate Development, Construction and Engineering industries. He has been providing environmental consulting and risk management advisory services to developers, real estate property owners, assets investors, and public agencies throughout the world (USA, UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, West Africa, and France). Mr. Khouri integrates environmental risk management with land use planning and sustainable development to meet the needs and objectives of diverse clients and stakeholders for residential, commercial, and industrial real estate, in urban and rural environment.
Mr. Khouri has participated and managed the remediation and reuse of contaminated properties for over 20 years. He has performed, directed, and overseen environmental investigations and remedial actions at petroleum and chlorinated solvent spill sites, fuel farms, refineries, former manufactured gas, landfills, and a variety of residential, commercial and industrial settings. Mr. Khouri utilizes his technical expertise as well as his leadership and management skills to direct and oversee teams of professionals for the successful completion of these complex projects.

Eli R. Khoury, PE- Board Member

Alex Kaplan PhotographyEli R. Khoury, PE, is a Senior Vice President and the East Region Transportation Director for HDR, working out of its New York City office. Mr. Khoury has more than 29 years of comprehensive experience on major transportation projects. Prior to joining HDR, Eli served as Vice President and New York Regional leader for HNTB Corporation as well as their Chief Strategic Planning Officer for the Northeast division. He has played a major role in transportation projects in the New York region and nationally involving bridges, highways, railroad/transit, and aviation systems and has provided unique and innovative solutions to complex design projects, such as the Bayonne and the Tappan Zee bridges, particularly for the New York State Department of Transportation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the MTA-Bridges and Tunnels, the Long Island Rail Road, the New York City Transit, the New Jersey Transit, The NY City Department of Transportation, and the New York State Thruway Authority.
Mr. Khoury holds Professional Engineer registrations in New York and New Jersey, serves on the State Board of Directors for ACEC and Chairs the ACEC NYCDOT Committee. He also serves on the Foundation Board for the New York Building Congress, and he is a Board member of The NJ NEW JOBS President’s Club. He holds a BE in Civil Engineering and an ME in Structural Engineering from the City University of New York and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Faris A. Malhas, PhD, PE- Board Member

faresDr. Faris A Malhas is Dean of the School of Engineering, Science & Technology at Central Connecticut State University. He was previously the Dean of the College of Architecture, Applied Engineering, and Technology at Bowling Green State University. Prior to that he was the Dean of the Leonard C Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. He has previously served as a chair and professor at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Malhas has been in academia for more than 28 years, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in structural engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer in the states of Florida and has been a practicing consultant structural engineer for over three decades. He is the coauthor of a bestselling textbook on the design of steel structures that was published in 2008 and he is about to publish his second textbook on structural analysis. Dr Malhas has also been the co-editor for four ACI Special Publication books in various fields of structural concrete. Malhas research interests include durability of concrete structures, repair of concrete structures, seismic behavior of precast concrete structures and most recently the safety and strengthening of bridge structures. He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Steel Construction and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. He is the past chair of ACI Committee 444-Structural Health Monitoring of Concrete Structures. For his continuous contribution to ACI, he has been elected as an ACI fellow in 2009. Malhas received a B.S.E and an M.S.E in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He also holds an M.Sc. in Engineering Mechanics and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Walid S. Najjar, PhD, PE- Board Member

WSN Photo 2Walid Salim Najjar, Ph.D., P.E. is Vice President and Quality Manager at WSP, a professional services firm that acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2014. Dr. Najjar has 33 years of combined academic and professional experiences, including the past 20 years with WSP’s Transportation and Infrastructure Group working on highway and railway bridge projects. He is in charge of Quality Assurance and the Department of Education and Research, which is a sponsor organization of continuing education on behalf of the Practicing Institute of Engineers Inc. Previously, Dr. Najjar worked at Northeastern University as a faculty of civil engineering and at Cornell University as a visiting faculty and post-doctoral associate in civil engineering, where he developed neutron radiography as a non-destructive test method to detect micro-cracking and other defects in concrete. Before joining WSP, he worked at Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers on structural investigations of buildings and stadiums. He graduated from Cornell University in 1987 with a doctoral degree in civil/structural engineering and previously from Oklahoma State University in 1981 with bachelor and master degrees in civil engineering. Dr. Najjar developed and supervised the innovative project “Maturity Testing for Bridge Deck Rapid Replacement” that won for WSP the top diamond award for research from the 2009 ACEC-NY Engineering Excellence Awards. In 2013 he received the NYSSPE Outstanding PE in Management Award (state-wide), and the NYSSPE Westchester/Putnam Chapter Outstanding Engineer in Private Practice Award. He is a licensed professional engineer in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Ibrahim Odeh, PhD, MBA- Board Member

odeh_4Ibrahim Odeh is currently the research director and founder of the Global Leaders in Construction Management (GLCM) initiative at Columbia University. The main objective of the GLCM team is focused on: (1) studying major challenges faced by management team in international construction projects; (2) analyzing the international construction market industry; (3) developing a SWOT analysis of these markets; and (5) building a comprehensive database of major best practices and trends in managing signature global construction projects. Dr. Odeh also teaches courses in the area of construction engineering and management (CEM) where he also direct the CEM program at the department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics for both the on-campus and on-line tracks. Classes he teaches are focused on: Entrepreneurship for Civil Engineering & Construction; Managing Engineering and Construction Processes; and Principles of Construction Techniques. In addition, Dr. Odeh is consulting with several construction companies as well as other academic institutions on areas related; but not limited to, strategic and business development as well as program and curriculum development. Dr. Odeh received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Construction Management from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds an MBA degree with an emphasis on Finance from Minnesota, USA.

