Meet Our Team

Discover the extensive expertise and experience of the Center’s professional staff

CREATEs Management Staff

Yusuf Mehta, Ph.D.

Yusuf Mehta, Ph.D., PE

CREATEs Director, mehta@rowan.edu

Dr. Yusuf Mehta has extensive experience working on several research projects with New Jersey, Florida, Wisconsin and Rhode Island departments of transportations, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Aviation Administration, and Department of Defense. Since coming to Rowan, Dr. Mehta, has received approximately $9.1 million dollars of external funding in pavements and materials. Dr. Mehta is also the recipient of the Aviation Research Award (2012) American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), New Jersey DOT Research Implementation Award (2012) Project Title: High RAP in HMA High Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement in Hot Mix Asphalt project funded by New Jersey Department of Transportation was one of the sixteen projects out of 120 that were selected for the 2012 High Value Research Award by the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (RAC).

Ayman Ali, Ph.D.

Ayman Ali, Ph.D.

CREATEs Manager, alia@rowan.edu

Ayman W. Ali, Ph.D., serves as the manager of the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATEs) at Rowan University. Dr. Ali has served as a collaborative principal investigator on multiple projects funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). He also served and successfully completed, as a leading researcher, projects funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The scope of his projects have covered a wide range of research topics including, but were not limited to, characterizing the performance of pavement materials or additives (both asphalt binder and mixtures), investigating new technologies for use as compaction quality control methods, developing specifications for using these new technologies, determining the life expectancy of various HMA overlay mixes, developing computer software tools for generating specific mechanistic empirical pavement design guideline inputs for the state of Ohio, determining the limitation of warm mix asphalt produced using foamed asphalt binders (WMA-FA), and characterizing the laboratory and field performance of WMA-FA mixtures.

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Kristine Allouchery

CREATEs Administrative Assistant, allouchery@rowan.edu

Kristine Allouchery is the Administrative Assistant for CREATES and supports the department with all issues of procurement, maintaining grants and executing our many workshops and tours. Kristine also owns and operates an organic farm and aquaponics greenhouse in Franklinville, NJ and is an avid supporter of renewable resourcing and raising the population of bees in the Mid-Atlantic.

CREATEs Research Faculty

Mohammad Jalayer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, jalayer@rowan.edu

Dr. Mohammad Jalayer’s is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. Dr. Jalayer’s interest is in traffic engineering and he has been deeply involved in research related to traffic operations and safety, statistical methods and applications in transportation, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). He has made major contributions to several projects contracted with Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) in recent years.

Dr. Jalayer has authored or coauthored more than 50 scholarly articles and papers that have been published in scientific journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Jalayer is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as 2016 National Highway Safety Information System (HSIS), 2017 ASCE -CJB Young Civil Engineer of Year,  and 2017 ITE-Northeastern District Rising Star Program. Dr. Jalayer is a member of ASCE T&DI Transportation Safety Committees, ITE, and ASCE. He received a doctorate in civil engineering from Auburn University in 2016.

Gilson R. Lomboy, D.Eng., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, lomboy@rowan.edu

Gilson R. Lomboy, D.Eng., Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rowan University. Dr. Lomboy specializes in cement-based materials, focusing on hydration, rheology, durability, sustainable materials, nano-modification and characterization. Dr. Lomboy study and develop high performance concrete (HPC). In a project on durability, concrete permeability was reduced to determine the required permeability and strength such that air entrainment is no longer needed for resistance to cyclic freezing and thawing. Another research was the development of self-consolidating concrete with sufficient green strength and shape stability for extrusion without mechanical vibration. He had developed HPC for rapid concrete repair by using limestone fines, fly ash and silica fume (by products), to transform a low value materials into a high performance product while prolonging infrastructure life, improving performance and materials sustainability. In a another research, he studied the mitigation of shrinkage cracking of HPC bridge decks by using admixtures such as shrinkage reducing and compensating admixtures, and superabsorbent polymers for internal curing.

Cheng Zhu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, zhuc@rowan.edu

Dr. Zhu’s (Ph.D. 2016, Georgia Institute of Technology) research primarily concerns multi-scale soil and rock behavior under coupled processes across various time scales, with emphasis placed on microstructure characterization, constitutive model formulation, and computational geomechanics, for applications in geological storage and energy geotechnics. Prior to joining the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rowan, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. At Rowan University, he teaches courses in geotechnical engineering and geomechanics. He is a recipient of James S. Lai Outstanding Graduate Award from the geosystems group at Georgia Tech and a member of the “Future Leaders” program of American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA).

Parth Bhavsar, Ph.D.

Parth Bhavsar, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Bhavsar’s primary research focus is Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). His research investigates how advanced technologies, such as nano technology can be utilized to develop a next generation connected transportation system for a sustainable mobility. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on developing an evaluation framework for connected vehicle technology supported alternative fuel vehicles. In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Bhavsar worked for Iteris, Inc. in Atlanta, a leading global ITS company. His work has been published in several peer reviewed journals, which includes Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies and Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.

