Executive Bios

Ehab Kamarah, Interim Executive Director/Director of Capital Programs 

Ehab Kamarah Pic

Dr. Ehab Kamarah is serving as the interim executive director of F&S until a national search for a permanent successor is concluded. Dr. Ehab Kamarah has led the Capital Programs division for Facilities & Services since January 2020, where he oversees active capital improvement projects totaling ~$600M.

Dr. Kamarah possesses extensive experience in managing construction project teams of architects, engineers, planners, and project managers to deliver major capital and renewal projects in the complex and challenging secondary and post-secondary education sector. He has established a proven record of successfully completing large and state-of-the-art projects under tight schedules, on time and on budget, to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

Previously, Dr. Kamarah served as the director of Facilities Development and Engineering Services at York University, the third-largest university in Canada, where he guided an initiative to deliver the university’s ambitious capital and renewal program. His professional career has also included roles as the director of Design and Construction for McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as a project manager for the Toronto School District Board.

Dr. Kamarah is a registered Professional Engineer in Canada and received his master’s and Ph.D. in construction engineering and management from the University of Waterloo. He has conducted research and published multiple papers in international journals and conferences in the area of improving cost and schedule optimization for construction, as well as enhancing the efficiency of project delivery methods for sophisticated infrastructure rehabilitation projects.

Jim Sims, Director of Engineering & Small Construction Services

Sims, Jim Jim Sims oversees Campus Code Compliance & Fire Safety, Construction Services, Engineering Design, Engineering Quality Assurance, Facilities Information Resources, and Transportation Demand Management.

Prior to assuming his current role, Sims served as a planner/engineer and interim senior planner within F&S’ Capital Programs division. Before joining the university in 2012, Sims worked as a structural engineer at Thornton-Tomasetti in Chicago as well as led the Structural Engineering Division at HDC Engineering /MSA Professional Engineers in Champaign.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in civil engineering (structures) from the University of Notre Dame. Sims is a Licensed Structural Engineer, a Licensed Professional Engineer, and a LEED accredited professional.

Maureen Banks, Director of Safety & Compliance

Banks, Maureen-SC-19 

Maureen Banks oversees comprehensive environmental health and occupational safety programs, offers consultative remedies to meet regulatory and statutory compliance, and acts as chief liaison with federal, state, and local agencies. 

Previously, Banks was assistant director of the Division of Safety and Compliance. She has also held the position of assistant director of the Institute for Labor & Industrial Relations.

Banks has served on the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program Advisory Committee, Campus Charitable Fund Drive Board, and Public Safety Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Campus Safety, Health, & Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), Big Ten Environmental Health & Safety Directors, and the University Infectious Disease Work Group.

Banks earned her bachelor’s degree in biological science from Western Illinois. She received a master’s degree in preventive medicine and environmental health from the University of Iowa, followed by her Ph.D. in human resource education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Morgan White, Associate Director Facilities & Services, Sustainability

MBWMorgan White is the Associate Director of Facilities & Services for Sustainability, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2007, White became the first Transportation Demand Management coordinator and was tasked with encouraging active transportation modes and enhancing pedestrian safety. When the university adopted the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) in 2010, she was given the additional responsibility for sustainability. In 2012, the transportation responsibilities transitioned to another staff member, and White is now focused 100% on campus sustainability.

White is the liaison for Facilities & Services with the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (iSEE), students, faculty, administrators, and the community. She is an ex-officio advisory member to the Student Sustainability Committee, which allocates more than $1M each academic year toward campus sustainability projects. White assisted in the development of the Campus Bike Center, the Tree Campus USA and Bee Campus USA designations, and the first and second Solar Farms. Additionally, she represents the campus in the regional sustainability green team and with the Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Group.

White graduated with honors from the University of Illinois as a Chancellor’s Scholar in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, with an emphasis on geotechnical engineering. She also earned a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois. 

Robert Roman, Director of Utilities & Energy Services

Robert RomanRobert Roman brings more than 30 years of industry and higher education experience to the role of director of Utilities & Energy Services. Roman leads all aspects of the utilities production and distribution, energy management and conservation measures, temperature controls systems, energy performance contracting, and business operations. 

Robert came to F&S from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he has served in a similar capacity since 2012. At UIC, Robert managed the planning, budgeting, operation, engineering, and maintenance of co-generation power plants, chilled water plants, and utilities distribution systems for both the west and east campuses. Among other achievements, he implemented a resource maintenance plan and established a maintenance management system for cost accounting and work management process improvements. He also developed an Energy Reduction Task Force as part of strategic initiatives to support greenhouse gas reduction efforts. 

During this period, Robert acted as the vice president of Prairieland Energy, Inc. (PEI), the corporation solely owned by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. His responsibilities at PEI included overseeing UIC energy purchasing, as well as researching, documenting, and presenting energy saving initiatives to campus administration. 

This will be his second stretch on the Urbana campus. From 2006 to 2012, Robert worked as the chief utility plant operating engineer at Abbott Power Plant, and then as director of resources for Utilities Administration, providing project planning support for the University of Illinois System and acting as a legislative affairs liaison for utilities infrastructure and investment matters. 

Robert holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor of science from the University of St. Francis in Joliet. He has previously served as the president of the Illinois APPA chapter and the Chicago Energy Economists. In different capacities, he has also worked for ComEd, Dynegy, and Ross Township and Road District, and he was the owner/general manager of Total Maintenance Services, which provided consulting and sales to utility and industrial companies.

Jenny Watkins, Interim Director of Shared Administrative Services

Watkins, Jenny-SAS-13Jenny Watkins is the interim director of Shared Administrative Services and oversees administrative and managerial support for planning, budgeting, and financial resources for Facilities & Services departments and divisions, including Financial Operations, Information Technology Services, Procurement Services, the Service Office, and Stores & Receiving. 

Watkins holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Eastern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois. Before joining Facilities & Services in November 2013, she worked at the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company for 16 years. She is a member of the Business Manager’s Group (BMG) on campus and has previously served on the Business Affairs Committee for the BMG. 

Before serving in the interim role, Watkins was an associate director of Shared Administrative Services, Financial Operations.

Director of Operations, Maintenance & Alterations