Storms, Flooding & Sea Level Defense November Conference 2021

Lori Adornato
Program Manager, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Dr. Lori Adornato joined DARPA as a Program Manager in July 2017. Her interests include interpretation of organismal behavior and development of bio-inspired materials, as well as platforms and systems for marine sensing applications.

Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Adornato was a senior research engineer in the Sensing and Domain Awareness Laboratory at SRI International where she managed programs to develop highly sensitive underwater chemical sensors. Her most recent projects involved refining carbon system thermodynamic models for use under high CO2 conditions and developing a low-cost portable sensor for comprehensive inorganic carbon system measurements in aquatic systems.

She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University of South Florida.

Dr. Adornato received the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award from the University of South Florida Chemistry Department, and the Robert M. Garrells and the William and Elsie Knight Endowed Fellowships from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science.

LTC Kevin P. Arnett
PhD, PE, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Commander, San Francisco District

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Arnett hails from just outside of Anderson, California. He was commissioned in the United States Army Corps of Engineers on 2 June 2001 from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Missouri and California within the sub-discipline of Civil Engineering. 

LTC Arnett’s prior assignments include service at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii from 2002-2005 in the 65th Engineer Battalion (Light) and the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, including a deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. During that period, he served as Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Army Facilities Engineer for Forward Operating Base Warrior, and Battalion Maintenance Officer. LTC Arnett returned to Schofield Barracks from 2006-2009 and served as the Deputy of the 25th ID Joint Visitor’s Bureau and as the Division Engineer’s Commander’s Emergency Response Program Supervisor during the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters’ deployment to Contingency Operating Base Speicher. He served as Assistant S3 for the 84th Engineer Battalion (Construction) and deployed to Mosul, Iraq as the Commander of the 643rd Engineering Company (Vertical), 84th Engineer Battalion. From June 2011 to June 2014, LTC Arnett served as an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the US Military Academy. From 2014-2016, LTC Arnett served as Executive Officer of the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division and as the S3 of the 92nd Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade. 

LTC Arnett earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California Berkeley, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Structural Engineering from the University of California San Diego. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Command General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and the Engineer Officer Basic and Captain’s Career Courses, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. 

LTC Arnett’s military awards and decorations include: the Combat Action, Airborne, and Air Assault Badges; the Ranger and Sapper Tabs; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Army Achievement and Commendation Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal. He has also been awarded the Bronze Order of the DeFleury Medal. 

LTC Arnett is married to Emily Arnett of San Mateo, California. They have two children. 

Arvind Acharya
President, San Francisco Post, Society of American Military Engineers
Sr. Project Executive, Gilbane Building Company

Mr. Acharya currently serves as the President of the Society of American Military Engineers, San Francisco Post and coordinates programs and events locally with a focus towards security and infrastructure resiliency and related challenges. Mr. Acharya is an experienced Project Executive with Gilbane Building Company with over 28 years in managing large-scale multi-project contracts that involves Environmental and Civil infrastructure construction activities. He has managed varied regional and national contracts with several federal agencies including the US Navy, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Air Force, Department of Energy and GSA.

Aimee Andres
Executive Director, Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc.

Aimee Andres, Executive Director of the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT). IRPT is a trade association for the nation’s inland waterway, port and terminal professionals. She has extensive contact with the 300+ members of the Association in order to identify points of interest or concern and to optimize their benefits. Representing the interests of members in each river basin, Aimee encourages continued cooperation with local, state and federal authorities, as well as other waterway associations to promote the value of the inland waterway system. 

Aimee is an Accredited Maritime Port Executive awarded by the International Association of Maritime Port Executives and recognized by the Maine Maritime Academy and Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics. She serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Marine Port Executives and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the National Waterways Conference. In 2018, she was awarded the ‘40 under 40’ recognition by the inland river industry.

Recent accomplishments include:

  • Developed the inland port manager curriculum in conjunction with the International Association of Maritime Port Executives;
  • Strategic partnerships with Panama Canal Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and American Short Line Regional Railroad Association;
  • Authored the Coastal and Inland Ports and Terminals Commerce Improvements Act; and
  • Developed the first industry-related mobile application for the use of emergency broadcasts.

