2017 40 Under 40: Vahid Balali, 31

BIM and Project Controls Specialist, STV

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief May 15, 2017

Vahid Balali, 31

BIM and Project Controls Specialist, STV, Los Angeles

BS and MS Civil Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran

MS Construction Engineering and Management, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

PhD Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Balali brings a unique perspective and extensive knowledge to his dual roles as an assistant professor at California State University Long Beach and building information modeling (BIM) and project controls specialist with STV. He has worked on automating processes through image-based recognition, 3-D localization, and the evaluation of infrastructure for enhanced condition assessment. He has developed a vision-based roadway assets recognition and 3-D reconstruction system that is both inexpensive and easily implemented. Balali has become a key member of STV’s team on the $4 billion redevelopment of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. His role calls for him to interact with the client, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with airline representatives, vendors, maintenance, and operations personnel to develop plans for future maintenance needs. Using data generated by stakeholders and surveys, he is developing a comprehensive list of items to be incorporated into a final BIM design. The focus of Balali’s volunteer service has centered on promoting engineering and the larger STEM curriculum for high school and middle school girls and minority students. As part of NASA’s INSPIRE program (Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience), he served as a presenting engineer for high school students looking to discern what STEM-based careers interest them. Specifically, Balali promoted civil engineering and what skills and knowledge students would need to apply for college and in their chosen career paths. He enjoys amateur photography and takes high-quality pictures of nature and friends. He also likes to cook, particularly barbecue over a charcoal grill.