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Our People

Parsons Brinckerhoff believes that our people are our most valuable asset. From engineers to project managers and from international specialists to local experts, Parsons Brinckerhoff offers its clients a vast network of talent and passion.

Meet some of Parsons Brinckerhoff's people

We've profiled a few outstanding individuals who have helped Parsons Brinckerhoff become what it is today. These profiles offer a glimpse into who we are across the world - approximately 14,000 people collectively committed to quality, professionalism and service.

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Ron Colas

Area of Expertise: Transportation Engineering

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Ron Colas is a Senior Area Manager who oversees Parsons Brinckerhoff’s operations in South Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America. A 27-year veteran of the industry, he has vast experience in roadway and highway, civil, geotechnical, and transit engineering.

Fluent in several languages, before joining the firm, Ron provided engineering services as a consultant to the private and public sectors such as the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the US Virgin Islands Ports Authority, and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority--as well as for many of the largest counties and municipalities in southern Florida.

A strong supporter of his community, in 2014, he was recognized by the Miami-Dade County Commission for his lasting contribution to his neighborhood. Mr. Jean Monestime, Miami –Dade County Commissioner, remarked that Ron was one of the “thousand points of light in the community.”

“It is important to be involved in our communities so that we may understand the needs and issues to help us develop appropriate, cost effective, practical solutions. We want to leave a legacy for the next generation,” he says.

Ron holds dual bachelor degrees—one in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and one in applied mathematics from St. Louis University. His service to the industry includes a term as President of the Miami Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society; and he has also served as board member in several other professional associations throughout his career.

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Tessa Ogle

Area of Expertise: Oil and Gas

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General Manager for Oil and Gas in our Sydney office Tessa Ogle is a strategic visionary committed to driving change in the industry. Possessing over ten years of professional experience, she is the firm’s first female General Manager for Oil and Gas. She secured a double win at the Telstra NSW Business Women’s Awards in 2013—winning the Private and Corporate Sector as well as the Young Business Women’s Awards. A strong proponent for diversity, Tessa has been a panelist alongside other leaders at various conferences to discuss diversity and challenges in the industry.

Tessa firmly believes that finding a sponsor, or someone vested in your success, will best help you achieve your career goals.

“The main difference I found with a mentor versus a sponsor is that a mentor advises you, whereas a sponsor is typically in a position of power, and has the ability to clear career obstacles and propel you further in the industry or your organization,” Tessa notes. “I encourage young women across all industry sectors to make their mark and work to realize their own career goals. The journey can be a demanding one, but it also provides us with the potential for significant personal growth and career satisfaction. ”

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John Porcari

Area of Expertise: Strategic Consulting

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John D. Porcari is a Senior Vice President and National Director of Strategic Consulting at Parsons Brinckerhoff. John is responsible for integrating the firm’s technical expertise in planning, engineering, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance with the strategic thinking needed by infrastructure owners, developers, and operators to solve critical business and operational issues.

John joined Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2013, after serving for four-and-a-half years as Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Transportation, responsible for funding, safety, and general oversight of USDOT operations. As the chief operating officer of USDOT, he managed an executive-branch department with a $77 billion annual budget, 10 operating administrations, and 55,000 employees.

He twice served as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (2007-2009 and 1999-2003) under two different governors. At MDOT, he was instrumental in the development of smart growth policies and initiatives for livable communities, among other achievements. From 2003 to 2007, he served as Vice President for administrative affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park.

John’s favorite part about working for Parsons Brinckerhoff is being surrounded by dedicated thought leaders. “There are scores of really innovative, nationally recognized experts. I get a lot of satisfaction from working with the team, especially since I worked with many of these people over the years in my prior roles,” he notes.

When asked what he thinks is the most valuable lesson learned in his career, he says “You have to build a strong team, whether it’s for a project, implementing policy, or managing a large enterprise.”

John holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Dayton.

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Sushant Ghargi

Area of Expertise: Environmental Engineering

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As an Environmental Engineer in Singapore, Sushant Ghargi works on historical land-use and environmental impact assessment studies for major infrastructure projects in the region. He also works very closely with Parsons Brinckerhoff’s businessdevelopment team on tender proposals for environmental studies.

 

Sushant has also led the water quality monitoring team through a sewer rehabilitation project, closely monitoring the work to ensure the utmost safety and environmental compliance, and within budget. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing a water quality management plan which assisted the team to identify and mitigate sources of pollution for this project. In addition to water quality studies, Sushant has also been involved in project management of sewer rehabilitation contracts.

 

Eager to spread his love of learning, in a previous role, Sushant worked as a teaching assistant at Nanyang Technological University for environmental fluid mechanics and water resource management modules. When asked about one important lesson that he took away from his students, he says “The multi-disciplinary student profile of the class taught me the importance of avoiding technical jargon during the lectures. This helped me immensely when I transitioned to my role at Parsons Brinckerhoff. When I was presenting the findings of my studies to my clients on a monthly basis, I was easily able to connect to the multi-disciplinary client team and answer their queries satisfactorily.”

 

Sushant holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka.

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Darren Reed

Area of Expertise: Rail Engineering and Management

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As Director of Rail and Transit for Parsons Brinckerhoff’s UK and Europe region, Darren Reed, based in London, oversees 400 professional staff providing multidisciplinary rail engineering and management services.

