ATC Announces Transition In Leadership

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May 3, 2015                                                                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



As part of a long-range transition plan, the Applied Technology Council (ATC) announces a series of personnel moves to transition the organization into its next generation of leadership. After more than 30 years of service to the organization and the profession, Chris Rojahn is stepping down as Executive Director. In the near-term, Chris will continue on as Director Emeritus, providing ongoing assistance in the transfer of operational activities. The ATC Board of Directors and staff wish to express their sincere appreciation to Chris for his years of leadership and service to the structural engineering community.    

In his place, Jon A. Heintz will step into the role of Executive Director. Jon came to ATC after more than 15 years in structural engineering practice, and has been leading ATC’s technical development activities as Director of Projects for the past 10 years. With more than 25 years of combined experience in engineering practice and research, codes and standards development, performance-based design and assessment, and post-disaster response and investigation activities, Jon is well-positioned to continue ATC’s leadership role in identifying and implementing structural engineering practice and multi-hazard mitigation research needs at the national level.

In January 2015, Scott D. Schiff joined ATC as Director of Projects after more than 25 years as a professor and researcher in structural, seismic, and wind engineering at Clemson University. As one of the founding faculty members that established Clemson's Wind and Structural Engineering Research (WiSER) Facility to address the vulnerabilities of building infrastructure in hurricane prone regions of the United States, Scott will focus on increasing synergy between ATC and the wind engineering community. With seismic, wind, and general structural engineering expertise, Scott will assist in the technical management of projects across all hazard areas.

In May 2015, Ayse Hortascu was promoted to the position of Director of Projects. Ayse came to ATC in 2008, after more than six years in seismic risk engineering practice. For the past seven years, Ayse has been leading ATC projects, first as Research Applications Manager, and most recently as Associate Director of Projects. Named as an EERI Housner Fellow in 2014, and founder of Women in Structural Engineering (WISE) in the S.F. Bay Area, Ayse is a rising leader in the professional engineering community.

In October 2014, Veronica Cedillos joined ATC as Associate Director of Projects. A structural engineer by training, Veronica has an international hazard mitigation expertise and interest, with over six years of experience managing and executing earthquake and tsunami risk mitigation projects throughout the world. Her projects have included work in Haiti, Peru, and Indonesia, and she has collaborated with multi-disciplinary groups from Japan, Singapore, Germany, India, and the United States. In recognition of her work, Veronica was selected as the 2010 ASCE national representative for “New Faces of Engineering,” was the 2011 recipient of the EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize.

In September 2014, Anna Olsen joined ATC as Research Applications Manager. With an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Anna has an expertise in the description, quantification, propagation, and reporting of uncertainty in hazard and risk analyses. For the past six years, Anna has worked on projects in the areas of natural hazard and risk assessment with an emphasis in earthquake engineering. She has studied the seismic behavior of steel moment-resisting frames, researched the socio-economic phenomenon known as demand surge that occurs after large-scale natural disasters, and studied the communication of hazard-analysis results to technical and non-technical audiences.

In May 2015, Bernadette Hadnagy was promoted to the position of Finance and Operations Manager. This promotion is in recognition of over 20 years of service and wide-ranging skills in the areas of office operations, financial operations, Board operations support, project support, report production, and event planning. Bernie will be a key individual at the operational and financial levels of the organization, and will continue to assist in maintaining ATC’s fiscal and operational excellence.