The purpose of this Civil and Environmental Engineering Friends Association (CEEFA) is to promote a close working relationship between civil and environmental engineering alumni and friends and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to serve in an advisory capacity to the Department, and to cooperate with the University in its service to the public.

Meet the board

Pat Wingate, President

Portrait of Pat Wingate
Pat Wingate

Patrick Wingate is the Vice President of Engineering for Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. (OHM Advisors), a full-service architectural, engineering and planning firm with 18 offices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. He is responsible for the technical direction, business growth and client management for all transportation engineering, construction administration and surveying services and he works primarily with governmental clients, including cities, townships, counties and state DOTs. Wingate has a BSCE from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Davenport University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, and is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers and with the American Council of Engineering Companies. He is married and has four children. Pat enjoys golf and rugby (he played for U-M) and is a licensed pilot.

Lynn Stephens, Vice President

Portrait of Lynn Stephens
Lynn Stephens

Lynn Stephens (MSE EnvE ’08) is a Principal Engineer with Brown and Caldwell (BC). BC is a national, employee-owned, environmental consulting firm that safeguards water, maintains infrastructure, and restores habitats to keep our communities thriving. Lynn’s work focuses on climate change resiliency, water supply planning, water quality characterizations, and treatment analysis and design for potable, recycled water, and wastewater systems. Lynn serves as BC’s Pacific Northwest 1Water Leader and she is also BC’s Client Service Manager for the Water Research Foundation. Lynn is passionate about water research and she has led eight Water Research Foundation projects as the Co-Principal Investigator. Lynn is very active in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), serving as chair of AWWA’s Biological Drinking Water Treatment Committee. In the Pacific Northwest section of AWWA (PNWS-AWWA), Lynn served on the Board as a Trustee-at-Large (16’-19’). Lynn likes to leverage her expertise to help disadvantaged communities. She is leading the PNWS-AWWA’s Community Engineering Corps initiative to help underserved communities with water resources problems. Lynn is the recipient of the 2017 AWWA Pioneer Award, 2017-2018’ Kenneth J. Miller Founder’s Award (Water For People), and the 2018

Neeraj Buch, Director

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Neeraj Buch

Prior to joining the Rochester Institute of Technology as the Dean of Undergraduate Education and Associate Provost for Student Success, Dr. Buch served (2015-2019) as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University and as the Chairperson (2011-2015, 2019-2022) of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering there. Before becoming chairperson, he was the founding director of the First Year engineering program (now known as CoRe, a living and learning community for Engineering students, with approximately 1700 freshman). The various leadership roles, first at MSU and now at RIT, have given him the opportunity to work on matters related to curriculum development and management, student success, faculty development, ABET accreditation, budget planning, fund raising, strategic planning, recruitment and retention of students, global engineering, student organizations and scholarships. Dr. Buch has a track record of entrepreneurial, transformative leadership that has inspired and encouraged faculty, staff and students to commit to a unified, strategic vision that moves the school towards greater prominence as a national leader in engineering education and student success

Larry Brinker Jr., Director

Portrait of Larry Brinker
Larry Brinker

Larry Brinker, Jr. is the President of Brinker – a family of five companies that provides a complete range of construction services for commercial developments and is a major player in the transformation of Detroit. Raising the bar for the depth and breadth of services one company can provide to clients, Larry continues to build upon the Brinker story that his father, Larry Brinker, Sr. started 30 years ago. Larry Brinker, Jr. is a progressive leader and catalyst for growth who has been involved in over $2 billion of construction projects. Driven to learn from the best of the best and give back to those who need it most, Larry serves on several boards and is an active member of industry associations. He is hands-on when it comes to his charitable commitments, spending quality time mentoring and providing opportunities for young people in our community. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, an Entrepreneur of The Year® 2018 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region Awardee and National Finalist, as well as a 2015 recipient of Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” and Detroit Business Magazine “30 In Their 30s” award

Peter Cavagnaro, Director

Image of Peter Cavagnaro
Peter Cavagnaro

Peter Cavagnaro retired from a full-time career of 50 years, during which he provided environmental engineering services to municipal and industrial clients. He currently provides engineering services to consulting engineers, municipal clients and volunteers for the Michigan Water Environment Association. He also volunteers his time and effort for a senior design course at U-M Civil & Environmental Engineering. Peter’s professional honors from the Michigan Water Environment Association include the Executive Director Award 2020, President’s Award 2016, President’s Award 2020, James R Rumsey Award 2018 and the Excellence in Service Award 2018. He also has received recognition as a Water Environment Federation Fellow and received recognition as a Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

Bruce Dorfman, Director

Portrait of Bruce Dorfman
Bruce Dorfman

Bruce Dorfman co-founded Thompson | Dorfman Partners, LLC, a Mill Valley, California-based developer of urban multi-family projects in 1999. He manages the firm’s development and financing activities. He is also a co-founder of Education Housing Partners, Inc. (EHP), a California non-profit, public-benefit corporation that focuses exclusively on the development of workforce housing for public school districts and agencies. EHP has been at the forefront of building workforce housing since being selected by the Santa Clara Unified School District in 2000 as the design/build developer of the award-winning Casa del Maestro community.

