Five Louisville District employees have recently been recognized at the national level for their outstanding contributions to their profession and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its missions.
“I am truly impressed by the exceptional caliber of professionals within the Louisville District,” said Louisville District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Guillermo Guandique. “Their recent recognition at the national level is a testament to their commitment and dedication to public service and the Corps of Engineers.”
Lauren Alexander, chief of Hydraulics and Hydrology Modeling Section, was awarded Climate Champion of the Year for her contributions to the USACE Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice through technical work, leadership, and mentoring. Alexander was recognized specifically for serving as the lead on the update of the Civil Works Vulnerability Assessment Tool, which aims to capture the vulnerability of USACE infrastructure regarding climate exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. In addition, she led the riverine mapping teams for the International DoD Climate Assessment Tool and the Climate Assessment Tool for partner nations, which included developing 1 percent annual exceedance probability mapping for 71 international military installations and six partner nations.
Kathy Feger, civil engineer, was recognized as Structural Engineer of the Year for her leadership and expertise in advancement in the field of structural engineering, faithful commitment to excellence, duty, and her tireless efforts continuing to drive USACE forward as a world-class leader in engineering. She has led efforts as a structural technical lead for the Montgomery Lock Megaproject, New 3rd Lock at the Soo Lock Megaproject, and operations and maintenance projects for Markland, Smithland, JT Myers, and Olmsted Locks and Dam.
Quyet La, Louisville District value officer, was awarded Value Engineering Professional of the Year for his leadership, workload execution and mentorship within USACE fulfilling many needs at Louisville District, Europe District, and Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. La has led the district in exceeding cost avoidance and savings goals with high returns on investments, putting the Louisville District as a leader in compliance among the enterprise. He has also solidified the standardization of the Value Engineering program management and championed the approval of the VE pilot program for the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.
“I am delighted that we have three national award winners from Engineering Division this year,” said Louisville District Engineering Division Chief, Ian Mitchell. “As a fellow alum, I am proud to say that all three are University of Louisville Civil Engineering Department graduates!”
Additionally, Operations Division and Planning, Programs and Project Management Division each had an employee nationally recognized.
Deryck Rodgers, Nolin River Lake project manager, was awarded Natural Resource Management (NRM) Employee of the Year for his outstanding achievements in the field of natural resources management exemplifying the USACE commitment to natural resources stewardship, environmental compliance, and recreation management, as well as demonstrated leadership and commitment to the USACE natural resources management community. Rodgers recently served as Project Manager for the revision of the Cecil M. Harden Lake Shoreline Management Plan and currently manages an environmental stewardship program which benefits Nolin River Lake. The program has caught the attention of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center who is looking at Nolin River Lake as a case study involving novel use for reef ball structures.
Brandon Brummett, Louisville District outreach coordinator, was awarded Silver Jackets Coordinator of the Year for his leadership of the Indiana and Kentucky Silver Jackets Teams. Silver Jackets teams bring multiple agencies together to find solutions to mitigate flood risks. In 2022, Brummett stepped into the role of Infrastructure Systems Recovery Support Function Field Coordinator following the Eastern Kentucky floods in 2022. Brummett also served as the interim leader of the Indiana Silver Jackets team while a new state lead was identified. His leadership and strong interagency relationships established over the last 15 years as the Silver Jackets Coordinator for Indiana and Kentucky has added great value to these teams and their recovery efforts.
In addition, Louisville District employees played a significant role as members of the Montgomery Lock – New River Chamber BIM Team, which was awarded the 2023 CAD/BIM Team Award of Excellence. The Patrick Air Force Base – 130J General Maintenance Hangar and the Westover Air Reserve Base Regionalized Isochronal Maintenance Hangar were also selected as winning projects for the 2023 Value Engineering Achievement Award, both from the Louisville Air Force Reserve Program.