Caitlin Purdy

Caitlin Purdy

Technician & Laboratory Manager, purdyc51@rowan.edu

Caitlin Purdy (B.S., 2013, Chemical Engineering, Rowan University) is the Lab Manger for Rowan University Construction Materials Laboratory and a Researcher at CREATEs. She has worked in construction material engineering research for 6 years. Caitlin is responsible for managing research-contract projects with outside agencies, fee-for-service testing, AASHTO/AMRL certification testing, undergraduate student training, and research consultation for grant funded research projects. This includes material/equipment acquisition, sample preparation, test execution, data analysis, and interpretation of results. She is also responsible for maintaining and calibrating equipment used in material testing.

Ian Sennstrom

Ian Sennstrom

Laboratory Coordinator, sennstrom@rowan.edu

Ian Sennstrom is the Laboratory Coordinator for the Rowan University Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rowan University. Ian is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Heavy Vehicle Simulator, as well as equipment used in the laboratory.

Schaina Kolodziej

Laboratory Technician, kolodziej@rowan.edu

Schaina is a laboratory technician for CREATEs. She has ten years of geotechnical experience in advanced testing of soils, and has worked on large scale projects such as the widening of the Garden State Parkway, NJTP interchange 6-8, and the Hurricane Sandy Beach Replenishment Project.  In the lab she is currently assisting with calibrating and maintaining the equipment used in materials testing, the elastic binder project and deicing project.

Kayleigh McDevitt

Laboratory Assistant, mcdevittk7@rowan.edu

Kayleigh (B.S, 2018, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Rowan University) participated in the Rowan CREATEs Fellowship Program for most of her undergraduate career and worked in construction engineering for a local New Jersey plant while an undergrad. Kayleigh is currently assisting in research with post graduate students and aids in training undergraduate students that are part of the Fellowship Program.

Zhaoxing Xie

Research Scientist

Dr. Zhaoxing Xie received his Doctoral degree from Auburn University. He has served as principal researcher on several research projects sponsored by National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), state Department of Transportation and private companies. His research has covered pavement material performance and nondestructive evaluation. He has published over 20 research reports and referred journal papers.

Dan Offenbacker

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dan Offenbacker (Ph.D., 2019, Rowan University). His graduate studies focused on methods for analyzing, evaluating, and rehabilitating pavement systems, statistical and empirical analyses, and finite element modeling (FEM). Currently, Dan is conducting research to evaluate the performance of geogrids in airfield pavements for the Department of Defense. Dan has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics also from Rowan University and is a student member of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) and Economics Honor Society.

CREATEs Students

Ahmed Saidi

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Research Project:  Optimizing Cement and Water Content for Cold In-Place Recycling in Cold Regions

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / US Army Corps of Engineers

Ken Lee

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Research Project:  Cold Weather Concrete (CWC) for Structural Applications

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / ERDC-CRREL

Sajid Ahmed Hasan

Graduate Research Fellow

George Shackil

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project: Cold Compaction of Asphalt Mixtures Using High Frequency Vibrations

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / Army Corps of Engineers

Basel Albader

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Synthesizing Information Related to Pavement Preservation Alternatives and Determining their Cost-Effectiveness

Sponsoring Agency: New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Association (NJAPA)

Neirouz Bouhrira

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project: Highly Elastic Binder for Cold Regions

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / US Army Corps of Engineers

Dorin Papuc

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Research Project:

Sponsoring Agency:

Rahaf Hassan

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Full-Scale Evaluation of Pavement Deicing Systems and Development of Conductive Asphalt Mixtures

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense

Ahmad Alfalah

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Laboratory and Full-Scale Evaluation of Fiber-Reinforced Asphalt Mixtures

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / US Army Corps of Engineers

Mohsen Hosseinpour Motlagh

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Classification and Production of Recycled Concrete Aggregates Based on Concrete Performance

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / ERDC / CRREL

Mark Vail

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Bio-remediation of Desiccation Cracks in Clay Soils

Sponsoring Agency: Rowan University

Rui Liu

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Noninvasive 3D Imaging and Characterization of Permafrost using Electromagnetic Induction Method

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense /US Army Corps of Engineers

Zhuang Zhuo

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Research Project:  Insulated Flexible Pavement Systems For Cold Regions Applications

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense /US Army Corps of Engineers

Tasnia Tarannum Khan

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Classification and Production of Recycled Concrete Aggregates Based on Concrete Performance

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / ERDC / CRREL

Tasnia Khan

Graduate Research Fellow

Research Project:  Classification and Production of Recycled Concrete Aggregates Based on Concrete Performance

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Defense / ERDC / CRREL

Research Projects

Discover the incredible resources and research capabilities that CREATEs has to offer.

Explore Our Research
Accelerated Pavement Testing

Our facilities include a fully instrumented accelerated pavement testing facility (RUAPTF) and a Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS) that allows for applying accelerated loading that simulates 20 years of traffic in as few as 3 to 6 months.

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Construction Materials Laboratory

The Rowan University Construction Materials Laboratory (RUCOM) is based at Rowan University’s South Jersey Technology Park. It is currently AASHTO accredited for asphalt binder and hot mix asphalt. The laboratory devotes its time to research projects and industrial projects.

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Contact us

Have any questions or interested in a tour of the CREATEs facilities? Either way, we’d love to hear from you.
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