Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Advisory Board

Our advisory board members include respected leaders in industry, government, and academia from a wide range of organizations that are involved in mechanical engineering.

Advisory Board

Sam Abdelfattah

Sam Abdelfattah is a registered professional engineer with extensive experience in both the design and construction of building mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. He brings more than 25 years of diverse experience and has designed and managed projects in both the private and public sectors, including Army and NAVFAC facilities, industrial applications including manufacturing, cleanrooms, laboratories and similar critical environment applications, large office buildings, multi-family, and mixed-use projects, hospitality and dining, K-to-12 and higher education, transit and transportation, and major flagship and historical renovations.

As a LEED accredited and a HERS trained professional, he has extensive experience in the design of energy-efficient and sustainable building systems and has successfully contributed to the construction of many LEED-certified projects. He has firsthand expertise in building energy modeling, CONTAM transport modeling, and Computational Fluid Dynamic modeling. Abdelfattah held certifications in plumbing design from the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, and in building codes from the International Code Council, and has a practical and field-tested knowledge of building codes design and execution. He sat on several peer review exercises and contributed to many code review meetings with city officials.

Abdelfattah delivered AIA certified technical presentations in the design and execution of building mechanical systems and has prepared and published technical memos. He is past president of the Capital Chapter of the Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects and is a current member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers, and the National Society of Foe Protection Engineers.

Abdelfattah had a private consulting practice for several years before joining Walsh Group. His portfolio includes contributions to several award-winning projects like The American Embassy in Guangzhou, China, The Clara Barton Missing Soldier Museum in Washington, DC, and the Montgomery County Multiservice Campus In Rockville, Md.

Joseph T. (Tim) Arcano, Jr.

Joseph T. (Tim) Arcano, Jr., is a senior advisor for Rite-Solutions who supports ship design and technology development.

Previously, he served as Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock technical director; director of ocean exploration and research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; deputy chief of nuclear safety at the Department of Energy; Corbin A. McNeill Chair in Naval Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy; technical director/ship design manager for the USS VIRGINIA Program; director for advanced submarines at the Naval Sea Systems Command.

He is a retired Navy captain who was an engineering duty officer qualified in submarines and as a salvage diving officer. He led the overhaul of the last permit-class submarine and as ship design manager supported the delivery of the lead ship of the USS VIRGINIA Class.  For the National Science Foundation, he served as a member of the Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle Oversight Committee, overseeing the development of the replacement for the HOV ALVIN. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2 degrees), the University of Maryland, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

David Breslin

David Breslin is director of Hull, Deck & Auxiliary Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command, an organization of 26 engineers who support research and development, new construction, and in-service maintenance for the U.S. Navy. Breslin is also an adjunct professor with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy where he teaches reliability engineering & operations research and serves on the advisory board for George Mason University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Since joining the Navy in 1985, Breslin has held positions in the areas of engineering, program management, fleet support, and leadership. He has held positions with the Naval Sea Systems Command, Chief of Naval Operations, Sixth Fleet, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Roger Chang

Roger Chang is a registered professional engineering and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers fellow, LEED fellow, and the DLR Group’s mechanical engineering practice leader. He is a regular author and presenter on topics related to the built environment, with a specific focus on sustainability issues. Chang was the lead engineer on the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery modernization and has worked on a variety of projects across the United States, including several net-zero energy projects. He is a voting member of DC’s green and energy technical advisory group and is currently leading the development of DC’s public building strategic energy masterplan for existing buildings. Chang is a resident of Fairfax, Va. and a graduate of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate mechanical engineering programs.

Robert Gallo

Robert Gallo was appointed to the US Naval Academy to serve as the sole adjunct professor for aerospace engineering instructing midshipmen in the applied science of air-breathing atmospheric flight and aeronautical engineering structural mechanics. In addition to duties at the US Naval Academy, he simultaneously directed IBM’s public sector transportation consulting practice. Gallo brings more than 35 years of multi-modal transportation and real-world engineering experience to the Volgenau School of Engineering. Taking a deep interest in his students both inside and outside the classroom, he strives to develop leaders of character and ensure George Mason University graduates are employment ready.  

Robert Gardenier

With more than 30 years of professional engineering and acquisition experience, Robert Gardenier’s spectrum of experience includes private industry, Navy field, fleet operational, and Naval Sea Systems Command program office assignments.

Gardenier currently serves as the director of warfare systems at DELTA Resources/VT Group where he is responsible for supporting Navy programs that design, procure, and integrate shipboard weapons systems.

