National Engineers Week Spotlight – Craig Evans

Bio Stats: Daniel (Craig) Evans

Position: Structural Engineer

Years with SWL: 20 years started in March 1988

Hometown: Little Rock, Ark.

Education: B.S. in Civil Engineering, Memphis University

Certifications: Licensed Professional Engineer

Hobbies: Engineering

Craig Evans (Center) works with employees of the Beaver Dam power plant to weight a power generation rotor to ensure that the in-house crane’s capacity rating of 450,000 pounds is not exceeded.

Q:  You have been with the district 20 years, how has your job changed over the years?

A:  I have worked for the district for 20 years. Most of my career as a structural engineer.

I worked for private industry for 10 years.

Q:  What positions have you held in the district?

A: Cost estimator, Department of Army intern, and structural engineer 17 of my 20 years.

Q: What was your favorite job position and why?

A: I am a structural engineer. I enjoy serving our field personnel with the different projects that they have to do. We have a great group of operators, mechanics, crane operators, welders and deck hands. They work hard and they are easy to work with. I have learn a lot from them. Most people expect engineers to know everything about these old dams. As an engineer, I have learned a considerable amount from our field personnel. Many times, I have discovered they know more about their issues than I do. As an old engineer, it is better to listen, first.

Q:  What are your short and long term professional and personal goals?

A:  Professional – Keep serving USACE best as I can.

A:  Personal – My goal is to try to support and guide my kids to graduate from college. My first of three will graduate in May 2018.

Q:  What do you do to instill your veteran knowledge in new employees?

A:  We have a great heritage at the USACE. We manage and operate a considerable asset that our country has invested in. Our predecessors we very intelligent and the documents that they have produced are invaluable for making informed decisions about the structures that we maintain and operate.

Q:  What do you enjoy most about your job?

A:  I enjoy working out in the field, inspecting, repairing and analyzing these large structures. Most of my experience is with the gates or the hydraulic steel structures. We have over 900 gates that control water flow through our structures.

Q:  What projects are you working on now and what are some of the challenges?

A:  The center post dewatering structures have some anchors that are embedded in the concrete that have considerable challenges. These anchors have corroded beyond there useful life expectancy. The anchors have to be replace. We are working with the Inland Navigation Design Team to design some of the replacement anchors.

Q:  What has been your favorite project you have worked on?

A: My favorite projects is just working in the field with our project personnel and with the marine terminal crews. These are the true unsung heroes of the Army Corps of Engineers. They have the dirty jobs to keep these enormous structures working. They keep working whether is 100 degrees or 10 degrees.  It is an honor to serve them as they face the daily challenges. They hang from the man baskets, and fall in the water with the alligators, they work hours at extreme heights and depths. They work on and with large pieces of equipment that are very dangerous. They use cranes, front end loaders, dozers, tug boats, barges, generators and welders.  They have to go into deep dark holes and work for hours at time in wet, slimy, humid areas. Some are divers and they work in areas that they cannot see where they are going or where they have been. Many times they can barely see the hand in front of their face.

Q:  What ways have you found to balance your home life with the busy schedule you have at work?

A:  I watch my kids, do their activities. I am an engineer that is all I know how to do.

Q:  Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?

A:  As an engineer, I am responsible for the structural integrity of the structures that I work on and the lives of the people that work in, on and under these structures. I have never considered myself a smart person, I have worked with many engineers that are a lot smarter that I am. Therefore my life verse is Psalms 90:17, “let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm the work of our hands; yes confirm the work of our hands.” If I have any value as an engineer, it is by the grace of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Black History Month Spotlight: Tammy Washington

Tammy Alford Washington is the Deputy Chief of Civil Works Integration Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Southwestern Division.

The Southwestern Division’s Civil Works Mission area of responsibility encompasses all or part of six states, an expanse that contains about 10 percent of the land area (376,300 square miles) and 11 percent of the total population (34.4 million) of the United States, based on 2010 population data. The division’s civil works program involves planning, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of water resource projects to meet the region’s need for water supply, flood damage reduction, navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration, hydropower, recreation and other water-related needs.

Washington’s previous position was the Chief of Programs Management Section for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District. She was responsible for three teams of analysts for the Civil Works and Military and Interagency & International Support (M&I) programs.  She managed and engaged in the life-cycle of formulation, defense and execution of funds management for over $95 million for California, Nevada and Arizona.

In her off time she enjoys mentoring high school boys and girls with her community service based sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; topics include college life, career planning, Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM), relationships etc.

Washington, a 15 year USACE team member, shared some of her thoughts on African American/Black History Month, her time in the Army and some advice for the younger generations.

The Black History Month theme this year is “African Americans in Times of War.”

Q. What are your thoughts on this year’s Black History Month theme and the immeasurable impact African Americans have had on the history of the U.S. military?

A. This is a great way to honor their tremendous sacrifices. African Americans have served in the military during every conflict our Nation has been in. I think it’s important to make sure we recognize their courage, character and personal sacrifices. Many have given their all for a more color-blind America, and their families just the same; let’s recognize and focus on their great dedication to our country.

Q. Having served in the Army you’re part of that distinguished history. Can you talk about your service and how it helped shape who and where you are now?

A. I had a lot of goals growing up, the military offered benefits that put them within reach. I joined the Louisiana Army National Guard in 1988 to help pay for my college degree, but ended up getting so much more out of it. I made bonds that will last a lifetime and gained several job skills that I still use today like discipline, organizational skills, leadership, teamwork and so much more.

Q. Is there someone who inspired you to join the military or served as a mentor?

A. I would say I was inspired by my uncle who retired as a Lt. Col. after 34 years of service in the Army as a physician. I also found out later we share Louisiana State University as an alma mater.

He carried himself with respect and humility rightfully proud of his service to the US Army. Being a Soldier and later a Veteran was more than just a title for him, it’s who he is.

Q. What advice would you share with teenagers considering joining the military or civil service?

A. Set your goals and decide what it’s going to take to get where you want to be. If you can’t get there by your own means you might consider joining the military.

The military can open so many doors and create an unlimited number of opportunities. It may be cliché but you get out what you put into it.

The Army National Guard helped me earn my degree. If you want to be successful in today’s fast paced world you must obtain some higher education and or technical skills. The military is a great way to serve our country while earning a degree or gaining a valuable skill.

Q. What has been your most memorable experience in the military or federal government that you’d like to highlight?

A. The most memorable experience for me was my time in Afghanistan working for the Engineering & Construction Division and Programs and Project Management Division. I managed over $3 billion in active construction work in Kandahar and Kabul. I had the opportunity to work with so many intelligent and talented engineers, analysts, schedulers, project managers, etc. I was also awarded one of the highest awards in my career, the Superior Civilian Service Award, in 2012 for my service in Afghanistan.

Volunteering to serve overseas with the Corps has definitely been the highlight of my personal career.