Meet our speakers, part one
02 October 2023
As the World Demolition Summit (WDS) celebrates its 15th anniversary, the event returns to showcase the work and achievements of the demolition industry.
This year’s WDS, taking place in Toronto, Canada (17-18 October), will offer an exclusive in-depth look at some of the most remarkable projects carried out around the world, and provide a platform for discussions about the key issues affecting our industry. And here is our lineup of the industry experts who are helping us to bring it all together…
Meet the speakers
Pierre Migny Torres, Project Director and Alexandre Druet, Site Director and Deconstruction Technical Advisor
Presentation topic: The challenges to be addressed as a client
Pierre is a deconstruction projects director at EDF’s thermal engineering department. He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Arts et Métiers Paristech, and a specialised master’s in civil engineering of major energy works, from Centrale Paris.
After graduating in 2014, he worked as technical manager on asbestos removal and deconstruction works, and then oversaw several tender processes to select contractors.
Alexandre is a site director and deconstruction technical advisor in EDF‘s thermal engineering department. He holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering specialised in the dismantling of industrial works.
Alexandre has worked on deconstruction projects at EDF since 2007. With more than 10 years of onsite experience, he has taken charge of several tender processes.
LaJuan Counts, Executive Director, City of Detroit Construction & Demolition Department
Presentation topic: The blueprint: A case study in strategic demolition planning
LaJuan Counts is the Director of Demolition for the City of Detroit and a 30-year veteran in construction and contractor management. In 2020, she was appointed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to lead the newly-formed Demolition Department and oversee the execution of a US$250 million bond initiative created to address more than 8,000 blighted residential properties. She has led major construction and development projects, including a $101 million high-rise apartment complex.
Before taking the helm of Detroit’s Demolition Department, Ms Counts served in various roles with the City of Detroit, including Superintendent of Building Maintenance and General Services Director, where she managed maintenance services for more than 140 facilities.
In late 2022, Mayor Duggan returned responsibility for Capital projects and Facilities back to LaJuan Counts, instituting a “cradle-to-grave” philosophy with responsibility for the construction and care for all city-owned properties throughout their useful life.
Ms Counts, who has been with the City of Detroit for over 26 years, earned a BS in Building Construction Technology from Michigan State University and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Dennis McGarel, Vice President Sales and Estimating, Brandenburg Industrial Service Company
Presentation topic: Johnsonville Fossil Plant, Tennessee
Dennis has been with Brandenburg for more than 25 years. He has held several positions and is currently vice president of sales and estimating.
At this year’s World Demolition Summit, Dennis will speak about the complex Johnsonville plant demolition, which was voted overall World Demolition Award winner (‘Best of the Best’) at the 2022 event.
Brandenburg was established over 50 years ago and is one of the USA’s premier companies specialising in demolition and environmental remediation.
Dr Ahmed Amir Khalil, Director of Engineering, Applied Science International, and Simon Hébert, Project Director, Delsan-AIM
Presentation topic: Risk Analysis during mechanical demolition of the Champlain Bridge
Dr Ahmed is a pioneer in the area of engineering simulations for demolition planning with 25 years of structural engineering experience. During the past 15 years he has specialised in numerical modeling of the demolition of structures.
The team led by Dr. Ahmed at Applied Science International has performed engineering simulations for a variety of industrial structures including cooling towers, silos, tanks, boilers, reactors, conveyers, and stacks.
Simon Hébert has worked in the demolition industry for more than 20 years, mainly in civils infrastructure dismantling. He started his career in the demolition industry as a project manager for a contractor specialising in bridges and highway overpass removal. After many years of services, Simon joined the Delsan-AIM Environmental Services Team in 2015 to manage the civils department.