Mei Kuen Liu

Mei is a California licensed Structural Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the UK, Norway, Hong Kong, and throughout the US. Her international understanding of structural design enables her to approach engineering challenges from different perspectives to discover the optimal customized solution.

Mei has extensive experience with hospitality, casino, commercial, cultural facilities, and transportation projects. Since joining Forell | Elsesser, Mei has been involved in the SFMTA Central Subway Chinatown and Union Square Stations. Mei received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Cornell University.

When she’s not working on San Francisco infrastructure, she enjoys pursuing her interests in photography, scuba diving, and backpacking.

Professional Associations

  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Member
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Member

Ali Roufegarinejad

As Forell | Elsesser’s Research and Development Manager, Ali applies more than 20 years of research and development experience to keep the firm up to date on the latest technologies and tools. He brings knowledge from academia to industry, keeping Forell | Elsesser on the cutting edge of advances in structural engineering. His constant critical eye for ways to improve what we do inevitably benefits not only internal staff, but also builders and clients.

Ali’s research interest and engineering expertise covers several areas of engineering and computational mechanics including: plasticity, computational and numerical methods, structural stability, earthquake engineering, base isolation, steel structures, thin-walled structures, fracture mechanics, composite steel-concrete structures, sustainable design, and structural testing. Several years of his doctoral/post-doctoral studies as an international scholar in Iran, Australia, U.K., Canada, and the U.S. were spent collaborating with Structural Engineering world leaders towards better understanding the local and global behavior of structures and structural components and in developing design guidelines with direct code implications and practical outcomes.

Ali is the author of several articles presented in international conferences and published in ISI-indexed journals. This extensive knowledge and experience are incorporated into Forell | Elsesser’s projects and presentations at Forell | Elsesser University, SEAONC and SEAOC seminars, conferences, and various national/international scientific and professional events. Ali received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tabriz and a Master’s degree from the K.N. Toosi  University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. He received a Ph.D. in Civil-Structural Engineering from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and has several years of postdoctoral studies around the world.

When he is out of the office (and away from his laptop) he can be found exploring many San Francisco/Bay Area neighborhoods with his family, listening to classical and traditional music, practicing calligraphy, or reading cultural anthropology articles.

Professional Associations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Canadian Seismic Research Network (CSRN)
  • Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering (CAEE)
  • Structural Engineers of Northern California (SEAONC)
  • Structural Engineering Association of British Columbia (SEABC)
  • Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observations Systems (COSMOS)

Carolynn Smith

Carolynn has served as the Director of People Development at Forell | Elsesser since 2007 and became part of the executive management team in 2020. In a firm that values employee development and emphasizes promoting from within, Carolynn’s role is essential. She works in partnership with the CEO and COO to elevate the technical excellence of the firm through operations and the mentoring and training programs. 

Carolynn manages the firm’s Human Resources including new hires, the Integrated Skills Development internship program, and employee benefits. Working with project staff, Carolynn facilitates the firm’s weekly staff meetings; orchestrates company events; and oversees the production of project specification documents, reports, and fee proposals. Carolynn also works closely with the engineers and the accounting department to integrate sound, efficient administrative practices into the daily management of projects at Forell | Elsesser.

Raised in a construction family in Scotland, Carolynn has been immersed in the built environment professions from the start. Carolynn holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom and has two decades of experience working in architecture and engineering firms. 

When she isn’t in the office, Carolynn works on keeping up with her French or training for her next marathon.

Lindsey Maclise

Lindsey is a California licensed Structural Engineer and Principal with Forell | Elsesser. She joined the firm in 2006. Her strength is in working collaboratively with clients to provide practical engineering solutions for their architectural visions while incorporating sustainable elements into the design.

Lindsey has worked on a variety of retrofit and new construction projects including multi-family housing, laboratories, and athletic facilities. She has exceptional knowledge and passion on the subject of sustainable design and has lectured and presented on the subject nationally. She serves as an advocate for green building practices and has written numerous reports and papers about the structural engineer’s role in sustainable design. Lindsey received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from UC Berkeley where she is currently serving as a member of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Advisory Board.

When Lindsey is not working, Lindsey enjoys running competitively for the Olympic Club and cross-country skiing around Lake Tahoe.

