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Geotechnical Research Team

The geotechnical research team is currently comprised of two full-time Federal staff members and three full-time contract staff members, with other supplemental temporary 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 Bridges and Structures Team and the Infrastructure 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 Contract Staff

Engineering Software & Consultants (ESCINC) currently holds the laboratory support contract for the Geotechnical Laboratory. Refer to for further solicitations. 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.

Haejin Kim, PhD
Program Manager/Research Engineer (ESCINC)

Jan Li
Geotechnical Technician (ESCINC)

Thomas Gebrenegus PhD
Geotechnical Engineer/Technician (ESCINC)

Visiting Researchers

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

  • Dr. 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: Tuesday, January 28, 2020