Wongkaew Moves into New Tunnel Leadership Role at HNTB

Mike Wongkaew, Ph.D., PE, SE, PMP


Mike Wongkaew, Ph.D., PE, SE, PMP, has been named HNTB Corporation’s national tunnel practice lead-West region. He is based in Bellevue and oversees all tunneling work for the firm’s West and Northwest Divisions.

“This new role reflects the depth of technical excellence toward successful project delivery that Mike brings to HNTB’s tunnel and underground engineering practice group and our clients,” said Sanja Zlatanic, PE, HNTB chair national tunnel practice, senior vice president and HNTB Fellow. “He continues broadening HNTB’s in-depth experience and providing innovative solutions that could be readily implemented in practice; at the same time he is very focused on managing risks inherent to major complex tunneling projects.”

Previously, Wongkaew served the firm’s clients as national tunnel practice lead-Northwest. He is experienced in project development, from feasibility studies through final design for multiple procurement environments.

Wongkaew’s experience in structural and tunnel engineering and project management includes designing the first single-pass steel fiber reinforced precast concrete segmental tunnel lining in the U.S. for the City of Portland’s East Side CSO Tunnel Project; leading design for 22 route miles of high-speed train tunnel in California through difficult ground conditions; and providing technical oversight for Washington Department of Transportation’s SR99 Bored Tunnel, the world’s largest soft ground bored tunnel design-build project.

Wongkaew recently completed HNTB’s technical oversight role for the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop project, and is currently leading HNTB’s tunnel conceptual engineering work for Sound Transit West Seattle and Ballard Links Extension. With his technical skills and ability to coordinate multidisciplinary teams, he has brought value to San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s Emerging Technology Tunnel to Ontario International Airport project as well as to one of the Sepulveda Pass tunnel alternatives for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, featuring the longest under-mountain tunnel in the U.S.
Wongkaew earned a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Purdue University, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees with distinction in civil engineering from Purdue’s Lyles school. He is a licensed structural and civil engineer in multiple states and active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, International Tunneling Association and the Project Management Institute. In addition to the practical experience, he has published papers on seismic design of underground structures and has been regularly invited to serve as a referee for international technical journals. Wongkaew also is an author of an upcoming McGraw Hill professional book on design of underground structures.

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