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.

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