Professional Associations

  • UC Berkeley Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Advisory Committee
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Housner Fellow & 2016 Convention Chair
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California’s (SEAONC) Board Member
  • Structural Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Member


  • 2013 SEAONC Zacher Award Recipient
  • 2012 EERI Housner Fellows Program

Christopher Petteys

Chris Petteys serves as the fourth CEO in  Forell | Elsesser’s six decades but drives the firm in collaboration with the rest of the executive management team. With a collective focus on building upon the firm’s strong reputation for technical leadership in seismic design, growing talent from within, and creating new opportunities and career paths for staff; Chris leads a firm rooted in engineering fundamentals, client service, performance-based design, and sustainable/resilient structures. From his experience leading large, complex structural projects, Chris has proven the effectiveness of his hands-on management style and enjoys interaction with clients and partners.

In his twenty years practicing as a structural engineer, Chris has navigated complex issues with a level head and taken unexpected approaches to successfully solving problems. He has a broad knowledge of all major construction materials for commercial, multi-family housing, and institutional structures; and is recognized for his efficient buildings and constructability of his designs for unique structures in high seismic regions. His more notable projects include the UC Berkeley California Memorial Stadium seismic upgrade and LinkedIn Middlefield Campus. Chris has both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from UCLA.

When Chris is not working through creative solutions or managing the firm, he enjoys golfing, skiing, and spending time with his family.

Professional Associations

  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) Seismology Committee, Former Chair

Geoff Bomba

As Director of Engineering Operations, Geoff Bomba is a Principal and a member of the Forell | Elsesser’s executive management team. Geoff helps drive business growth through resource planning and ensuring efficiency and creativity of our delivery methodology. Using cutting-edge performance-based design methodologies, Geoff develops engineering standards, systems, and quality controls that enhance Forell | Elsesser’s forward-thinking approach to bringing architectural visions alive. He maintains our high bar for exceptional work through a consistent embrace of technology and tools across all projects.

Since joining the firm in 2003, Geoff has been a leader in the engineering design of complex buildings and he has worked on educational, institutional, performing arts, laboratory, and historic renovation projects. Emphasizing customized solutions, Geoff plays a hands-on role in design-focused projects, taking challenging architectural visions and transforming them into elegant, buildable solutions, while always keeping a project’s specific needs in mind. Through his work on existing buildings and historic retrofits, Geoff brings new technologies to leverage the existing building structure capacity and minimize the impact of upgrades on the building itself.

Geoff is dedicated to advancing seismic design and structural performance. He was part of a collaborative team with the National Science Foundation and the Earthquake Engineering Resource Institute to better understand the structural response of high-performance structures in the 2011 Tohoku Japanese Earthquake. He also works with local university researchers to explore new composite connections for steel structures, evaluate damage from earthquakes, and develop new seismic isolation technology. Geoff is a California licensed Structural Engineer and received a Bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and a Master’s degree in Earthquake Engineering from Stanford University.

Professional Associations

  • Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Seismology Committee, Past State Chair
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • San Francisco Planning Urban Research (SPUR)
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC)

Russell Berkowitz

Russell Berkowitz has been with Forell | Elsesser since 1999 and is a Principal with 23 years of structural engineering experience. In addition to his project management work, he serves as Lead Analyst for the firm’s most complex structures. Russell’s strength lies in his ability to bring energy, dedication, and personality to his collaborations within a project team.

Russell has a passion for the analysis and design of advanced seismic protection systems. His knowledge of state-of-the-art structural analysis and seismic risk evaluation methodologies is instrumental in keeping Forell | Elsesser at the forefront of advanced seismic design and risk assessment.  As Project Manager for the recent seismic rehabilitation of Giannini Hall at UC Berkeley, these qualities were instrumental in optimizing the seismic retrofit design of the geometrically complex structure. Russell’s experience includes new and retrofit design of educational, commercial, institutional, healthcare, and laboratory structures. Russell is a California licensed Structural Engineer and received a Bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master’s degree from UC Berkeley.

His passions outside of the office include training for the infamous Tour of California Death Ride on his bicycle and writing, producing, and performing live music

Professional Associations

  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Learning From Earthquakes Team
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC): Seismology Committee, Former Chair; Existing Buildings Committee, Former Vice-Chair; Ground Motions Seismology Sub-Committee
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), ASCE 31/41 Document Upgrade Committee

Steve Marusich

As Director of Technical Excellence and a member of Forell | Elsesser’s executive management team, Principal Steve Marusich is responsible for growing the technical health and reputation of the firm. In this forward-thinking role, Steve leads the research, development, and adoption of new systems and technologies, particularly in the areas of seismic design, resilience in the face of natural hazards, and the reduction of embodied carbon. He is also responsible for the overall technical training of the staff and the quality of our analytical and design solutions.

In his 20 years as a licensed engineer, Steve has developed a systematic approach to evaluating potential design options while balancing performance, cost, schedule, and constructability to develop high-value solutions for his clients.  Steve has also managed or consulted on many of Forell | Elsesser’s base-isolated projects over the last decade, including the retrofit of Pasadena City Hall and the new UCSF Ray & Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building.  Due to his extensive knowledge and experience in new, existing, and historic construction, Steve is also sought after to consult on structural engineering plan check and peer reviews.  Steve received a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a Master’s degree from UC Berkeley.

When away from work, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, travel, golf, basketball, hiking, and exploring new restaurants.

Professional Associations

  • Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Member
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Member
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Member
    American Institute of Architects (AIA), Professional Affiliate
  • Lean Construction Institute, Member

Allen Nudel

As Director of Business Strategy, Allen Nudel is a Principal and a member of Forell | Elsesser’s executive leadership team. Allen is a licensed Structural Engineer and has been with the firm since 2000. In addition to project work, Allen’s role includes overseeing the firm’s business development activities, new market sectors, new clients, and geographic expansion. With over 25 years of experience, Allen’s greatest strengths are a love of teaching and facilitating understanding between engineers, architects, and contractors. Constantly striving for mutual understanding makes him an excellent communicator and effective engineer.

Allen’s dedication and expertise throughout all phases of design and construction leads to successful, on budget project deliveries that achieve programmatic and design goals. He excels in client relations, drawing coordination, specifications and construction administration. He has a particular interest in collaborating with architects to maintain exposed structure of buildings. His wide range of experience includes education, institutional, commercial/corporate, athletic facilities, performing arts, multi-family housing, and tenant improvement projects. Allen is a licensed Structural Engineer in California, Arizona, and Colorado. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master’s degree from UC Berkeley.

When Allen is not busy at work, he enjoys completing home renovation projects, spending time with his wife and two young daughters, and following pro baseball.

Professional Associations

  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Former Co-Chair and member, Sustainable Design Committee
  • City of Hope Real Estate and Construction Council, Northern California
  • Berkeley Unified School District Construction Advisory and Bond Oversight Committee
  • San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association (SPUR)

René Vignos

René Vignos is a Principal and licensed structural engineer at  Forell | Elsesser. After entering the firm in 1999 and after more than two decades of experience, he is still invigorated by the challenge of creating the most elegant, inspired engineering solutions possible to translate an architect’s vision into a constructible reality.

As  Forell | Elsesser’s Chief Operations Officer, René Vignos serves as part of the executive management team that guides the firm as a whole in addition to his responsibilities overseeing the operations of the core engineering practice.  His skills in organization, administration, and collaboration serve him well as one of the leaders of the firm.

René has developed broad engineering skills in new design and retrofit, with a specialty in preserving and protecting historic landmark structures. He is currently providing state-of-the-art structural engineering design services for the complex rehabilitation and seismic strengthening of the historic Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This project involves the unprecedented base isolation and retrofit of a massive unreinforced stone masonry structure. In addition to his cultural facilities experience, he also works on athletic facilities, education facilities, national laboratory facilities, and overseas earthquake reconnaissance efforts. René is a licensed Structural Engineer in California, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin.

In his downtime he enjoys tinkering with home improvement projects, camping with his family, and following the latest NHL hockey game.

Professional Associations

  • San Francisco Code Advisory Committee, Structural Subcommittee
  • University of California at Berkeley, Seismic Review Committee
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Protective Systems Committee, Past-Chair & Member
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Member