Adam Yala

Ph.D., P.E.

Director of Engineering


Dr. Adam Yala has over 25 years of professional experience and specializes in the forensic investigation of residential, commercial, and industrial structures. Dr. Yala also specializes in the repair of damaged structures, cause and origin of structural failures, determining the extent of damage, fire damage, and water intrusion. His expertise also encompasses emergency response to evaluate structural conditions in the context of disasters, including fire, collapse, and flooding.

Dr. Yala has been involved in the analysis, design, and construction inspection of new construction and renovation and retrofit projects. Additionally, he has played an essential role in all phases of design, investigation, and restoration projects for steel, concrete, masonry, and timber structures. Dr. Yala has directed project staff to prepare contract documents, including drawings and specifications. He communicates with clients to understand project requirements and resolve complex construction or engineering problems.


  • Ph.D. | Doctor of Philosophy
  • P.E. | Professional Engineer

Representative Consulting Assignments

  • Great American Tower at Queen City Square | Cincinnati, OH | Structural engineering for a LEED Gold mixed-use tower with 40 levels of office space, seven levels of parking and a 130-foot award-winning steel crown at the structure’s top. The building is both the tallest and greenest building in Cincinnati. The building connects to 303 Broadway at Queen City Square.
  • Metropolitan Tower | Chicago, IL | Structural design and construction administration of the award-winning conversion of an office building into a mixed-use complex with retail, office, residential and parking functions. The project included the demolition and investigation of 318 South Michigan Avenue, including infrastructure logistics and sequencing.
  • Fairbanks at City Front Plaza | Chicago, IL | Structural design of a 31-story residential tower featuring 281 condominium units, a 55,000-square-foot supermarket, restaurants, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, media room, and parking for more than 620 vehicles.
  • Townhome Complex Building | Deerfield Beach, FL | Performed an investigation of claimed hurricane damage to multi-family townhome complex buildings located in Deerfield, Florida. The Property consisted of a total of 775 residential townhouses and two (2) common area pool/office buildings. All buildings were two-story high and include 7 to 11 townhouse units.
  • 192 Condominium Units | Miami, FL | Performed an investigation and on-site visual inspection for the building roof surfaces at a property located in Miami. The Property consisted of a total of 20 residential buildings and a common area pool/office building.
  • Origin and Cause Investigations | California | Collapse of a two-story shear wall reinforcing cage that resulted in a fatality and property damage (San Diego), investigation of the collapse of very long span wood trusses that failed during construction (Arizona), and investigation of several commercial and residential store front/roof collapses (California).
  • Private Residence | California | Investigation of water intrusions into muti-million dollars residences (Malibu, CA) and commercial buildings (Los Angeles, Bel Air, Beverly Hills)
  • Commercial Buildings | West Coast | Structural Fire Damage Assessment: Several commercial buildings in the Las Vegas area, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • Private Residence | West Coast | Litigation work: Expert witness for water intrusions and foundations settlement at a residence in Las Vegas NV and at a residence in Chino Valley, AZ. Expert witness for weld testing at a hospital in the Los Angeles area.
  • Multi-Tenant Residential Building | Construction/Design Defect: Water intrusion caused by construction defects in a muti-tenants residential building in the Los Angeles area, and review of construction documents for design defects that caused a post-tensioned concrete slab to fail during construction.

Professional Experience

  • 2023 - Current | Director of Engineering | YA Engineering Services
  • 2018 - 2023 | Vice President | J.S. Held LLC
  • 2017 - 2018 | Senior Managing Consultant | ESI
  • 1999 - 2017 | Vice President | Thornton Tomasetti

Area of Practice

  • Building Code Upgrade Review
  • Building Envelope
  • Construction Administration
  • Damage Assessment
  • Failure Analysis
  • Litigation Support
  • Repair and Rehabilitation Design
  • Roofing
  • Structural Analysis
  • Water Leakage Testing and Analysis

Publications and Presentations

  • A. Yala, K. Maschke, K. Jackson, “Steel Provides Answer to Building on Top of Existing Parking Garage”, Structure Magazine
  • A. Yala (Co-Author), “ASCE Guidelines for Forensic Engineering: Case Study of Partial Building Collapse”, Structural Engineers’ Conference & Expo, Chicago, Illinois
  • A. Yala (Co-Author), “Serviceability Load Test of a Reinforced Concrete Flat Plate Retrofitted with Drop Panels”, ACI Convention: Spice Up Your Concrete, Kansas City, Missouri
  • A. Yala (Co-Author), “High-Tech High Rise”, Modern Steel Construction
  • S.A. Guralnick and Abbes Yala, “Plastic Collapse, Incremental collapse and Shakedown of Reinforced Concrete Structures", American Concrete Institute, V. 95, No. 2
  • J. Mohammadi and Abbes Yala, "Dynamic Behavior of a Multi-Lane Skewed Highway Bridge Under Traffic Loads", Structural Engineering Review, Vol. 4, No. 3
  • A. Yala, J. Mohammadi, "An Investigation of the Effect of Moving Loads on Dynamic Behavior of Highway Bridges", 27th Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, San Antonio, TX


  • Illinois Institute of Technology - Ph.D. - Structural Engineering - Chicago - Illinois
  • Illinois Institute of Technology - Master of Science - Structural Engineering - Chicago - Illinois
  • National Polytechnic School of Algiers - Bachelor of Science - Civil Engineering - Algiers


  • C83632 - California - Professional Engineer
  • 30520 - Wisconsin - Professional Engineer
  • 027582 - Nevada - Professional Engineer
  • 20103377 - Washington - Professional Engineer
  • 71118 - Arizona - Professional Engineer