In August of 2019, Aimee became a successor in-line to her family’s-owned short line railroads, the Indiana Eastern Railroad and the Ohio South Central Railroad. Since being so named, Aimee has worked with rail crews on infrastructure improvement projects, state and regional funding programs, customer relations, and new business development, including marketing and project construction. She has strengthened terminal and railcar management, regulatory reporting, and policy enhancements.

Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals, Inc. (IRPT) is a nationwide trade association for users of the U.S. Inland Waterway system. IRPT promotes the use of our nation’s rivers as the most cost effective, and environmentally friendly form of transportation. We do this by keeping our members informed on federal legislation and security issues affecting our river system, promoting and marketing our inland waterway system, and working with port leaders to unify the inland ports, terminals, and river systems. 

Derek Chow
Deputy Director, Hawaii State Harbor Division

Derek J. Chow is the Deputy Director, Harbors Division, Department of Transportation, State of Hawaii. He oversees the operations, maintenance, improvements, and modernizations of the Hawaii Harbor System that includes 10 commercial harbors throughout Hawaii. Over 98% of all imported goods consumed in Hawaii are shipped through the Hawaii Harbor System. Over 80% of the goods consumed throughout the Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States are also shipped through the Hawaii Harbor System. 

Prior positions included: Senior Project Manager, SSFM International, Inc.; Chief of the Civil & Public Works Branch, USACE Honolulu District; Chief of the Water & Infrastructure Division, US Forces-Afghanistan; Resident Engineer, Forward Operating Base Danger, Tikrit, Iraq; Project Manager and Planner, USACE Seattle District; Master Planner, US Army Garrison, Hawaii; Contract Administration, USACE Japan District; Project Manager, Seattle Water Department; and Operations Manager, Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission. 

Derek’s awards include the Bronze De Fleury Medal for service to the Army Engineer Regiment, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and other leadership awards during his 30 years with USACE. He is a graduate of the USACE Leadership Development Program and US Coast Guard Leadership Development Program. 

Derek is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii. He received his Civil Engineering degree from Seattle University, and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii. 

Derek has one daughter Erin who is a register nurse. 

Meri Davlasheridze
Assistant professor, department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Dr. Meri Davlasheridze is an assistant professor at the department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science, Texas A&M University at Galveston. She holds her PhD degree in Agricultural, Environmental, and Regional Economics from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research involves understanding economic and health impacts of disasters, evaluating effectiveness of federal disaster policies in promoting community disaster resilience, and developing market incentives for private catastrophe insurance. She currently serves as a PI for the project funded by the Texas Department of Insurance to study market incentives for catastrophe windstorm and hail insurance. She has led an economic component of the project funded by the Texas General Land Office on understanding economic ripple effects of storm surge for Galveston bay communities. She serves as a co-PI on a NSF funded multidisciplinary research project  “Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Program: Integrated, multi-scale approaches for understanding how to reduce vulnerability to damaging events.” She has published numerous research articles in leading environmental economics, hazard and regional science journals.

Peter Dreyfuss
Chief Operating Officer, Watermaster North America

Peter Dreyfuss and his brother Jonathan founded Watermaster North America, LLC, a US company which has the exclusive US and Canada manufacturing and distribution franchise for the Watermaster Amphibious Dredger, engineered in Finland with a hull manufactured in Michigan.  This Jones Act compliant dredger is a 5th generation machine with over 400 units currently being used in over 80 countries.

The AMD 5000 can be driven to a worksite on a standard lowboy trailer, and can then walk off the trailer and into the water, where it is propeller driven to a work site.  Powered by a Caterpillar Acert C7.1 Tier 4 engine, this suction cutter-dredger can pump 20-30% slurry up to a mile away through 10” piping, and further with booster pumps.

This machine can be viewed in action at our website www.watermasterna.com. 