From July 2017 to September 2019 Gardenier served as the systems integration principal assistant program manager in PMS515 where he headed all FFG(X) program’s GFE procurement, test and evaluation planning, network architecture and cybersecurity planning and design as well as all combat systems, C4I, aviation integration efforts in support of the program’s acquisition and contracts schedule.

In parallel to his civilian career at NAVSEA, Gardenier held a commission in the United States Navy Reserve as an aerospace engineering duty officer until 2017; retiring at the rank of captain. Prior to his retirement from the NAVAIR Reserve Program, Gardenier served as the NATO air armaments sub-group chairman.

Gardenier earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, a master's degree in engineering administration from George Washington University, and graduated from Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.  His awards include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal, and the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal.

Thomas Gardner

Tommy Gardner is Hewlett Packard’s chief technology officer for HP Federal. His current responsibilities include technology leadership, strategic technology plans, product and technology strategies, salesforce technical support, and customer relationships.

Previously, Gardner has served as the chief technology officer for Jacobs Engineering, Scitor, and ManTech. Earlier in his career, he was a senior technical executive at Raytheon. In the U.S. Navy, he served as the deputy for science and technology for the chief of naval research. He oversaw the Navy’s Deep Submergence Program as well as its Advanced Technology Program. He also commanded the nuclear submarine, USS San Juan (SSN 751).

Gardner's educational background covers multiple disciplines and fields of interest including cybersecurity, data science, blockchain, quantum information science, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and systems integration in government markets.

His thesis at MIT was on the factory of the future. He supports the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Technology Advisory Panel on Advanced Manufacturing. He serves as an industry representative to the DHS Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force. He supports advisory boards at George Mason University, College of Charleston, and The Citadel and was formerly on the Board of Governors for the MIT Sloan Fellows program.

Valerie Gibson

Valerie Gibson is a doctor of physical therapy and founder and CEO of Advanced Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, LLC, in Vienna, Virginia, an outpatient physical therapy clinic specializing in neurological rehabilitation. As an expert in neurological injuries, robotic rehabilitation devices, and patient advocacy, she has devoted her career to the treatment of neurological disorders and the development of technology to assist patients with the goal of improving their quality of life.

Gibson is a recognized leader and innovator in the area of emerging technologies that are transforming the field of neurological physical therapy. She is the founder and CEO of Robotics for Recovery, LLC, whose mission is to invent and develop robotic rehabilitation devices to be used in the treatment of neurological disorders. She has invented a number of devices that she uses regularly in her physical therapy practice. Presently, she has three pending patents on innovative devices and has received robotics certifications from Ekso Bionics, Hocoma, Bioness, Myomo, and Movado. Gibson has partnered with Marymount University to provide clinical instruction in neurological rehabilitation and robotics to students enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program in the Malek School of Health Professions.

She has sponsored capstone projects at George Mason University and Virginia Tech and provided training in robotic devices to graduate engineering students at both universities. She is a member of several scientific and professional organizations, including the American Physical Therapy Association, the Virginia Physical Therapy Association, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine World Congress, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Society of Virtual Rehabilitation, and the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society. 

Tracee Gilbert

Tracee Walker Gilbert is a passionate entrepreneur and engineering executive. Gilbert owns and operates System Innovation, LLC, which has provided engineering and program management services to various clients in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of Navy Modeling and Simulation. She has more than 21 years of experience leading large-scale initiatives and driving strategy for digital engineering, engineering research, and engineering programs across various domains including defense, homeland security, medical and public health, commerce/census, and the education sector. She has held various leadership positions at Lockheed Martin, MITRE, Engility, and served as a fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense. She received her bachelor of arts in physics with a minor Japanese from Lincoln University and her master's in systems engineering, and her PhD industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech. She also studied abroad with the Institute for International Students in Tokyo, Japan while working as a staff editor for Tokyo Classifieds.

Gustavo Hernandez

Gustavo (Gus) Hernandez is a mechanical design engineer currently working for QinetiQ, a defense contractor working hand in hand with Fort Belvoir. He enjoys working with and developing state-of-the-art solutions for our servicemen and women. In his time off Gus enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, 3D printing, and tinkering with cars.

Kevin Hicks

Kevin Hicks is a senior mechanical engineer in the facilities department at Micron Technology Virginia. He has enjoyed a dynamic 20-year career in the semiconductor industry through several rewarding positions. He started as a design engineer for a process equipment company and learned the fundamentals of equipment design and construction. After three years he moved to Micron as a facilities mechanical engineer and spent the next four years designing industrial systems and cleanrooms. Through his work and relationships with internal customers, he developed a curiosity for manufacturing and took a position in the fabrication plant as a process engineer. He quickly moved into leadership and has spent nearly 10 years leading a variety of teams. He has lead seven different teams ranging in size from five to 55 people and has thoroughly enjoyed developing successful people and teams.

