CBBG leadership team

Edward Kavazanjian Jr., Ph.D., P.E.,CBBG Center Director

Edward Kavazanjian returned to academia with an appointment at ASU in 2004 after 20 years in engineering practice. His industrial experience includes working for a large (over 2,000 employees) international firm specializing in civil infrastructure design; a small, entrepreneurial geotechnical specialty consulting firm; and 10 years with a geoenvironmental consulting firm that grew from 100 to over 400 people during his tenure. At the geoenvironmental consulting firm, he served on the Board of Directors, was discipline leader for geotechnical and landfill engineering, managed multi-disciplinary engineering services contracts of up to $8.4 million in value (for the City of Los Angles Department of Public Works), and managed geotechnical services on Superfund design/construct remediation projects with total value from $13 million to over $150 million. Professor Kavazanjian was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2013 for his work as a consulting engineer. He is widely recognized for his research on waste containment systems, seismic analysis and design of geotechnical features for transportation systems, and in the emerging field of biogeotechnical engineering. 


Claudia E. Zapata, Ph.D., CBBG Center Deputy Director Claudia

Zapata is an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at ASU. Her research interests focus on laboratory and field characterization of problematic soils and bio-mediated geomaterials, the behavior of soils due to repeated loading and environmental effects, and modeling fluid flow and volume change of soils applied to pavement structures and residential foundation systems.  She is also heavily invested in engineering education and diversity and outreach activities.  Her current research activities include the study of fluid flow in soils due to thermal gradients and how it affects airfield pavement structures and the introduction of unsaturated soil mechanics principles into the undergraduate geotechnical engineering curriculum.  She has played a major role in the development of models to incorporate environmental effects into pavement design practice, including the newest AASHTO Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide, and in development of a database of unsaturated soil properties for the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.


Jason DeJong, Ph.D., Thrust leader for Hazard Mitigation (Thrust 1)

Jason DeJong is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCD. Through his Soil Interactions Laboratory, he directs research into bio-mediated soils processes, advanced site characterization, behavior of intermediate and gravelly soils, sustainable geotechnical practice, and deep foundation performance. Fundamental scientific advances in these research areas have been successfully upscaled to full-scale field deployment in practice, including MICP trials at a mining site, characterization of gravel in the foundation of several large dams in California, and development of standards on offshore site characterization. Professor DeJong has given several keynote lectures at national and international conferences and is the lead author of several pioneering publications on biogeotechnics. His work has been funded through more than $5M in industry, state and federal grants, which led to over 100 peer-reviewed publications and the training of more than 40 graduate students.

Anca Delgado, Ph.D., Thrust leader for Environmental Protection and Ecological Restoration (Thrust 2)

Anca G. Delgado is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University.  She is also a graduate faculty in the Biological Design program in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy.  The Delgado Lab, part of the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, focuses on microbiological processes that remove contaminants or provide high-value chemicals to society.  Our research employs synthetic microbiomes to 1) transform, degrade, or sequester chemical contaminants, 2) improve soil and water quality, and 3) produce bioproducts from waste streams.  Our main research topics are bioremediation, microbial chain elongation, bioweathering and biomining, and environmental analytical chemistry.

Paola Bandini

Paola Bandini, Ph.D., P.E., Thrust leader for Infrastructure Construction (Thrust 3)

Paola Bandini is the Wells-Hatch Professor of Civil Engineering at NMSU. Her current research interests include the development of bioinspired methods in geotechnical engineering (for ground improvement, deep foundations, soil erosion control), soil characterization (desert soils, diatomaceous soils, cemented sands), sustainable earthen construction, and social cognitive factors that affect academic and career persistence of engineering students. She is a licensed professional engineer and was awarded a U.S. patent (2021) resulting from her research. Her projects have been funded by federal and state grants and contracts for over $13.5 million ($8.3 million as principal investigator). She has graduated 38 students in the MS and PhD programs at NMSU. She served as the Chair of two standing committees of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) (2011‐2018) and has organized technical sessions, workshops, and meetings for the TRB Annual Meetings and other conferences. In the Geo‐Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Professor Bandini serves as the secretary of the Engineering Geology & Site Characterization Committee and member of the Student Participation Committee. In 2021, she was appointed Councilor of Geo-Institute’s Technical Coordination Council (TCC). Professor Bandini is the NMSU lead and one of the co-PIs of the grant that funds CBBG.

David Frost

J. David Frost, Ph.D., P.E.,  Thrust Leader for Subsurface Exploration and Excavation (Thrust 4)

David Frost is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech. Prior to entering academia, he worked in industry in Ireland and Canada on infrastructure and natural resource related projects. A core focus throughout his career has been the study of natural and man-made systems and materials. His research is centered on the application and development of digital technologies for studying subsurface problems at multiple scales and he has received two U.S. patents for multi-sensor subsurface systems. He has graduated more than 30 PhD students, 40% of whom have gone on to academic positions. He has served on or led post-disaster study teams following disasters in the US, Turkey, India, China, Chile and Japan and is a founding member and co-chair of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association. He has organized numerous workshops and conferences on the applications of spatial analysis and image processing techniques to study the response of geomaterial systems under various loading conditions. He is a registered professional engineer in the US and Canada.