Jenny Hamann
Landscape Architect, Stantec

With nearly 15-years of experience as a Landscape Architect, Jenny translates design concepts into constructed landscapes in both the natural and urban setting.   As a practicing Landscape architect in NYC, her resume includes large on-structure projects down to small scale playgrounds.  Her project experience includes urban parks and plazas at the World Trade center site, Pacific Park open space designs in Brooklyn, and the Tottenville Shoreline Protection project in Staten Island. She believes that beautifully constructed projects rely on strong collaboration between Landscape Architects, Site Engineers and community stakeholders. To bring her projects to life, Jenny implements creative solutions that enhance the end user’s experience, positively impact their relationship with outdoor spaces and improve and preserve local natural habits and eco-systems.

Kyle Hopkins
Co-Founder of Oisann Engineering which has patented Waterfountain, a scalable, off-shore desalination system. 

Kyle’s professional and academic background is in international business administration.  He began his career as a business analyst at Oracle, managing partner relationships.  As an employee of an environmental remediation company he built and led a human resources department developing systems while rapidly hiring over 100 specialists.  Later he was responsible for mitigating risks associated with low altitude rotary wing flight and experimental flight operations.  He also developed financial proposals and managed costs for numerous US government funded projects.  Kyle also has over ten years experience as a business consultant in Asia and USA focused on implementing pricing and cost management systems.  Additionally, he has facilitated over seventy business and communications skills workshops internationally.  He earned his Asia and business focused bachelors degree from the University of Oregon and while consulting in Vietnam, he earned his MBA from the University of Hawaiʻi.  Kyle lives in Southern Norway.

Vera Konings
Flood Risk Advisor, Municipality of Rotterdam

Vera Konings(M.Sc. TU-Delft, Architecture and the built environment) is senior advisor flood risk management at the Municipality of Rotterdam. She works closely with the Port of Rotterdam concerning flood risks.  She graduated in the field of urban planning and flood risk management. Since then, urban planning and flood risk management are the red line through her working career. Before working fort he city of Rotterdam she worked as technical advisor and project leader for the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) and the consultancy firm Nelen & Schuurmans for (among others): Levee re-enforcement projects, strategic replacement of hydraulic structures, international collaboration on flood risk management, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, levee inspections and maintenance, flood map modelling and simulations with 3Di and urban climate adaptation in the broader context. For Rijkswaterstaat, she had been on 4-month staff exchange to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Davis, California. 

Jamie Lescinski
Business Development Director, Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.

Jamie Lescinski is Boskalis Offshore Energy’s Business Development Director for US Offshore Wind projects. Jamie has been working in the maritime industry for roughly two decades on the consultancy and construction sides of the business and in all project phases, from the conceptual design through execution. She received her Masters of Ocean Engineering from Oregon State University and started with the USGS Coastal Sciences group as a coastal engineering researcher focused on hydrodynamic and sediment dynamics modeling in Santa Cruz. In 2006, Jamie moved to the Netherlands to join Deltares (at that time, Delft Hydraulics) as a consultant and researcher providing support and management of projects related to nearshore morphology, plume dynamics and Building with Nature solutions. Since 2014, Jamie has been representing Boskalis in primarily design-and-construct-type projects across five continents for projects ranging from offshore wind farms to greenfield ports to new island developments. Her most recent roles include Design Manager of the Tuas Terminal Phase 2 project, the Singapore Mega Port design and construct project of the third terminal, in both the tender and construction phases, as well as the tender Design Manager of the Pulau Tekong Polder project in northeast Singapore, the first polder in Asia. With Jamie’s current role, she oversees Boskalis’s US offshore wind developments in this exciting new renewable energies market.

Stas Margaronis
President, Propeller Club of Northern California

Stas Margaronis is the California Ports Reporter for the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT)

Peter Mull
Project Manager Engineering with Nature, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

Peter has over 20 years of experience as a project manager with the San Francisco District Corps of Engineers.  Peter manages a portfolio of projects supporting ports and harbors, maritime navigation, and ecosystem restoration.  Peter has developed innovative engineering concepts and solutions that provide significant economic and environmental benefits over traditional practices to improve the economic vitality and environmental sustainability of the northern California region.