Under Darren’s leadership, the company recently won a number of significant contracts including the High Speed 2 project in the UK—the country’s planned second high-speed rail (HSR) network—for which Parsons Brinckerhoff is providing preliminary designs for an initial phase. The project will connect London to the West Midlands by 2026 and to both Leeds and Manchester by 2033. Darren is a member of the UK HSR Industry Leaders Group.

Another recent contract is for the Northern Hub and North West Electrification Program—to upgrade the rail network in the north of England. The company is providing a wide range of services. “I am passionate about rail transport and the value the rail industry can bring,” says Darren. “I believe in the economic and environmental benefit that improved rail networks offer, so it is very satisfying to play a part in the development of these major schemes.”

Other projects under Darren’s oversight include design for London’s Crossrail and Thameslink programs; consulting to the National Transit Authority for the Tel Aviv Light Rail Transit system and joint steering board membership of a consortium to deliver a major re-signaling project in Denmark.

Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2009, Darren led Balfour Beatty Management’s London Underground consultancy business for five years and previously held positions with various UK rail agencies. During his 18-year career, he has managed rail station refurbishments and rail maintenance, modification and upgrade projects. He has also been responsible for performance improvement initiatives including highly acclaimed safety management practices.

Darren holds a bachelor of science in commercial management and quantity surveying from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). He is a member of the Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

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Shane Larkin

Area of Expertise: Environmental

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Shane Larkin, Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Environmental Manager for the Middle East region, came to love nature through the influence of his godfather, an ornithologist who provided Shane with behind-the-scenes access at the Dublin Zoo. Coupled with a love of travel, Shane’s career as an environmental consultant came together naturally. “Working in the environment sector lets me travel, work on projects that make a difference in people’s lives, and protect the environment,” he says.

Shane, who joined Parsons Brinkerhoff in 2005, has worked in Ireland, the UK, and throughout the Middle East. He has prepared more than 70 environmental assessments and reports, addressing potential environmental impacts—from air quality and noise to traffic, archaeology, and socieconomics—for all types of infrastructure including power, transportation, water, and buildings.

Based in the Middle East since 2007, Shane has worked on such major projects as the Abu Dhabi Metro and Light Rail Transit schemes and numerous power generation projects. For the Independent Power Plant 3 in Jordan, on behalf KEPCO, Mitsubishi, and Wartsila, Shane produced the environmental impact assessment (EIA) in accordance with both Jordanian standards and World Bank/International Finance Corporation guidelines. The project will feature the largest reciprocating engines in the world.

Shane is currently preparing EIAs for three cogeneration power plants—the second stage of a project in Saudi Arabia for Saudi Aramco and Tihama Power Generation Company Limited. Parsons Brinckerhoff previously prepared EIAs for the first stage of the project, including four power plants. 

Shane holds a master of science in rural and regional resources planning from the University of Aberdeen, and a diploma in environmental resources management from the Dublin Institute of Technology. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Registered Environmental Impact Assessment Practitioner of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

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Julia Baker

Area of Expertise: Biodiversity

 More About Julia

Dr. Julia Baker is a Biodiversity Specialist with Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Ecology Team in the UK. She has worked on several highway and urban development projects, undertaking biodiversity impact assessments and enhancement designs. Julia has also designed and delivered multiple “no net loss” and “net positive” infrastructure projects, including Network Rail’s first net positive biodiversity offset which is part of the infrastructure enhancement of the Thameslink line.

Julia developed and runs the UK’s first professional training course on biodiversity offsetting (which continues yearly); and she has prepared the 10-year Biodiversity Action Plan for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In 2013, Julia was awarded the Parsons Brinckerhoff Fellowship to establish a cost-benefit evidence base for biodiversity offsetting.

“The information developed will address knowledge gaps in the UK and contribute to the evidence base for other countries preparing to adopt biodiversity offsetting,” she says.

A lecturer on conservation management planning at Birkbeck College as well as a Visiting Researcher at Imperial College, Julia also serves on the Business Community Board of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment. She also acts as Research Advisor for two projects operated by the International Institute of Environment and Development--a conservation project to protect endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwest Uganda; and a research study on pro-poor responses to wildlife crime.

Julia holds a Ph.D. in biodiversity management from the University of Kent; earned a Master of Research in ecology and environmental management from the University of York; and received a Bachelor of Science in environmental science from Manchester Metropolitan University.

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George Walton

Area of Expertise: Transportation Planning

 More About George

George Walton, a licensed professional engineer with 29 years of experience, serves as Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Southeast Regional Business Manager, overseeing the firm’s operations in nine states. A published author, public speaker, and sought-after presenter on transportation and environmental issues, he has earned several transportation planning awards. In 2004, he won the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Award for Outstanding Plan for the Waldorf Sub-Area Plan, and a Planning Commission Community Design Award of Excellence in Master Planning and Urban Design in 2008.

George has served as project manager for numerous planning, project development, and environment studies encompassing all modes of transportation, and firmly believes that surrounding himself with excellent people is the best way to stay competitive. “I was attracted to Parsons Brinckerhoff because of the people, the rich history, and the ability to work on some of the most challenging transportation projects imaginable,” he says. 

George holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He has been very active in the civic realm, working with the Central Florida Partnership to establish regional transportation goals and objectives. This presents opportunities for him to speak on the importance of infrastructure in growing and maintaining Orlando and the region’s competitiveness in a world market.