Tom Cox, Director

Portrait of Tom Cox
Tom Cox

Thomas L Cox is Founder and Managing Principal of Fulcrum Asset Advisors. Headquartered in Chicago, Fulcrum is a private real estate firm with $1 billion of U.S. property investments under management. Fulcrum specializes in commercial office and industrial investments, leveraging institutional experience with entrepreneurial agility to create value-maximizing investments. Prior to Fulcrum, Tom was Executive Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle. During his career at JLL, Tom managed a team of professionals responsible for corporate occupancy transactions spanning 20 cities across the US, totaling approximately 5 million square feet of space, and representing clients that included AT&T, Cincinnati Bell, Convergys, and Ernst & Young. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the U-M and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University.

Maddy Fairley-Wax, Director

Portrait of Maddy Fairley-Wax
Maddy Fairley-Wax

Maddy began working with Jacobs Engineering (Jacobs) in 2018. Her projects have included the planning and design of large-diameter drinking water pipelines, sewer odor and corrosion control studies and programs, and wastewater treatment plant process design. She is part of Jacobs’ Lead and Copper Rule Strategy Team, a team of technical specialists focused on developing solutions to meet the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions and Lead and Copper Rule Improvements requirements, and has worked on several projects addressing lead corrosion, Legionella spp. occurrences, and other distribution system water quality challenges. Maddy is also a core team member for the research and development of Jacobs’ Microbial Hydrolysis Process (MHP), an innovative technology utilizing a hyperthermophilic bacterium to enhance anaerobic digestion processes, increase biogas production, and reduce the mass of biosolids produced by wastewater treatment plants. Maddy has previously presented her research on MHP at the 17th International Water Association World Conference on Anaerobic Digestion and at WEFTEC in 2022, and will be presenting at numerous conferences in 2023, including the Water Environment Federation (WEF) / IWA Residuals and Biosolids Conference, the Borchardt Conference, the IWA Innovations in Process Engineering Conference.

Domenico Grasso, Director

Portrait of Domenico Grasso
Domenico Grasso

Domenico Grasso is the sixth chancellor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He was appointed chancellor on August 1, 2018. He also serves as professor of public policy and administration and professor of sustainable engineering at UM-Dearborn and is a University of Michigan Executive Officer. He is responsible for leading 9,300 students and over 1,000 faculty and staff on the Dearborn campus. Prior to joining UM-Dearborn, Domenico served as Provost of the University of Delaware. He was Dean of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont and the Founding Director of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a women’s college and one of the few in a liberal arts college in the United States. He is currently chair of the National Academies Committee on Grand Challenges in Environmental Engineering & Sciences. Domenico is married to Susan, also a Michigan alumna and engineer. Together, they have four adult children: Benjamin, Jacob, Elspeth and Caitlín. He and Susan enjoy reading, cycling, hiking, skiing, and spending time outdoors with their dogs.

Terry McDonnell, Director

Portrait of Terry McDonnell
Terry McDonnell

Terry McDonnell combines practical structural engineering expertise with an understanding of modern building industry advancements, committing daily to finding new and innovative ways to turn his clients’ goals into reality. As a leader in structural glass engineering, he recently completed a glass fracture mechanics course at the renowned ceramics research institute Albert University. In addition, he is currently a voting member on ASTM E06 for the E1300 Glass Use in Buildings design standard and an active contributor within the following ASATM E06 task group. Terry is a primary author of a Structural Design Glass Manual in association with the Chicago High Rise Committee and has taught the Glass Failure Prediction Model (by Beason et al.), EN glass design, and an ASCE7 compatible LRFD glass design at IIT, Purdue University, and the University of Michigan. At the same time, Terrence combines practical structural engineering expertise with an understanding of modern advancements in the building industry, committing every day to find new and innovative ways to turn his clients’ ideas into reality. He leads multidisciplinary project teams to deliver cutting-edge solutions on many building types, including commercial offices, education, hospitality, health care, sports and entertainment, transportation and more. 

