External Professional Advisory Board

CREATE UTC is fortunate to have the following professionals as valued members of our exceptional External Advisory Board to provide guidance and feedback on our collective activities.


CREATE Board of Directors

Steve Nolan, Florida Department of Transportation

Steve Nolan

Steven Nolan has been a registered Professional Engineer in Florida since 2001. He received his engineering degree from the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia in 1989, immediately began working as a Construction Engineer for a heavy civil contractor before emigrating to the USA in 1996, and joining the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). He currently leads the implementation of Structural Advanced Materials for bridge applications within the Florida DOT State Structures Design Office. These materials currently include 10 technologies of interest including UHPC, FRC, and various FRP, composite reinforcements which Steve coordinates as Chair of the statewide Structural Advance Materials Technical Advisory Group (SAMTAG).

Jack Cadigan, USACE


Dr. Jack Cadigan is a Research Civil Engineer at the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center (USACE ERDC). He obtained his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in Civil Engineering, and he specializes in coastal and offshore geotechnical engineering and geosciences. His expertise spans from the geotechnical aspects of hard infrastructures (such as dams, levees, and roadway embankments) to inland navigation systems and offshore geohazards to infrastructure.

Helga Sommers, Port of Miami


Helga Sommer has more than 25 years of engineering experience, working in both the public and private sectors. Helga is currently the Chief Port Engineer at PortMiami, coordinating a diverse team of engineers, managers, consultants and project controls specialists to deliver an aggressive program of Capital Improvements.  Her team is currently working on projects that include cruise terminal construction and upgrades for multiple stakeholders, cargo yard improvements (eRTGs, drainage, etc.), major roadway projects including a flyover, replacement/realignment/improvement of bulkheads, shore power, and numerous ancillary infrastructure improvements.  Additionally, her team manages all project control functions for Capital Development’s program, valued at approximately $3 Billion. Helga graduated from the University of Miami in 2001 with a Masters in Civil (Structural ) Engineering, a Bachelors in Civil Engineering and a Bachelors in Architectural Engineering.

Eileen Velez Vega, Puerto Rico DOT

Eilen Vega

Eileen was born in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico. She possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, and her Master of Science in Engineering, with a concentration in transportation, from Mississippi State University. Eileen started her career in 2003 as a research civil engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), conducting research in the Airfields and Pavements Branch under the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. In 2006, she started working with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., specializing in the design and construction of airport infrastructure for commercial and general aviation airports. She became a managing partner and contributed to the establishment of their first office in the Caribbean overseeing all operations. In 2020 she was designated by the Governor of Puerto Rico, as the first female Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP). In her position, she oversees and establishes transportation public policy and leads the 7 transportation agencies under DTOP.

In Honor Of....

Ramon Carrasquillo, Carrasquillo Associates


It is with great sadness that we share the untimely passing of our colleague, Dr. Ramon Carrasquillo. While his position as a consultant and advisor on our CREATE team was a new one, not so his relationship with so many in our industry. His wit, his valuable constructive advice, and his willingness to serve contributed everything we wanted in our relationship with him as an advisor.

Dr. Carrasquillo obtained his MS and PhD degrees in 1978 and 1980 respectively from Cornell University. He was a full professor and researcher at the University of Texas at Austin from 1980 – 2000. Ramon is recognized worldwide for his expertise in structural engineering, concrete materials, construction, and forensic engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas and Puerto Rico.