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Research Team

The geotechnical research team is currently comprised of two full-time Federal staff members, with four full-time contract staff members and other supplementary technical support as needed. In addition, the team occasionally hosts interns, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers on sabbaticals to augment the program.

FHWA Geotechnical Program Managers

The geotechnical research team sits on both the Bridge and Foundation Engineering Team and the Pavement Materials Team within the Office of Infrastructure Research and Development (R&D). They serve as members of various professional organizations, participate in technical committees, and serve on research panels.

Michael Adams
Research Civil Engineer
Geotechnical Laboratory Manager
Geotechnical Infrastructure Materials Program Manager

This is a photo of Mike Adams. He is standing on steps behind the railing with FHWA spelled out in modular blocks in the background.

Jennifer Nicks PhD, PE
Research Geotechnical Engineer
Geotechnical Infrastructure Design Program Manager

This is a photo of Jennifer Nicks. She is standing in front of a pile of rubble and is wearing a white shirt, glasses, safety vest, and hard hat.

Lab Support

Engineering Software & Consultants (ESCINC) currently holds the laboratory support contract for the Geotechnical Laboratory. The following full-time staff members contribute to the team with their expertise and skills related to conducting laboratory testing, setting up large- and full-scale experiments, developing numerical models, and installing instrumentation in the field.

Tom Stabile
Program Manager/Research Engineer Specialist (ESCINC)

Jan Li
Geotechnical Technician (ESCINC)

This is a photo of Jan Li and Tom Stabile. They are sitting next to each other along a superstructure backwall after setting up instrumentation. Both are wearing jeans, button-up shirts, and hard hats.

Thomas Gebrenegus PhD
Geotechnical Engineer/Technician (ESCINC)

This is a photo of Thomas Gebrenegus working on the large-diameter triaxial device. He is wearing a blue lab coat and glasses.

Visiting Researchers

The Geotechnical Research Team occasionally hosts visiting researchers on temporary assignment, as postdocs or professors on sabbatical. Recent scholars have included:

  • Meysam Mashayekhi (University of Delaware)
  • Prof. Jonathan Wu (University of Colorado – Denver)
  • Dr. Danial Esmaili (NRC Research Associate)
  • Prof. Phillip Ooi (University of Hawaii)
  • Chris Lynch (Eastern Federal Lands)
  • Dr. Mohammed Elias (Eastern Federal Lands)
  • Dr. Naser Abu-Hejleh (Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Resource Center)


Summer internship opportunities with the Geotechnical Research Team are available through the Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG).

FHWA Geotechnical Discipline

The Geotechnical Research Team is supported by the broader geotechnical discipline within FHWA. Find out more about our colleagues at Department of Transportation headquarters, the Resource CenterFederal Lands Highway Division, and field offices. Training on geotechnical subjects is provided by the National Highway Institute.

Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2019