John (Zhiyao) Shen, Ph.D., PE, LEED AP BD+C

Deputy Director, Water Resources Engineering


Dr. Shen is a registered Professional Engineer in several states, with 35 years of experience in all design aspects of civil, water resource and environmental engineering for federal, state, local and private construction projects. He has managed and completed large multi-million-dollar projects. Dr. Shen’s areas of expertise include:

  • Hydrology and hydraulics analyses, water system modeling, sewer system modeling, storm drainage system modeling
  • SWM LID, ESD & BMP designs and MS4 and TMDL compliance
  • SWPPP (ESC, SWM, P2) designs and general permit compliance
  • FEMA digital floodplain mapping and flood mitigation
  • Storm drainage, sanitary sewers, force main, combined sewer overflows, pump station, water distribution system
  • Dam safety, spillway rehabilitations, dam breach, EAP, and inundation GIS mapping
  • Water and wastewater treatment plant design and engineering
  • Land development and site plan designs, roadway designs, and entrance improvements
  • Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) and the Facility Response Plan (FRP) Building plumbing design, LEED for building water efficient, grey water reuse, and rainwater harvesting

“I feel proud of my job at Straughan when I enjoy drinking fresh clean water every day.”

Tell us about your most exciting or rewarding project at Straughan.

The I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge – Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project is an exciting and challenging project I work on at Straughan. It is the largest construction project in Virginia’s history with about $3.8 billion total construction costs. Since the project is under a design and build contract, obtaining construction general permits (CGPs) for construction under a very stringent schedule becomes so critical for the project success. It is a rewarding project for me to be able to work with so many talented people at Straughan and HRBT Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) teams and manage SWPPP preparation and CGP permit application successfully for the project obtaining the CGP permit as required at each construction milestone according to the overall construction schedule.

What’s your favorite season?

Spring because of the ideal temperatures to pursue cool outdoor adventures.

What do you like about working at Straughan?

The friendly and flexible working environment.