Meet Our Speakers

The George Fox Conference is bringing together some of the most renowned speakers and professionals in the tunneling industry. Learn more about our speakers and why they are the key to making our conference unforgettable.

Keynote Speaker

Water Tunnels: Past, Present and Future| 9:00am – 9:40am

Vincent Sapienza, Commissioner, NYC DEP

Since joining DEP in 1983, Commissioner Vincent Sapienza has dedicated his career to protecting and improving New York City’s critical water infrastructure. Prior to his current role, Mr. Sapienza served in two senior positions within the agency, leading the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment from 2009 through 2014, and then heading the Bureau of Engineering, Design and Construction until June 2016. He then served as Acting Commissioner until his appointment as DEP Commissioner on October 3, 2017.

Mr. Sapienza is a New York State Licensed Professional Engineer and holds a B.S. from Columbia University and an MBA from Hofstra University’s School of Business.

Conference Speakers

Microtunneling at the NYC DEP Gilboa Dam | 9:40am – 10:20am

Everette Knight, PE | Hazen and Sawyer

Everette works in the mid-Atlantic region Water Resources Group of Hazen and Sawyer, a nationally recognized environmental engineering and consulting firm specializing in water, wastewater, and stormwater management services. He attended NC State University where he received a B.S. and a M.S. in Civil Engineering. His post-graduate studies concentrated on water resources and geotechnical engineering. Everette has more than 35 years of experience in water resources that includes the design of stormwater management and dam safety related infrastructure facilities. For the past 10 years, Everette has served as the Project Engineer for Design and Construction Phases for the Gilboa Dam Low Level Outlet Project.


John Arciszewski | Project Manager, Southland Holding LLC

John works for Southland Holdings, one of the world’s largest, multi-faceted, heavy civil construction companies. Established in 1929, Southland Holdings is comprised of five divisions including Southland Contracting, Johnson Bros. Corporation, Oscar Renda Contracting, Mole Constructors, and Heritage Asphalt. Southland currently has projects active in 38 states and two countries and internationally award winning for their commitment to excellence. The key to Southland Holdings success is in the people. John has been big part of several award winning projects and provides excellence in his all of his work.

John attended Stevens Institute of Technology and upon completion of his studies started working in the tunneling industry. He has nearly 20 years of underground construction experience, half of which with Southland, and has worked on major tunnel projects across the United States and in Canada. His experience includes mechanical excavation with TBM/MTBM and roadheaders as well as extensive experience with traditional drill and blast excavation techniques and Sequential Excavation Methods. Currently John is the Project Manager for Southland Renda JV on the Gilboa Dam Low Level Outlet Project.


MWRA Metropolitan Boston Tunnel Redundancy Program Project Update | 11:00am – 11:40am

Kathleen M. Murtagh, PE | Director, Tunnel Redundancy, MWRA


  • BSCE – University of New Hampshire
  • MSCE – Virginia Tech
  • 28 years as a geotechnical/tunnel engineer in private consulting practice
  • Experienced in design and construction of large infrastructure/underground/tunnel projects



Frederick O. Brandon, PE | Director, Design & Construction Tunnel Redundancy, MWRA


  • BSCE – Northeastern University
  • 36 years of experience in the field of water supply and distribution
  • 1982-1988: Project Engineer for national consulting firm
  • 1988-2018: MWRA Water Engineering Capital Improvement Program
  • Experienced in providing technical, cost and schedule oversight of large water engineering projects


Update on State of California Water Fix Tunnel Program | 11:40am – 12:20pm

Sergio Valles | Interim Chief Engineer, California WaterFix


Sergio Valles is the Interim Chief Engineer for the California WaterFix - Design Construct Authority.  He is on loan from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where he is an Engineering Program Manager and has been with MWD for nearly 29 years and brings over 38 of experience.   Since 2009, he has represented the State Water Project Contractors on WaterFix as a member of the program management team responsible for the conceptual design and environmental planning.


He is a California Registered Civil Engineer. He is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach with a degree in civil engineering.

Tunnel Industry Update | 1:30pm – 2:00pm

Jim Rush | Editor, Tunnel Business Magazine

Jim Rush is editor/publisher for Benjamin Media Inc. in Brecksville, Ohio. He has been covering the underground construction market since 1998 for publications including Trenchless Technology, TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine, Utility Contractor and Water Finance & Management. Rush started his career as a newspaper journalist, working for daily papers in Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio. He is a member of the UCA of SME and serves on the program committee for North American Tunneling Conference. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.