Kim Newsome, Director

Portrait of Kim Newsome
Kim Newsome

Kim (Mai) Newsome (M Eng CEM / BSE CivE ‘05) is a Staffing and Development Advisor for ExxonMobil Global Projects Company. She joined ExxonMobil in 2009 and has supported energy projects across all of ExxonMobil’s business lines (Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals). In her current role, she leverages her breadth of project management experience to provide career development counseling to a portfolio of over 600 employees worldwide. Kim served on the Houston area University of Michigan Campaign Council from 2015-2016; she has spent most of her career in Houston, with the exception of an overseas assignment in United Arab Emirates from 2017-2019. Outside of work, Kim enjoys spending time with her husband, two young daughters and two lab ret

Past Presidents

Paul Ajegba, Past President

Portrait of Paul Ajegba
Paul Ajegba

Paul C. Ajegba recently retired from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) after 30 years of service, completing his MDOT career as Director. He previously served MDOT for three months as Metro Region Engineer, and before that as University Region Engineer. During his seven years in the University Region, Ajegba oversaw his team’s involvement in the planning, design and construction of several major projects, including the US-23 Flex Route – a project nominated for the America’s Transportation Award, landing among the top 12 national finalists. Other notable projects include the I-94 rehabilitation project in Ann Arbor/Jackson, the I-96/US-23 interchange, and the I-75 freeway project. Ajegba holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s degree in Construction Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Michigan. Paul is a member of COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials), and serves on the following boards: AASHTO, ITS America, M-City, University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

Walter (Wally) Alix, Past President

Portrait of Walter Alix
Walter Alix

Wally Alix (BSCE ’75) has been married for over 30 years to his wife, Cindy, and has two children, Roland and Amy. Walter has worked for Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. for 30 years. HRC is a municipal engineering company that provides engineering services to cities, townships, counties and the state for various projects. He is an avid outdoorsman and a gentleman farmer.

Tarolyn Buckles, Past President

Portrait of Tarolyn Buckles
Tarolyn Buckles

Tarolyn Buckles (BSCE ’93) is President and CEO of Onyx Enterprise, Inc. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Onyx provides engineering consulting, project management and construction management services to local, state, federal government, engineering consulting firms and contractors. One of Onyx’s main clients is the Detroit Water and Sewer Department Board of Water Commissioners. As Technical Advisor to the Board of Water Commissioners, Tarolyn researches, analyzes and develops technical strategies on behalf of the Board and provides recommendations.

John J. Hiltz, Past President

Portrait of John Hiltz
John Hiltz

John Hiltz is the President of Orchard, Hiltz, & McCliment, Inc. (OHM Advisors), a 260-person architecture, engineering and planning (AEP) firm committed to advancing communities, with offices located in Michigan (Auburn Hills, Flint, Hancock, Livonia, Mt. Pleasant, Saginaw), Ohio (Gahanna, Columbus) and Tennessee (Nashville). John is an active board member of the Plymouth Road Development Authority and the Livonia Community Foundation; is immediate Past-President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan and, currently serves on its Executive Committee, where he is actively involved with the State’s DOT, DEQ and Attorney General’s offices, working on contract and legislative issues that affect the AEP industry and served as Honorary Co-Chair of the Detroit Zoo Walk for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan in 2013 and 2014. John and his wife Debbie live in Livonia and have three adult children: Danielle (U-M BSN ’09), Christine and Jack.

Jim Jacobi, Past President

Portrait of Jim Jacobi
Jim Jacobi

Jim Jacobi, P.E. (BSCE ’75, MSE ’76) is a Senior Principal and Chief Information Officer for Houston-based Walter P Moore, one of the leading engineering consulting firms in the nation with offices nationwide. He is responsible for the firm’s overall information technology strategy and programs and has over 35 years of experience in engineering design, project management and construction, with a special expertise in application of information technology to this field. His areas of expertise include implementation of integrated project management systems, development of integrated business analytic systems, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other related 3D CAD project delivery systems. He has led the implementation of Building Information Modeling delivery systems at Walter P Moore and the firm’s efforts in managing the interface with other members of the design, construction and owner teams in project collaboration and coordination in the BIM environment. He has led many multi-discipline BIM Coordination Services projects and has frequently spoken and published on the topic of BIM in the AEC Industry. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon engineering honor societies, and has served on a number of committees including chair of University of Houston’s Industry Advisory Board on Training in Advanced Plant Design Systems, the Electronic Data Management Task Force for the Construction Industry Institute, and the A/E Productivity Committee of the Construction Users Roundtable, and he is an Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board for the College Of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. Jim and his wife, Karen, live in Houston and have four children, the youngest of whom is a Michigan alum (Jennifer, B.A. ’10).

Jennifer (Starrman) Macks, Past President

Portrait of Jennifer Macks
Jennifer Macks

Jennifer Macks (BSCE ’94) is a Vice President of Business Development at Howard Shockey & Sons in Winchester, Virginia. Shockey provides construction and pre-construction services for new and renovated structures throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. She has been involved with CEEFA since 2004. Jennifer and her husband, Jeff, have two daughters: Cassie and Allison.

Dan Sinnott, Past President

Portrait of Dan Sinnott
Dan Sinnott

Dan Sinnott (BSCE ’79; MSE ’80) joined Turner Construction Company upon graduation and has held numerous domestic and international positions with the firm over the past 30 years. He currently manages Turner’s West Michigan office. Dan and his wife Julie (Johnson) Sinnott, also a University of Michigan Civil Engineering graduate, live with their two children in Plymouth, Michigan.