Jennifer Chandler

Jennifer Chandler, Ph.D., Director for Diversity and Leadership

Jennifer Chandler is a Lecturer in the Leadership and Integrative Studies Unit in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University.  Her expertise is in project management and in examining dominant social norms within leadership contexts. Her research interests focus on effective strategies and techniques for recognizing and disrupting dominant norms that perpetuate the systemic and structural marginalization of groups of people. Dr. Chandler has served in the CBBG IDEA Working Group since 2015.  She developed the CBBG Mentor Guide and leads the mentoring training.  Prior to pursuing her graduate degree, Dr. Chandler served over 20 years as a project and program manager for information technology projects undertaken by large multinational corporations and federal agencies.

Jafar Razmi, Ph.D., CBBG Industrial Liaison Officer

Jafar Razmi, Ph.D., is the CBBG Industrial Liaison Officer and Research Professor at Arizona State University. Previously he has been a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut and University of Texas. Prior to academia, Dr. Razmi worked in industry for more than a decade in a variety of areas including design, build and industrial construction and management, power stations, and Quality Assurance and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) auditing in industrial designs and processes. He has more than twenty years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students in mechanics, civil and environmental engineering, and developing curriculum in various learning environments.  He has experience working with the National Science Foundation, Army Corps of Engineers, and National Security Agency. His research focuses on engineering structures and infrastructural design and behavior under dynamic loads such as traffic and environmental loads. Additionally, he is interested in material behavior, fatigue, and damage, particularly in materials made using Additive Manufacturing (AM). He has prior experience in AM and its numerous applications such as in the fabrication of new materials, process optimization for AM of metals, and experimental characterization of metallic powders.

Phone: 480-965-2543, Email: [email protected]


Jean Larson, Ph.D., Education Director

Jean Larson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Research Professor in both the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Technology, postgraduate training in Computer Systems Engineering, and many years of experience teaching and developing curriculum in various learning environments. She has taught technology integration and teacher training to undergraduate and graduate students at Arizona State University, students at the K-12 level locally and abroad, and various workshops and modules in business and industry. Dr. Larson is experienced in the application of instructional design, delivery, evaluation, and specializes in eLearning technologies for training and development. Her research focuses on the efficient and effective transfer of knowledge and learning techniques, innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration, and strengthening the bridge between K-12 learning and higher education in terms of engineering content.

Charlotte Bowens

Charlotte Bowens, Administrative Director

Charlotte Bowens, Administrative Director, started at CBBG in July 2020 and brings years of sponsored research administration experience, including grant and financial management, human resources oversight, proposal and budget development, operational support, and strategic planning. Prior to joining CBBG, she was the Research Advancement Manager for the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. During her tenure at the University of Michigan she served as the Administrator for the Automotive Research Center and the Senior Research Process Manager for the College of Pharmacy.  Her entrepreneurial endeavors include providing financial, marketing and strategic planning consulting services to tech startups, food entrepreneurs and various emerging small to mid-sized businesses.

Leah Folkestad

Leah Folkestad, Ph.D., Education Coordinator

Dr. Leah Folkestad collaborates with stakeholders in education and industry, instructional design, learning strategy, program coordination, engineering, research, and evaluation. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, an M.Ed. in Educational Media and Computers, and a B.A. in Educational Psychology. She brings over 25 years of experience as an Instructional Designer creating engaging, innovative learning programs for such clients as Amazon, ASU, Centennial College, Century Link, Cisco, Clear Channel Outdoor/iHeart Media, Six Sigma Qualtec, Taylor Morrison, Uber Technologies, and many others. Dr. Folkestad enjoys collaborating with teams to strategize projects, identify performance gaps, design innovative learning, transform content into engaging activities, and evaluate program outcomes. She works to apply the latest technology to improve and simplify learning while helping the workforce succeed.

John Huntoon ,CBBG Student Leadership Council President

Emma Buchanan, Research Project Coordinator

Emma Buchanan joined the CBBG Team in May of 2023 as the Research Project Coordinator. In her role as the CBBG Project Coordinator, she is responsible for managing day-to-day center operations, assisting with budget oversight and transactions, and supporting all center team members. Having completed her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a Minor in Organizational Leadership at Arizona State University, she brings with her over four years of Administrative experience including managing organizational processes, promoting effective information exchange, and financial management . Prior to joining CBBG, she worked as an HR Benefits Specialist at Automatic Data Processing, Inc.

CBBG Leadership Team only