Repair & Rehabilitation of NYC’s Aqueducts | 2:00pm – 2:30 pm

Dan Peterson


Project Executive at Schiavone Construction Co. LLC.  He has over 30 years of experience in various roles in Underground Construction and Heavy Highway construction including; shaft rehabilitation, shaft construction, cut and cover tunnel construction and Aqueduct cleaning.  He is currently the Project Manager for CAT RR – Catskill Aqueduct Repair and Rehabilitation project for the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection.




Michael Lang


Project Engineer at Frontier-Kemper Constructors.  He has over 7 years’ experience in various roles in Underground Construction including tunnel cleaning, tunnel rehabilitation and repair.  He is currently the Project Engineer for Contract 542B – Cleaning & Inspection of City Tunnel No. 3, Stage 2 Queens & Brooklyn for the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection



Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project – Moving Ahead in 2019 | 2:30pm – 3:00pm

Mohammed Nasim, PE, PMP, CCM | Senior Director of Engineering, Amtrak

Mohammed Nasim, PE, PMP, CCM is a Senior Director of Engineering with Amtrak for the Gateway Program. Mohammed has 31 years of experience and has served as owner’s representative for delivery of turn-key EPC and Design-Build transit and rail projects.  As owner’s representative, he has served in responsible-in-charge roles for program management, project and construction management activities.  He has also served on contractors’ teams for design-build projects as Engineer of Record and Lead Engineer supporting the design-build entity with engineering design.  Mohammed graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY with a Master of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering.

Phil Rice, PE | Vice President & Project Manager, WSP USA

Phil Rice PE is a Vice President and Project Manager with WSP USA, Inc., with over 39 years on large tunnel, mass transit, highway and water resources projects.  He has a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and a Master of Engineering in Geological Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  He is currently Project Manager for the Gateway Trans-Hudson Partnership, a Joint Venture of WSP USA, AECOM USA and STV Inc., on the Hudson Tunnel Project.  Recent previous assignments include serving as Project Manager for the WSP-PTG JV on Amtrak’s B&P Tunnel Replacement Project in Baltimore, MD, and Construction Manager for the Second Avenue Subway Project 86th Street Station Cavern Mining and Heavy Civil/Structural work in New York.


Dep’s Tunneling Program Evolution | 3:30pm – 4:15pm

Jim Mueller, PE, MBA | Agency Chief, NYC DEP

  • 26 years of experience at the New York City DEP in planning, designing and constructing multi-billion dollars of water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects.
  • Spearheaded organizational and business process changes in several Bureaus within DEP as well as the creation and advancement of a comprehensive risk assessment, prioritization and asset management program.

Promoted to Agency Chief Engineer in August 2018 responsible for:

  • Developing integrated program and project plans for the water and wastewater system;
  • Formulating and prioritizing the Agency multi-billion dollar capital budget;
  • Developing engineering guidelines and standards Agency-wide;
  • Optimizing the Agency asset management program;
  • Aligning internal business processes with external market capabilities for capital program delivery  

A graduate of Manhattan College and the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Mr. Mueller holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Statistics.


Progress of the Rondout-West Branch Tunnel Repairs | 4:15pm – 5:00pm

Mark Petermann | Project Manager for the Bypass Tunnel, Kiewit shea-Constructors JV


  • Project Manager, Kiewit-Shea, AJV
  • B.S. Mining Engineering, Colorado Mines
  • 20+ Years of experience, Tunnel Construction




Ted Dowey | Portfolio Manager, NYC DEP


Mr. Dowey serves as a Portfolio Manger for upstate tunnel projects for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in the Bureau of Engineering Design and Construction. Mr. Dowey has worked for the NYC DEP for over 30 years starting as a construction inspector and geologist and later as Resident Engineer and Executive Construction Manager for the construction of shafts, tunnels, and chambers of City Tunnel No. 3. After a stint as the Chief of Design Services; Mr. Dowey has managed the design of the $800 million Bypass Tunnel design contracts. He has a BA in geology and an MS in Mining Engineering from Columbia University and is a New York State Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist.