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.

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.

Kristine Allouchery

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.

Parth Bhavsar, Ph.D.

Parth Bhavsar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, bhavsar@rowan.edu

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).

Caitlin Purdy

Caitlin Purdy

Technician & Laboratory Manager, purdyc51@rowan.edu

Caitlin Purdy is the Lab Manger for Rowan University Construction Materials Laboratory and a Research Assistant at the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATEs). She has obtained a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering and has worked in construction material engineering research for 3 years. Caitlin is responsible for the majority of laboratory testing conducted prior to pavement construction to ensure material compliance with AASHTO and State DOT standards. This includes sample preparation, test execution, data analysis, and presentation of results. She is also responsible for maintaining and calibrating equipment used in material testing. Her responsibilities also include training students and other employees.

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.

Zhaoxing Xie

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Seyed-Farzan Kazemi

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Seyed-Farzan Kazemi Received his Ph.D. from University of Nevada, Reno, USA, and his M.Sc. from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. Currently, he is collaborating with CREATEs as a postdoc research associate. He has academic background in pavement, transportation, and geotechnical engineering. Farzan has been involved in several research projects funded by Federal Highway Administration, NCHRP, and State DOTs. He is presently involved in Department of Defense Project on Cold Region Pavement Design, New Jersey Department of Transportation ITS Development Project, and Patient-Centered Transportation Design, to name a few. His main areas of expertise are Advanced Numerical Modeling and Analysis of Pavement Structures, Pavement Accelerated Testing, Machine Learning Applications in Transportation Engineering, and Computer Programming Applications in Civil Engineering.

Mohamed Elshaer

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Mohamed Elshaer received his Doctoral degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and Master degree in Civil Engineering from Cairo University. He served as a researcher for projects funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). His recent FHWA completed project was to assess the behavior of flexible pavements post flood events. He developed several methodologies to assist agencies in determining the optimum time to reopen the road for traffic after flooding. He received the International Road Federation (IRF) fellowship (class of 2015) as a recognition for his research work.  Also, he serves as an assistant professor in Egypt. Mohamed enjoys boating, traveling, playing soccer, hanging out with friends in his spare time.

CREATEs Students

Andrae Anthony Francois

Andraé Anthony Francois

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Andraé Francois is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Rowan University. He began attending the institution in the fall 2015 semester and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering. The focus of his research has been on flexible pavement analysis and evaluation. He has also been a laboratory instructor for an undergraduate level Civil Engineering Materials course. Andraé has a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Morgan State University. He is a student member of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Andraé is presently conducting research on the performance of various types of base layers used in the state of Rhode Island.

Dan Offenbacker

Dan Offenbacker

Graduate Research Fellow

Dan Offenbacker is a Graduate Research Fellow at Rowan University. He began pursuing a PhD in Civil Engineering in Spring Semester 2016. The focus of his research has been 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 from Rowan University and is a student member of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) and Economics Honor Society.

Ahmed Saidi

Ahmed Saidi

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Ahmed Saidi is a Graduate Fellow at Rowan University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Geosciences Engineering from the faculty of Sciences of Tunis Tunisia in 2016. Ahmed held a four-month internship at the Civil and Environmental Engineering of Rowan University from February to June 2016. Throughout his internship at Rowan University, he worked on Laser Analysis of aggregates for real-time property identification. Ahmed is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.

Neirouz Bouhrira

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Zhuang Zhuo

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Zhuang Zhuo is a Research Fellow at Rowan University. He received his Master’s Degree in Engineering Mechanics from China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing. Zhuang is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and he’s working with numerical modeling and experimental study of highly elastic binders and insulation layers of pavement engineering.

Ken Lee

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Anthony “Ken” Lee is a Graduate Fellow at Rowan University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physics with minors in Civil Engineering and Mathematics at Rowan University in 2018. Ken held a research position in the Physics Department during his time at Rowan University. His current research is on Cold Weather Reinforce Concrete using Antifreeze Admixtures with Dr. Gilson Lomboy and Dr. Douglas Cleary. Ken is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.

Dorin Papuc

Graduate Teaching Fellow

Dorin Papuc is from Republic of Moldova. Dorin is a Graduate Fellow at Rowan University, department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dorin completed his bachelor studies at the Technical University of Moldova, specializing in Construction Engineering and Management. Currently, Dorin is pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and doing his research on Frost Model for Cold Regions Pavement Design with Dr. Seyed-Farzan Kazemi.

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.

Learn More
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.

Learn More

Contact us

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