Prior to his work with the Corps of Engineers, Peter worked for the Naval Civil Engineering Lab in Port Hueneme CA performing fundamental research and developing numerical simulations of dynamical effects in mooring design.  Peter was a member of the design team for the Intermediate Scale Measuring System (ISMS) in Lake Pend Oreille ID, which was the largest cable structure ever built, in over 1000 feet of water, and is a critical US Navy submarine acoustic testing facility.

Peter’s private sector experience includes work on the technological development and utilization for oceanographic studies of a Multi-frequency Acoustic Profiling System (MAPS).  This system was used to simultaneously measure oceanic structure and zoo plankton distributions.  One cruise studied the physical and biological dynamics of the Cape Mendocino Eddy, a jet like feature that forms from the interaction of the Humboldt Current with the Cape and provides a vital base to the food web in the pelagic zone of the north east Pacific Ocean.

Peter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of San Diego, an M.S. degree in Applied Ocean Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a M.Eng. degree in Ocean Engineering from U.C. Berkeley.

Jim Patti
President, International Propeller Club of the United States

Throughout his more than 50 years working for the maritime industry Mr. Patti has played an active leadership role in all major legislative efforts affecting the operation of U.S.-flag vessels in the foreign and domestic trades and the employment of American mariners.  

C. James Patti started working on behalf of the US-flag maritime industry in Washington, DC in 1970 and became President of the Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development (MIRAID) in 1985, a position he still holds today.  The MIRAID represents and lobbies on behalf of the U.S.-flag shipping companies having a collective bargaining relationship with the Masters, Mates & Pilots Union.  

Mr. Patti is also currently Chairman of the USA Maritime Coalition which represents shipping companies operating U.S.-flag vessels in our nation’s foreign trades as well as the maritime unions which provide the licensed and unlicensed crews for these vessels and their related maritime associations.   In addition, he is currently a Member of the Board of the United Seamen’s Service.

Mr. Patti is First Vice President of the International Propeller Club of the United States and is a past recipient of the International Propeller Club’s Maritime Person of the Year award.

Mr. Patti and his wife Beth have been married since May 1970 and live in Frederick, Maryland.  They have three children and seven grandchildren.  

Kathryn Roscoe
Senior flood risk and adaptation specialist, Deltares, “Coastal Flood Resilience Support System for Coastal Communities across the U.S” based on a pilot project in the City of Charleston.

Dr. Kathryn Roscoe has 15 years’ experience in flood risk management and hydrology, with an MSc in Hydrology from University of California, Davis, and a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering from the Delft University of Technology. She is an experienced risk analyst, programmer, project manager, presenter and technical writer. She is dedicated to dissemination and communication of scientific materials in an accessible and engaging manner. At Deltares, she specializes in probabilistic risk analysis, flood damage modeling, and climate adaptation planning under uncertainty in climate, policy, and socio-economic changes. She is experienced in the adaptive planning approach Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways, and has led urban adaptive planning projects in South Florida and Louisiana, accounting for uncertainties in climate and socio-economic futures. She is currently leading the project team developing an integrated modeling decision support system for flood resilience in coastal communities for the Department of Homeland Security, and applied in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kathleen Schaefer
PhD candidate and former FEMA engineer, “Natural Disaster Risk: Liability or Asset?”

Ms. Schaefer is a nationally recognized expert in flood risk management. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the UC Davis Watershed Science Center, examining opportunities to convert flood risk into value. Ms. Schaefer is a passionate advocate for replacing our nation’s antiquated flood control philosophy with a modern, science-based, data-driven, integrated, flood risk management philosophy that engages the whole community.  

Ms. Schaefer has over 30 years of water resources management experience, working in both the public and private sectors. Before leaving to pursue a Ph.D., Kathleen worked as a FEMA Regional Engineer managing over $10M in new mapping projects in California –projects that included a new coastal study of the San Francisco Bay. Kathleen believes in the power of innovation and collaboration. 

Kathleen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at UC Davis.