Hicks is proud of a number of key achievements in his professional and academic career.  The journey began with a bachelor of mechanical engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which included eight quarters of cooperative work. While working in Micron’s facilities department he earned his professional engineer license in Idaho. In support of the Micron quality mission, he participated in the company’s first Six Sigma class and earned his Black Belt from the American Society for Quality. Most recently, Hicks joined the Mason Nation by completing his MBA in May 2014 and was also inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

Russell James

Russell James has more than 38 years of experience in building systems engineering. As executive vice president for Dewberry Engineers Inc., he is responsible for oversight and direction of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design, construction, energy modeling, and commissioning services for Dewberry’s mid-Atlantic region. He has been involved in or responsible for engineering services for more than 50 million square feet of facilities including federal and state government, highrise office, mixed-use, hotel, highrise residential, commercial, retail, renovation, parking structures, and tenant interiors. A licensed professional engineer in the following states: Virginia, California., Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Texas; James is originally from Houston, Texas, and graduated with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1980.

A.J. Incorvaia

A.J. Incorvaia is currently senior vice president of the Electronic Board Systems group at Mentor, A Siemens Business. Incorvaia has more than 30 years of experience both as a developer of electronic design automation products and leading organizations focused on developing software tools for the design and analysis of electronic board systems.

Incorvaia joined Mentor Graphics in October 2014 as the vice president and general manager of the company’s board systems division. Prior to this, he was vice president of the printed circuit board and integrated circuit packaging group at Cadence Design Systems. Other responsibilities during his sixteen years at Cadence included vice president of product development and engineering group director. Prior to Cadence, he held software development and management positions at Viewlogic and Digital Equipment Corporation. He earned a BS in computer science from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MS in computer science and a graduate certificate in software systems engineering from George Mason University.

Ashok Maheshwari
Scott Schmitz

Scott Schmitz started his professional career in the Rocky Mountains in the field of utility and civil construction. After ten years he returned to the east coast to attend the Landing School of Boat Building and Design. Following the completion of the design and marine systems program, Schmitz embarked on a journey in the marine industry where he spent 18 months completing the retrofit of the sailing vessel Ocean Planet in preparation for the Vendee Globe Challenge. Scott then went onto design the first joystick propulsion system for Viking Yachts and developed a propulsion system with six helm stations for a fleet of 97-foot tug boats currently under construction at Chesapeake Ship Building.

Schmitz's close work with Caterpillar led to the opportunity to join Carter CAT Power Systems where he serves dual roles as the micro-grid energy systems manager and director of operations for the critical power team. This responsibility includes overseeing the development of all micro-grid projects. Simultaneously, Schmitz is responsible for the oversite of the critical power team delivering 50 megawatts of emergency backup power generators, switchgear, and uninterruptible power sources to hospitals, data centers, and the U.S. government every month.

Chris Scurlock

Christopher Scurlock earned a PhD in physical chemistry performing research in laser and microwave spectroscopy. He worked as a contractor to NASA for six and a half years, largely providing support to active remote sensing projects and related risk reduction. From there he coordinated the development of improved optomechanical systems for the Missile Defense Agency.  More recently he works for LMI, providing technical consulting to the Department of Defense Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, coordinating university research, and providing input into policy documentation.

Scurlock served as a judge for the NACE (Professional Corrosion Association) University Student Design contest for its first two years, then served as an outside technical advisor for various teams including George Mason University's team. He has also provided technical advising for other capstone design projects in the mechanical engineering department.

Charles A. Worrell

Charles Worrell conducts research on automated techniques for detecting financial crimes with the MITRE Corporation. Worrell is the principal inventor of a patented method for modeling group decision making and has developed automated systems to detect events such as disease outbreaks, accounting fraud, and other illicit activities for customers in the U.S. Federal Government.

Worrell started his career as an officer in the U.S. Navy and since that time, he has worked in network operations at Verizon and as director of systems development at the American Automobile Association’s Response Services Center, where he evaluated automated call center technologies.

Worrell earned his PhD in information technology at George Mason University. He also holds an MS in systems management from the Naval Postgraduate School and a BA in regional science from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a certified fraud examiner, a certified anti-money laundering specialist, a Cisco certified design professional, and is licensed as a 100 Ton Master Mariner by the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board plays a vital role in helping George Mason University develop the program by providing direct input on the skills students need to be successful in their careers.”

— Kevin Hicks, senior mechanical engineer

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