Meet the New Construction Management Faculty

Lana Coble

Lana Coble joins the Construction Management Program as Associate Professor and Assistant Program Manager. Professor Coble has enjoyed more than 30 years of industrial experience in construction management, working for both facility owners and contractors. She has served in key roles for major projects including a 25-story hospital in the Texas Medical Center, data centers, retail space, public sporting facilities, higher education, infrastructure systems, and the implosion and demolition of tall buildings. Lana's projects have totaled approximately $900 million, covering 12.3 million square feet of usable facilities. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Construction Management Program at UH for several years.

Coble is a consultant to both private and public organizations, who have benefited from her expertise in training and education, implementation of software systems, development of document management systems, and planning mitigation for high profile projects. Complementary to her practical experience, Professor Coble earned her M.S. in Architecture from Texas A&M University and a B.A. in Design and Construction from Trinity University.

Professor Coble is a Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) as well as a Certified Trainer for Primavera and Microsoft Project. She is an active advocate for community programs, women's development in the construction industry, and mentor of her staff and students. As a native Houstonian, Ms. Coble's enthusiasm and passion for her profession and education have touched many in the Greater Houston area.

Dr. Lu Gao

Dr. Lu Gao joins the faculty as a new assistant professor in the Construction Management. Dr. Lu Gao earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a B.E. in Civil Engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 2005. He spent time as an exchange student in Civil Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr. Gao's professional experience includes serving in roles as research and teaching assistant at The University of Texas at Austin, and as a reviewer for three journals: Journal of Infrastructure Systems, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, and the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering.

He was awarded the Road Scholar Fellowship, 2011 by the International Road Federation. In addition, he earned the Best Paper Award, 2010 at the 6th Annual Inter-University Symposium on Infrastructure Management (AISIM6). Dr. Gao's research interests are risk management, transportation system analysis, data mining and information technologies, and optimization and statistics.

Daniel Tesfai

Daniel Tesfai, Instructional Associate Professor, brings more than 20 years of industry experience in Construction Material Testing to the Construction Management Program. Specializing in lab and field testing of soils, concrete, and asphalt, Tesfai is extensively experienced as a senior project manager. He has played integral roles in a variety of city and government projects such as the Federal Inspection Service Building at Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Continental Airlines Cargo facility, the City of Houston Public Works Department, METRO Light Rail, and the Harris County Toll Road Authority. Currently, his consulting firm, TSI Laboratories, conducts construction materials testing projects, performs materials engineering investigations, and evaluates foundation design and construction for various structures. Prior experience includes project management positions at Terracon Consultants, Inc. and Stork Southwestern Laboratories, Inc.; and as a geotechnical engineer for Aviles Engineering and Professional Services, Inc.

Since 2006, Tesfai has taught construction management, soil mechanics and foundation design courses in the Engineering Technology Department. Also, he teaches fundamental math classes at Houston Community College.

A licensed Professional Engineer, he earned his M.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Houston and B.S. in Civil Engineering at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.