In 2009, Kathleen received the Floodplain Management Association’s Goddard Award for Outstanding Contribution to FMA newsletter, and in 2012 she received the Hogg-Owen Award for Meritorious Achievement. 

Kathy resides in San Anselmo, California, with her husband and fellow birder, Gary. They enjoy camping, hiking, traveling, and the symphony.  

Brigadier General Joseph Schroedel
Executive director, Society of American Military Engineers

Joe Schroedel (Brig. Gen., U.S. Army Ret.) is executive director of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois, a master of military art and science degree from the Command and General Staff College, and a master of national security strategy degree from the National War College.

As SAME executive director, he leads an organization comprising 102 posts around the world and nearly 30,000 members. He retired from the U.S. Army after a highly decorated 34-year career. His assignments with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) included Commanding General, South Atlantic Division, and Commanding General, South Pacific Division. He also was executive officer to the Secretary of the Army during the events of 9/11, and shortly thereafter led a task force to develop a concept that would ultimately become the Department of Homeland Security.

Antonia Sebastian
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Depar​tment of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Sebastian is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she holds appointments in both the Department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences and the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program (E3P). Sebastian’s primary research interests involve the application of interdisciplinary methods in socio-hydrology and engineering, with a particular focus on understanding how flood risks are evolving in response to changing human and environmental conditions. Her recent work investigates the combined impacts of climate and land use change on flood hazards in Eastern North Carolina and Southeast Texas, as well as the financial risks posed by flooding to households and communities located in coastal plain watersheds. Dr. Sebastian is currently engaged in projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Texas General Land Office and the North Carolina State Legislature.

Dr. Sebastian serves as a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Scientific Committees on Adaptation to a Changing Climate (CACC) Task Committee on Hydroclimatology and Engineering Adaptation (HYDEA) and Coastal Engineering Sciences, and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Delta Urbanism. In 2020, she was selected as a Fellow by the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Enabling Program to support early career scientists researching natural hazards and disasters. 

Prior to joining UNC, spent two years as an Associate Research Scientist at Texas A&M University at Galveston where she served on the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas after Hurricane Harvey and helped to establish the Institute for Texas Disaster Resilience. She also spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Delft University of Technology where she worked on the EU Horizon2020 Project Bridging the Gap in Innovations in Disaster Resilience (BRIGAID).

Dr. Sebastian holds a Ph.D. and B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rice University and is a former Netherlands-America Foundation (NAF)/Fulbright Fellow in Flood Management.

Rudy Simoneaux
Engineering Chief at Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

With more than 17 years of experience in coastal and ecosystem restoration, Rudy Simoneaux currently serves as the Chief of Engineering for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). Since beginning his career at CPRA in 2004, Rudy has worked on some of the agency’s largest and most complex restoration initiatives, including the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion Projects.  He’s also been highly involved in the planning, design, and delivery of most of the Marsh Creation and Barrier Islands projects implemented by CPRA over the past two decades.  Additionally, Rudy served as CPRA’s Project Manager and Technical Lead for the development of the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model and Center for River Studies.

Rudy has been affiliated with governing bodies of the American Society of Civil Engineers since 2005 and has held several leadership roles including the 2012-2013 ASCE Baton Rouge Branch President and the 2018-2019 ASCE Louisiana Section President.  In 2020 he was elected to the position of ASCE Region 5 Governor.  Rudy is also a founding member and Past-Chairman of the Louisiana Chapter of ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) and has been an affiliate member of the Western Dredging Association (WEDA) since 2007. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2004 and is a Registered Professional Engineer in State of Louisiana.

Luca Sittoni
Senior Adviser and Manager of the Strategic Research Program Sustainability, Deltares

Luca Sittoni is senior adviser and Program Manager Nature Based Solutions at Deltares, which he joined in 2009. Since 2016 he is also Program Manager and Management Team member at EcoShape – Building with Nature. Before joining Deltares Luca worked as civil and hydraulic engineer at Barr Engineering, Minneapolis, MN, USA. He obtained a MSc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota and a MSc. in Environmental Engineering at the University of Trento.