Hesham Kotby, PE- Board Member

hesham kotbiMr. Kotby is a Vice President at HAKS Engineers, Architects, and Land Surveyors. One of the fastest growing firms in the Metropolitan area, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida focused on facilities and infrastructure markets. He is responsible for leading business development and supporting public sector clients in the New York area working with New York City Department of Design and Construction, and New York City Department of Economic Development.
Mr. Kotby has over 29 years of diverse domestic and international experience in the Structure and Infrastructure sectors, including 22 years of rehabilitation of underground facilities.  He has been an ASCE member since 1998; a member of CMAA; and currently serves on the board of the Arab American Association of Engineers, Architects and IT Professional (AAAEA).
Mr. Kotby received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt in 1984. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the states of New York, and Delaware.

Rifat Saleh, PE – Board Member

Rifat SalehMr. Saleh holds a master’s and a bachelor degree in civil engineering. He is an alumnus of University of Hartford, and the University of New Haven, Connecticut. He is the founder of RHS Consulting Design in 2003. He is licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Currently he serves on the Board of Trustees for AAAEA. He is also an adjunct professor at University of Hartford, teaches structural engineering courses, and serves as a structural engineer specialist with Urban Search and Rescue of Connecticut (USAR-CT).
As president and chief engineer, Mr. Saleh is responsible for all the engineering and management activities of the firm. With more than 30 years in the design and construction of the infrastructure projects, his diversified experience includes highway and railroad bridge design, buildings, condition evaluation and rehabilitation of existing bridges, construction administration and management.  He has managed and overseen a vast variety of multi-million dollar projects for ConnDOT, MassDOT, Mass Turnpike, RIDOT, NYDOT and other state and government agencies.

Yosry Bekhiet – Board Member

Yosry Bekiet - 2014Yosry Bekhiet is a 25 year veteran in the transportation, Infrastructure and engineering industries, he is the Northeast Business Development Manager of Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I acquired Shaw in February 2013), one of the largest engineering constructions Companies in the United States. Mr. Bekhiet has a master degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College, New York in 1992.
Mr. Bekhiet’s experience includes business development; capture management; team building; bid and proposal preparation; project/program management; national account management; transportation; infrastructure, and facilities consulting for public and private sector clients nationwide. Prior to CB&I, Mr. Bekhiet worked in the Division of Project Planning and Development at the New Jersey State DOT.
Mr. Bekhiet is interested in Urban Planning, Smart Growth, Land Use-Transportation and Civic Spaces play in community revitalization and the impacts of transportation action on a community and its quality of life.

Faez Fanik, PE – Board Member

Fayez Fanik - 2014Mr. Fanik is a Supervisor of Enforcement for the Bureau of Housing Inspection, Department of Community Affairs. Mr. Fanik is also an instructor at Mercer County Community college teaching building inspection courses for residential, commercial, High-rise, and High Hazard buildings. He is a licensed professional engineer in NY and NJ. Mr. Fanik serves on two committees with the International Code Council, namely, the Consensus Committee on Hurricane Resistant Construction and the Reinforced/Pre-stressed Concrete Exam Development Committee.

Jawad Assaf – Board Member

Jawad AssafJawad Assaf is a Principal Project Manager at Mott MacDonald’s (MM) US-East Water/Waste Water Division.  Mr. Assaf is currently involved in project management and leading construction management/resident engineering and inspection (CM/REI) services for infrastructure projects in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area.  MM is a $2 billion global management, engineering and development firm. MM works on projects in transportation, buildings, power, oil and gas, water and wastewater, environment, education, health, international development and digital infrastructure sectors.
Prior to MM, Mr. Assaf was a Vice President and Executive Project Manager of major projects for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Capital Program Division.  He was responsible for overseeing the design and construction of a portion of the Division’s $500M annual Capital Program Portfolio.  Mr. Assaf had worked for NYCEDC for more than 20 years, starting in 1997 as a senior Project Manager in Capital Program Department.  Since then he had held number of positions from Senior Project Manager, Director, Assistant Vice President, and the Vice President.  He had managed and supervised multi-million-dollar capital projects ranging from infrastructure, waterfront, and underground construction to the rehabilitation of commercial and industrial buildings.
Jawad Assaf has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Construction Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey (NJIT).