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Movassaghi appointed to airport committee evaluating architects/engineers

by Leslie Turk

Former state transportation chief is only outsider on five-man committee evaluating qualifications for architecture and engineering firms.

Kam Movassaghi
Photo by Robin May

A five-man committee was appointed by the Lafayette Airport Commission to evaluate qualifications for architectural and engineering firms interested in upcoming airport projects, among which is a new $90 million terminal and parking expansion funded by a temporary sales tax voters approved in December. The eight-month, 1 cent sales tax expires at the end of November, and construction is expected to begin on the project in 2017.

A Request for Qualifications will be issued in the near future, the commission says in a press release, and the committee will convene to review the RFQ before the airport commission approves it.

The committee consists of two commissioners, Paul A. Guilbeau and Paul Segura, Airport Executive Director Steven Picou, Airfield Manager Anthony Hebert and Kam Movassaghi of Lafayette-based Engineering and Management Consulting.

“Lafayette Airport Commission policy requires one hired independent person who must be an engineer, airport planner or professional knowledgeable of the services required,” Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman Matt Cruse says in the release. “Mr. Movassaghi certainly fits that description, and the commission is pleased he has accepted the position. He has a keen interest in the airport and the things the commission is trying to accomplish. His knowledge and years of experience will be invaluable as we move forward with the new terminal and other upcoming projects.”

In January Movassaghi retired as president of C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, a position he held for a decade.

Movassaghi has more than 45 years of experience in engineering, management and leadership in private sector, government service and academia. He is a former secretary of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, where he managed an annual budget of $1.3 billion and was responsible for developing a 10-year program to expedite building of 500 miles of new highways, construction of a new bridge and renovation of Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi River. This $5 billion, 10-year, statewide program, called the Transportation Intermodal Model for Economic Development (the TIMED program), was the single largest highway construction program in the history of the state.

Movassaghi spent 25 years in academia, involved in teaching, research and administration, and is a former head of the Civil Engineering Department at UL Lafayette. His academic career includes appointments at two other universities. He has a B.S. in civil engineering from UL, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from LSU. He was elected to LSU Civil Engineering Hall of Distinction in 2005.