November 19, 2014

The Academy of Geo-Professionals (AGP), founded in 2008, beginning its seventh year of operations, added three new Board members.  Theresa Engler, Executive Director of Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), is the latest addition to the Board, replacing Walter Marlowe, PE, CAE, M.ASCE, Executive Director of CSI, as the Public Member.  Ray Martin, PhD, PE, D.GE, F.ASCE, and David Pezza, PE, D.GE, F.ASCE, replaced outgoing Founding Board Members Arlan Rippe, PE, GE, D.GE, F.ASCE, and Steven Thorne, PE, D.GE, M.ASCE. 

Engler (formerly Rappaport) has been the Executive Director of DFI since July of 2006 and served as the Assistant Director of DFI for the eight prior years.  Before DFI, she worked for the National Timber Piling council, where she focused on the skills needed to mentor and drive a membership association.  Since joining DFI, she’s more than tripled their membership base.  She’s also expanded the number of technical committees and added more educational seminars, conferences and courses.  In addition, she’s compiled new and updated old reference publications.  In summary, she’s help create a better informed and more communicative foundations industry. 

On the AGP Board, she will serve as the Public Member – a position reserved for someone who represents the best interest of the general public but is not a Diplomate, nor is qualified to become a Diplomate.  She succeeds Walt Marlowe and Scot Litke as former Public Members and is also the first female AGP Board member.

Martin and Pezza both joined the Board for their annual meeting in August and began their terms on October 1st.  Both head up active committees within the Academy whose charge is to disseminate information to targeted audiences about the importance of specialty certification.

Dr. Martin served as a Principal, Executive Vice President, President, CEO and finally Chairman of Schnabel Engineering Associates (SEA) prior to his retirement from the firm in July 2002.  During his 30 years with the firm it grew to over 300 employees and expanded from one office to 14 offices located from New Brunswick, NJ to Atlanta GA. During his tenure with Schnabel he was responsible for the geotechnical service area, operations of the firm, and overall leadership of the firm including planning and financial management.  Dr. Martin also developed and implemented a new risk management and loss prevention training program for the firm including internal peer reviews for branch offices.

Dr. Martin was a member of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Advisory Board for over 20 years and has twice served as Chairman.  He was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the College in 2003 and was recently inducted into the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Academy of Engineering Excellence  and the West Virginia University Academy of Civil Engineers.   He also served on the Virginia Tech Civil Engineering Advisory Board.   He has served on ASCE committees and is a past president of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. He is a former member of the Geotechnical Engineering Committee of the National Research Council.  He has also published more than 20 technical papers and provided lectures on various geotechnical engineering subjects.  Dr. Martin is a former adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia.

Pezza has over 40 years of engineering experience and is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He retired in 2010 from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters in Washington, DC as Deputy Chief of Engineering and Construction.  He is currently a doctorate of engineering candidate and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Old Dominion University. Mr. Pezza has undergraduate degrees in engineering from St. Francis University and Penn State University, a master of engineering from Old Dominion University, and he is a member of the Order of the Engineer and a member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society.  He is a member of the university’s Climate Change and Sea Level Rise research initiative. His research interests are the impact of rising sea levels on infrastructure systems. 

He participates on engineering advisory boards at Old Dominion University and the U. S. Coast Guard Academy.  He is also a member of the Society of American Military Engineers, the Engineers Club of Hampton Roads, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, the U. S. Society of Dams, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineers, the Deep Foundation Institute, and other technical societies and committees.

Read more about the AGP committees that Pezza and Martin Chair.

Read more about DFI, the organization Engler leads.