TSC's Award-Winning Employees
This yearís recipient of TSCís Engineer of the Year Award, Don Read has over 34 years of experience with Reclamation as a mechanical engineer. The award was presented as a result of engineering achievements, professional and technical society involvement, and various civic and humanitarian activities.
Donís recent engineering projects include modifying and rehabilitating the reverse-flow gates at the John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington. Six of these were coaster gates built in 1930, and the remaining six wheel-mounted gates were built in the early 70s, so they are of different designs and construction. The modifications change the way the older ones operate to conform to current practices by modifying the coaster gates into wheel-mounted gates. This dramatically reduces future maintenance costs for the gate and greatly simplifies the hydraulic operating system.
In his career, Don has worked on more than 200 dams, including the big ones such as Grand Coulee in Washington, Folsom in California, Hoover in Arizona/Nevada, Arrowrock in Idaho, and Canyon Ferry in Montana, and small ones such as Derby Diversion Dam in Nevada, our oldest dam. Don designs gates and valves for outlet works, hydraulic control systems (think log splitter on steroids), and various devices and systems to help our Regions, Area Offices, water districts, and sister agencies perform their work.
Don says: ďI am one of a multitude of TSC experts performing crucial work to our Western States, and I am very honored by this award. The challenge in selecting an engineer is that usually our work doesnít occur under cameras and lights. Most of the time the evidence of a job well done is that no one notices. Iím proud to tell people that I work for the Bureau of Reclamation and grateful that I get paid for doing something I love.ď
Frederick L. Nibling, Jr., of the TSC’s Environmental Applications and Resources Group, has been granted the Meritorious Service Award of the Department of the Interior in recognition of his significant career technical and leadership achievements. Fred has led Reclamation’s efforts to deal with invasive species for over 30 years. He conducted research to address invasive species issues and developed integrated pest management plans for numerous Reclamation projects. These efforts saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in control costs and significantly improved water delivery reliability, while reducing adverse environmental impacts associated with alternative control methods. In addition to being recognized by Reclamation partners and area offices, Fred was cited for his use of grass carp to control aquatic weeds in several projects by Commissioner Dennis Underwood and for his use of biocontrol methods to control purple loosestrife in the Pacific northwest by Commissioner Eluid Martinez. More recently, Fred has been a leader in Reclamation’s efforts to deal with the invasion of zebra and quagga mussels. As Reclamation’s representative, he helped form the Zebra Mussel Task Force and Western Regional Panel, groups comprised of public and private entities intended to limit the introduction, spread and impacts of aquatic nuisance species into the west.
Reclamation began an early detection program at our reservoirs soon after adult mussels were detected in Lake Mead and the lower Colorado River system. Samples from more than 400 reservoirs have been tested at our Denver lab, with funding provided by the Science and Technology Program and regional offices. This lab won the Colorado Labs 2012 Governor’s Award for High Impact Research for its improved early detection and DNA testing methods.
Colorado Governor Hickenlooper presents the Reclamation Mussel Research Lab with the 2012 COLABS Governor’s High Impact Research Award. From left: Jeremiah Root, Kevin Bloom, Kyle Rulli, Ben Roske, Chris Holdren, Denise Hosler, Craig Albertsen, Sherri Pucherelli, Jacque Keel, Tanna George, Curt Brown.
Denise Hosler in the Invasive Mussel Research Lab. The test tube on the left is Ms. Hosler’s invention—it allows the veligers (microscopic early stages of the mussel) to settle at the bottom of the tube where they can be counted. Her computer at right is displaying some of her advanced DNA testing techniques.
Meritorious Service Award for Pimley; Superior Service Awards for Crutchfield, Edwards, Lender, Murphy, and Romansky
During the celebration of Employee Appreciation Day at Reclamation's Denver Office, August 23, 2012, Commissioner Michael Connor presented Departmental-level honor awards to six Technical Service Center personnel.
