After conducting a nationwide search, Champaign City Manager Dorothy Ann
David has selected three finalists to interview for the Public Works Director position – Sinan
Alpaslan, Benjamin Jordan, and Thomas Somers. Biographical information and a video
statement from each finalist are now available on the City’s website at
champaignil.gov/pwdirector. For health and safety reasons related to increased COVID-19
positivity rates, each finalist will participate in panel interviews virtually on January 14, 2022.
Sinan Alpaslan has served as the Director of Public Works and Parks for the City of University
City, Missouri since 2015. Alpaslan previously worked as Assistant Public Works Director for
the City of University City, Project Manager for DAAR Engineering, Civil/Structural Engineer
for Penta Engineering, Project Manager for the City of University City, and Project Engineer for
Akfen Group. Alpaslan has a Master of Construction Management degree from Washington
University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Istanbul
Benjamin Jordan has served as the Teaching Faculty III/Program Director for the College of
Engineering Interdisciplinary Professional Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
since 2021. Jordan previously worked as a Faculty Associate, Associate Faculty Associate and
Assistant Faculty Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Forensic Engineer at
Robson Forensic; Director of Public Works/City Engineer and Assistant Director of Public
Works for the Village of Park Forest, Illinois; and Civil Engineer II and I for the Illinois
Department of Transportation. Jordan has completed coursework toward a Graduate Certificate
in Public Management at the University of Missouri and has a Bachelor of Science degree in
Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Thomas Somers has served as the Director of Public Works for the City of Herrin, Illinois since
2009. Somers previously worked as Project Engineer/Manager for Lawrence A. Lipe &
Associates, Project Manager/Estimator for KSG Asphalt, LLC, Project Engineer/Manager for
Lawrence A. Lipe & Associates, Engineering Technician for Lawrence A. Lipe & Associates,
and as a temporary Engineering Technician for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Somers has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Southern Illinois University
and an Associate of Science degree from John A. Logan College.
“I am very pleased that each of these highly qualified finalists have agreed to interview for our
Public Works Director position,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “This is a critical
position for the City, and I look forward to learning more about each candidate’s experience and
leadership qualifications. This is a very challenging time to recruit for executive-level positions
and I want to thank everyone who applied for their interest in serving the City of Champaign and
Each finalist will participate in a comprehensive interview process designed to assess their
professional strengths and weaknesses and to help each candidate learn more about the
Champaign-Urbana community, the City organization, and the Champaign Public Works
Department. Candidates will answer questions from the interview panels, which will be
comprised of the City Manager, City executive leadership, Public Work managers, union
representatives, and other key City employees who work closely with the Public Works
Department. Interview panelists will provide their comments and feedback about each finalist to
the City Manager for her review and consideration.