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Kiefer wins coveted engineer of the year award

Published Aug. 17, 2017
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and USACE Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Houston, present the USACE Engineer of the Year award to David Kiefer at the National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., Aug. 2, 2017.

Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, the 54th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and Command Sergeant Major Bradley Houston, the 13th Command Sgt. Maj. of USACE, stand on stage with awardees at the National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., Aug. 2, 2017. The National Awards Ceremony is an annual event that recognizes employees for their achievements. (U.S. Army Photo by Leanne Bledsoe)

David Kiefer, Louisville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil engineer and regional technical specialist, has been awarded the national USACE Engineer of the Year Award.

Kiefer serves as a technical expert during all phases of design and construction for a wide variety of civil works and military projects. Over the course of his 28-year federal career, Kiefer has been recognized within the organization and the geotechnical and materials community of practice as an expert, particularly in the specialized field of concrete and materials.

Kiefer has been involved in high-profile and technically challenging projects. He was a key team member working on the district’s high-impact civil works construction projects including the Olmsted Locks and Dam project, McAlpine roller compacted concrete, and Smithland and Cannelton hydropower projects. These projects successfully used innovative construction methods including roller-compacted concrete, in-the-wet dam construction with tremie concrete and self-consolidating concrete. Most recently, he was a key team member on the Olmsted Left Boat Abutment in-house design team.  

He is an authoritative source of technical leadership and guidance to key engineering and construction personnel within the region. He was a team recipient of the 2014 USACE Innovation of the Year award for his work on the Olmsted Lock and Dam self-consolidating concrete design and implementation. He has also consulted with Chicago District on the McCook Tunnel project and Nashville District on the Center Hill roller compacted concrete buttress. 

For military projects, Kiefer contributed to the design and construction of airfield pavement systems, notably for his technical understanding of requirements for airfield pavement design and construction. His work has been instrumental on numerous projects for the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Wright Patterson Air Force Base and other installations.

“One of his greatest strengths is his ability to work effectively with design team members, construction managers, consultants and contractors to maintain a spirit of partnering and achieve the goals of each project,” according to the nomination.

Kiefer also serves as a mentor to junior and senior professionals in the district, and is an invaluable source of technical expertise for other districts within the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division and the Corps of Engineers.

“I was completely shocked, humbled and very honored when I received the email that I had been selected for the award,” said Kiefer. “I had not been informed that I had been selected as the division nominee so the announcement came as a complete surprise. I was able to attend the award ceremony at Headquarters with my wife and it was an incredible experience. I met both Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and USACE Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Houston at the ceremony and discussed the Olmsted project and its recent successes with them. Overall, it has been a tremendous experience, and I am extremely honored at this recognition.”

“We joke with David around the office about his passion for concrete, but all jokes aside, he is truly one of the Corps’ premier experts in concrete, materials and geotechnical engineering,” said Ryan Jefferies, chief, geotechnical design and levee safety. “David is very humble, but his individual contributions make a tremendous impact in delivering our military and civil works programs.”