External Advisory Board

The external advisory board provides strategic advice on important department matters. The members of our advisory board are proven industry leaders within the civil and environment engineering field.

Photo of William Baker

William Baker

William F. Baker is a Structural Engineering Partner for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, where he strives to extend the profession of structural engineering through design, research, teaching, and professional activities.

A particular focus of Baker’s work is the design and engineering of supertall towers. He led the development of the “buttressed core” structural system for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure.

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Sofia Berger

Sofia Berger is the Vice President of Latin American and Caribbean Operations at Louis Berger.  She is responsible for the strategic direction of the regional operation to build on the current foundation and grow all of the company's services within the region.  Additionally, she is responsible for client management, program delivery and business development activities in the region.  Sofia joined Louis Berger in 2012 to lead the private sector development in the Africa division. 

Sofia received her Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering and Economics-Operations from Columbia University and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

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Carole Braverman

Dr. Carole Braverman is the Regional Science Liaison to EPA’s Office of Research and Development with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 Office in Chicago, Illinois.  She also serves as regional science advisor.  Her areas of responsibility include management of regional environmental research programs, facilitation of science communication between the regional office and EPA Headquarters, and identification of science needs for research planning.  She co-chairs the Regional Science and Technology Council and represents the Region on EPA’s Science and Technology Policy Council Steering Committee. 

Dr. Braverman has a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from University of Michigan and PhD in experimental pathology from Northwestern University.

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Joseph Burns

Joseph G. Burns is the Managing Principal at Thornton Tomasetti. He oversees the firm’s operations in the Middle East, Europe, Brazil and India. He has more than 35 years of experience and specializes in the design of complex structural systems, including earthquake engineering and dynamic analysis. As a well-known innovator, Joseph received recognition for the pioneering use of Tekla modeling in the redevelopment of Chicago’s Soldier Field in the late 1990s.

Joseph earned his Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. He earned his M.S. in Architecture and his M.S. in Civil Engineering from MIT. He has taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Maryland and University of Washington, among others.

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Brett Gitskin, P.E.

Brett Gitskin, P.E. serves as the Executive Vice President of ECS MIDWEST, LLC, after serving as President for 16 years and has been with ECS since 1998. Mr. Gitskin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University, and a Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering also from Northwestern University. 

Mr. Gitskin is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and 15 other states. Mr. Gitskin has over 37 years of progressive professional experience including geotechnical, environmental, construction materials, and facilities engineering. Mr. Gitskin has been the geotechnical engineer of record for numerous high-profile projects in the Chicago Metropolitan area and throughout the Midwest.

Mr. Gitskin is the author of several papers and serves as an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University in the Civil Engineering Department and the Masters of Project Management Program.

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Michael Goodkind

Michael N. Goodkind retired from Alfred Benesch & Company in 2013 after 37 years with firm. He served as president of the company from 1990 through 2008. While with Benesch he managed multi-disciplinary transportation projects and facilitated over 50 Value Engineering studies. 

In addition to the External Advisory Board, Mr. Goodkind is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the Rutgers University Foundation and a member of the Industrial Advisory for the School of Engineering at Rutgers University.

Mr. Goodkind has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University, a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

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Isaam Khoury

Isaam Khoury is the Vice President of NSCC International.  Issam joined NSCC International at the start of his career in 1993. NSCC International is a specialized contractor in the field of foundation engineering, ground improvement, onshore marine works, and horizontal directional drilling (HDD).  He is responsible for regional revenue generation and overseeing NSCC's HDD Division, Project Delivery, Plant in the GCC and Levant areas. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University.

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Robert Kudder

Dr. Kudder is a Principal with Raths, Raths & Johnson, Inc.  His career encompasses structural engineering, evaluations and testing, and structural repairs.  He is also a nationally recognized consultant on exterior wall leakage and condensation performance problems and has undertaken many exterior wall investigations, tests and repairs.  He served as Chairman of the ASTM E06.55.15 taskgroup which developed a standard for the evaluation of building wall leakage.  He  has participated in and chaired international symposia of building wall performance issues, as well as published and presented seminars on the topic.

Dr. Kudder has a Bachelor of Engineering from The Cooper Union in New York, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Northwestern University.

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Mark Lillie

Since January, 2018, Mr. Mark Lillie has served as the Chief Counsel of the Federal Highway Administration, an operating mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Lillie is a partner with the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Chicago, where he has practiced commercial litigation since 1984. He regularly represents clients such as ExxonMobil, BP, Dow Chemical, General Motors and 3M in a wide variety of commercial and environmental matters.

Mr. Lillie graduated from Northwestern University in 1981 with a degree in Environmental Engineering and earned his law degree from the University of Denver in 1984. He is active in the Northwestern University Leadership Council, and serves on various non-profit boards and professional committees. Mark lives in Wheaton, IL, with his wife Celine and their two children.

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Carol Post

Carol Post is a principal with Thornton Tomasetti and is the leader of the firm's higher education market sector, quality assurance/quality control committee and the standards committee. She joined Thornton Tomasetti in 1997 and has 30 years of structural engineering experience.

Her credits span a spectrum of projects including education, healthcare, residential, commercial, and cultural facilities.

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Jeff Riemer

Mr. Riemer is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Lend Lease Great Lakes Region. He is a Registered Professional Engineer with more than 40 years of experience in the construction industry.

In his current role, Jeff brings a high level of experience and knowledge in providing a full range of preconstruction and construction services to his clients, possessing wide experience in both renovation and new construction of office buildings, residential facilities, school campuses, research facilities, airport terminals, medical buildings, mixed-use complexes, and retail facilities.

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Richard L. Rodriguez

Richard L. Rodriguez is the CEO of Acero Schools, one of the largest and highest performing public charter school networks in Chicago. With 15 schools serving nearly 7,800 K-12 students across the city, Acero partners with students, families and colleagues to cultivate achievement, community, excellence, resilience, and optimism at all network schools.
Prior to leading Acero Schools, Rodriguez was the vice president and business development director at Lendlease Corporation, a leading global property and infrastructure solutions provider. He was also the vice president at Res Publica Group, an award winning strategic communications firm. Serving in a number of public sector leadership roles as commissioner, Rodriguez oversaw three city departments, including the Chicago Department of Buildings, Department of Aviation, and Department of Environment. He also served as president of the Chicago Transit Authority, oversaw strategic sourcing programs for the Chicago Public Schools, and managed operations during the historic, “Plan for Transformation,” spearheaded by the Chicago Housing Authority.
An attorney, Rodriguez began his career as legal counsel at the Office of the Attorney General of Guam. He later served as deputy director of the Guam Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office and ultimately joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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Richard Tilghman

Richard H. Tilghman is the Senior Vice President of New Business Development at the Pepper Construction Group.

Rich received a Civil Engineering Degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1971, and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University in 1973. He has more than 20 years of project management experience and is a Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.