MTA Press Releases

Press Release
February 24, 2020
MTA Announces Members of Major Construction Review Unit
Newly Appointed Advisory Panel Includes Diverse Cross-Section of Experts with Range of Experience in Design, Construction, Technology, Project Management, Academia

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the first slate of members of the MTA’s Major Construction Review Unit (MCRU). The newly appointed review panel includes a diverse cross-section of experts and industry leaders in design, construction, technology, engineering, project management, urban planning and academia. The MCRU, mandated by the New York State Legislature in 2019, will provide input on large-scale projects and signal upgrades in the MTA’s historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan, bringing fresh eyes and knowledge of best industry practices to improve outcomes. Additional panel members will be appointed going forward.

The role of the MCRU is advisory and will convene in panels of three to five members to support efficiency and innovation in execution of large projects. The unit will provide objective advice and recommendations to the MTA project CEO, including information on the latest tools, techniques, materials, methods and practices.

“The MTA has identified a number of outstanding candidates to serve on the Major Construction Review Unit who will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help the MTA deliver projects better,” said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. “We expect the panels will review crucial projects like Penn Access, the Flushing line station work, East Side Access and more and will serve as an integral part of our work on the historic 2020-2024 Capital Plan.”

The MCRU is being led by Catherine T. Sheridan, P.E., a Transformation Project Manager with the MTA who has nearly three decades of experience in the transportation industry. Her career includes serving as the Chief Engineer for the New York State Thruway Authority, and positions at the New York State Canal Corp. and Dept. of Transportation. Sheridan served in the United States Army as a Combat Engineer and was honorably discharged as a Captain.

“I am excited to lead the MCRU at a critical time in the MTA’s history. This review unit will play a major part in helping us transform project delivery for New Yorkers,” said Catherine Sheridan, Lead for the Major Construction Review Unit and Transformation Project Manager. “We put together a panel of esteemed leaders in their fields and I am confident their expertise will help us move forward and continue the modernization of the MTA.”

The 20 new members of the MCRU are:

  • Babak Dastgheib-Beheshti, Ph.D., Dean, College of Engineering & Computing Sciences, New York Institute of Technology
  • Paul Dietlin, Chief Engineer - Program Management, MTA Long Island Rail Road
  • Mark Dowd, Chief Innovation Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Mark D. Hoffer, Senior Advisor, MTA Construction & Development
  • Frank Jezycki, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, MTA New York City Transit Department of Subways
  • John Kennard, Vice President, Capital Programs, MTA Metro-North Railroad
  • Melvin (Mickey) Kupperman, Vice Chairman-Chief Operating Officer, Silverstein Properties, Inc.     
  • Michael Loney, AVP for Infrastructure, MTA Metro-North Railroad
  • John C. Lewis, Independent Consultant for Transit & Rail Signaling
  • George Menduina, Vice President & Chief Facilities Officer, MTA New York City Transit Department of Buses
  • Steven Plate, Chief of Major Capital Programs, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
  • Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director, American Institute of Architects New York / Center for Architecture
  • Lucius Riccio, Ph.D., P.E., Lecturer, Columbia University
  • Baris Salman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University
  • Robert Sanna, President, Sanna Consultants, LLC
  • Palmina Teta-Whelen, Managing Director - Real Estate, American Airlines
  • Richard Thorpe, P.E., Independent Consultant for Rail Infrastructure
  • Ali Touran, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University
  • Andrew Whittaker, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil, Structural, & Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering & Applied Science, SUNY Buffalo         
  • Peter Zuk, President, Zuk International, LLC