Luca is an expert in beneficial sediment use and soft sediments processes, with applications to dredging and mining industry, nature-based solutions, and contaminated sediments remediation. At Deltares Luca is responsible for the nature-based solutions and soft sediments portfolio with oversight of research and knowledge development activities, projects portfolio and clients and stakeholder’s management. At EcoShape, Luca is responsible for a portfolio of pilot projects that focus on sediment management and beneficial use of dredged sediments, in the context of sustainable development, circularity and climate adaptation.

Luca specializes in: project and strategic adviser and review; developing joint industry projects or multi-parties’ collaborations; coordination and supervision of technology development; and knowledge dissemination. Further, Luca works closely with Dutch and local Embassies in strategic Countries to enhance business collaboration and technology exchange between each Country and The Netherlands, especially related to water, building with nature and beneficial sediment use. 

Luca is deeply involved in international expert organizations such as the Central Dredging Organization (CEDA), PIANC and SedNet. He chaired the CEDA Beneficial Sediment Use working group, and he is current co-chair Europe of the PIANC 2014 Beneficial Sediment Working Group. 

Randy Truby
President, RL Truby & Associates

Randy Truby has been a professional in the water treatment and membrane desalination industry since January 1969 when he joined Reverse Osmosis General Atomic (ROGA) as a Research Assistant. He currently operates R L Truby & Associates providing consulting and mentoring services.

Mr. Truby has been involved in the manufacture of reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration membranes and systems for over 50 years.  He has held the following positions: Partner and Vice President of Aqua Media Ltd.; CEO of Fluid Systems Corporation; Vice President Operations of Hydranautics/Nitto; CEO of Toray Membrane USA; Global Strategy Director NanoH2O; CEO of NeoTech Aqua Solutions.

Mr. Truby is a Past President of the International Desalination Association (1993-1995). He is also a past Vice President of the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA). Mr. Truby served as Chairman of the Board for the Affordable Desalination Collaboration (ADC). He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame for AMTA, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maritime Alliance.

Mr. Truby has authored over 65 presentations on membrane desalination, water treatment technology and water market development. He appeared on the PBS television desalination documentary “By the Year 2000” and has been featured in Fast Company Magazine.

Mark Wingate, P.E.
Deputy District Engineer for Project Management, New Orleans District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mark R. Wingate, P.E. serves as the Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District.  Mr. Wingate is delegated full authority for management decisions related to all major District programs and projects. Projects include flood risk management, storm damage prevention, navigational projects such as channel improvements and lock & dam construction, environmental and coastal restoration/sustainability, river stabilization and harbor development.

With over 30 years of project management, planning and engineering expertise, Mr. Wingate brings firsthand knowledge of USACE traditional and non-traditional Civil Works programs, policies and regulations and the know-how and commitment to drive successful project delivery.  He is responsible for delivering the New Orleans District Civil Works program with an annual program estimated at $400M in close coordination and collaboration with a variety of sponsors and stakeholders at all levels of government.

Mr. Wingate joined USACE in 1993 and has held past positions within the New Orleans District as Project Management Branch Chief, Senior Project Manager, Study Manager and Hydraulic Engineer.  Prior to joining USACE, Mr. Wingate served as a Civil/Hydraulic Engineer in the private sector with a focus on Hydrologic and Hydraulic modeling.

He graduated from the University of New Orleans in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Louisiana.  He is married to Lori Wingate and has 2 children, Kyle and Lindsey.

Luisa Valiela
Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Luisa Valiela, Environmental Protection Specialist, USEPA Region 9, Water Division, 1993-present: 

As senior staff of EPA Region 9’s Water Division, I focus on integration of Clean Water Act programs, including wetlands and watershed planning, for the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area region.  Implementing watershed management plans entails collaborating with state authorities, local agencies, scientific organizations and interested stakeholders to protect and restore water quality and related habitats. I also oversee the San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund, a competitive grant program begun in 2008 to support projects that restore wetlands and watersheds, and reduce polluted runoff.  

M.S. in Wildland Resource Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1994
B.A. in International Relations, Boston University, 1990