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COPRI Leadership

  • 2019-2020 Board of Governors

    Lori Brownell - Headshot
    Lori Brownell
    , P.E., D.NE, M.ASCE
    President

    As Port Houston’s Director of Channel Improvement, Ms. Brownell leads the team to focus on the next generation of widening and deepening improvements to the Port Houston’s 52-mile channel and acts a key interface with the USACE and strategic advisor to Port Houston’s Executive Management. Prior to joining Port Houston in September 2019, Ms. Brownell served as the director of Taylor Engineering’s waterfront engineering group and provided 20-years of planning, design, and construction administration service for waterfront, marine, and dredging-focused projects in the southeastern United States. She has been an active member of ASCE since 1999 and previously served as the COPRI Treasurer between 2014 and 2018.

    Stephen Balint - Headshot
    Stephen Balint
    , P.E., D.OE, F.ASCE
    Vice President

    Steve Balint has worked in the offshore industry for nearly 40 years as a designer, engineering team leader, project manager, and executive. He has lectured at University of Texas and Singapore University on dynamic and fatigue analysis of offshore fixed and floating structures, written many technical papers and holds three patents for unique offshore structural designs. He has been associated with ASCE since college when he was president of the Virginia Tech student chapter. He also represented ASCE on the Offshore Technology Conference Board of Directors for 10 years, including 2 years as Chairman of the Board. Steve was the recipient of ASCE's 2014 William H Wisely Award.

    Imee Osantowski - Headshot
    Imee Osantowski
    , P.E., M.ASCE
    Past President

    Imelda Osantowski graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley in 1983 and became a Registered Civil Engineer in California. She recently retired from the Port of Oakland where she worked as a Principal Engineer. She has over 30 years of management experience and was the COPRI Ports and Harbors Chair from 2014-2016.

    Murat Utku - Headshot
    Murat Utku
    , Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE
    Secretary

    Dr. Utku has a MSc. and PhD degree in coastal engineering with a BS in civil engineering. He has more than 24 years of experience in program management; small/large scale project management in addition to his engineering project experience. His project experience includes various aspects of coastal engineering; resiliency, climate change, ecosystem restoration and mitigation, hydraulic/coastal engineering, sediment and pollutant transport processes, dredging, modeling, and flood mitigation. He has been an ASCE member since 1995; he is the past chair of the North Jersey Branch and currently serves as the secretary of the Board.

    Catherine Dunn - Headshot
    Catherine Dunn
    , P.E., D.NE, D.PE, M.ASCE
    Treasurer

    Mrs. Dunn is retired from over 27 years with the Port of New Orleans where she served as Director of Port Development. There she was responsible for the design, construction, condition, and maintenance of over 22 million square feet of buildings and cargo‐handling areas along 22 miles of waterfront, Port owned vehicles and equipment, four Port owned lift bridges, and Industrial real estate. In addition, Mrs. Dunn has over fifteen years of private sector engineering and management experience, primarily in the marine sector.

    Victoria Johnson - HeadshotVictoria Colleen Johnson, Ph.D., EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Governor

    Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the United States Naval Academy. Her research focuses on the effects of hurricanes and tsunamis on coastal communities. She hopes to understand the hydrodynamic conditions that cause houses to be damaged during these events and to contribute to the the development of resilient and sustainable coastal design. She has participated on damage reconnaissance surveys including in the Philippines after Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), in coastal New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, and the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma. She has also collaborated on physical model experiments at Kyoto University and Oregon State University. She was a graduate researcher and teaching assistant at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame from 2011–2016, and a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University from 2016-2017.

    Dr. Johnson has been an ASCE member since 2008. She serves on the ASCE 7-22 Subcommittees on Flood Loads and Tsunami Loads and Effects, as well as the Infrastructure Resilience Division's Disaster Response and Recovery Committee.

    Edward James Schmeltz - Headshot Edward James Schmeltz, P.E., D.CE, D.NE, D.OE, D.PE, Dist.M.ASCE
    ASCE Presidential Appointee

    Mr. Schmeltz is a civil engineer with more than 45 years of experience in the planning and design of ports and harbors, marine facilities, breakwaters and other coastal structures. He has worked on some of the world’s largest marine projects and his extensive portfolio of projects has taken him to more than 21 states and 37 countries on 6 continents. His experience ranges from container facilities, liquid bulk terminals and bulk handling facilities to military and coastal engineering projects. His expertise in the evaluation of the financial and technical viability of port facilities, as well as his understanding of site conditions, design, construction and operational aspects of ports, have made him a valuable professional in the global marine market.

    He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering from NJIT and Civil Engineering from Texas A&M. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. He holds Diplomate status in Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineering from ASCE. Mr. Schmeltz has authored over 25 technical publications related to maritime projects and issues. He is a Distinguished member of ASCE and a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers. He is also a founding member and Past President of the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineering of ASCE and a Founding Member of COPRI.

  • Board Certification

    Become ACOPNE certified in one or more of the following categories:

    • Coastal Engineering
    • Ocean Engineering
    • Port Engineering
    • Navigation Engineering
  • Get Involved 

    Build or expand your network of colleagues and work on projects that will advance your technical knowledge and leadership skills. 

    COPRI Committees work on a variety of projects like publications and organizing specialty conferences.   

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