Lowell D. Pimley, Director of the TSC, was granted a Meritorious Service Award for his outstanding leadership, dedication, and accomplishments for the Bureau of Reclamation. Lowell oversees the activities of more than 500 engineers, scientists, and technicians providing specialized technical assistance to Reclamation offices. He was instrumental in developing the TSC’s organization structure, work processes, and business practices. Under his leadership, the Technical Service Center maintains a continuous strategic plan focused on workload, workforce, product delivery, and financial stability. This business model allows the TSC to quickly adjust technical capabilities to meet evolving needs, and the workload/staffing portions of it have now been adopted throughout Reclamation, resulting in substantial cost savings. Lowell was also recognized for his role in developing a comprehensive succession plan, preservation of the TSC’s intellectual capital, and increasing the TSC’s efficiency and productivity.
Lloyd G. Crutchfield, Engineering Geology Group Manager, received a Superior Service Award in recognition of his outstanding technical and managerial contributions. Lloyd worked to advance the state-of-the-practice in engineering geology by demonstrating the importance of this discipline in the analysis and design of dams and other water resource projects. He participated on projects in all of Reclamation’s regions, but especially in the Great Plains Region where, as the Regional Geologist, he supervised the field geologic and exploration staff. He provided outstanding technical support of the investigations and analyses of the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel. In recent years, he has hosted, helped organize, and provided technical presentations for the biannual Construction and Geology Conferences and the Drill Foreman’s Workshops. As the Manager of Engineering Geology, he has served the Dam Safety Program in providing technical guidance, coordination, and prioritization for Reclamation’s geology and drill crew staff in regional and area offices. This helped the Dam Safety Program and the TSC to focus on high-priority investigations and enhanced Reclamation’s workforce efficiency.
David K. Edwards, civil engineer in the Water Conveyance Group, was presented with a Superior Service Award in recognition of his outstanding technical and managerial contributions to the design of water conveyance features. Dave is one of Reclamation’s leading authorities in the analysis, design, and evaluation of canals, water diversion structures, and fish facilities. His technical knowledge and managerial skills were critical to the successful completion of many Reclamation projects, including the Tehama-Colusa Canal, Red Bluff Demonstration Pumping Plant, Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement, Chiloquin Dam Removal, Block 8 Navajo Indian Irrigation, Coachella Canal Lining Project, Durango Pumping Plant, Battle Creek Hydropower Facilities Modification, and Brock Reservoir. His technical assistance during the Truckee Canal Breach Emergency Response and the Truckee Canal Issue Evaluation helped to establish safety inspection protocols and tools that have been used to evaluate canals across Reclamation’s inventory. His oversight of emergency repairs to the All American Canal System, following the Sierra El Mayor earthquake of April 2010, prevented an imminent failure of the canal, helped maintain critical water deliveries to the Imperial Valley, and may have saved some lives
Nancy B. Lender, civil engineer in the Estimating, Specifications, and Construction Management Group, received a Superior Service Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the fields of construction and project management. Nancy has distinguished herself with Reclamation over the last 30 years in the areas of construction claims analysis and resolution, construction scheduling, and project management. She has served as a key technical resource in the resolution of numerous construction claims. Her work has included analyses of technical considerations, schedule and cost-impact analyses, and negotiations and dispute resolution processes for construction-related issues totaling more than 130 million dollars. Nancy has proven to be an outstanding ambassador for Reclamation. Her excellent communication and technical skills were crucial in the successful resolution of numerous difficult contract issues and modifications. She also is a co-author of the TSC’s Project Management Guidelines. Her construction management knowledge and skills were critical to the completion of many features associated with the Central Arizona Project.
Andrew P. Murphy, research chemist in the Environmental Applications and Research Group, was granted a Superior Service Award for his significant technical and leadership achievements. Andy’s research has led to important improvements in water treatment membranes. He obtained a United States Patent for a significantly improved chlorine-resistant polyamide membrane in October 2010, and is a joint holder of another patent issued in 2011 for an improved cellulose acetate membrane. The improvements in membrane formulation covered by these patents will improve the durability of membranes and will help reduce water treatment costs. Andy cultivated partnerships with the private sector, academia, and other Reclamation offices to advance this research. He has also made invaluable contributions to future research by mentoring other Reclamation employees, who are now joint patent holders on some of his patents. The new membranes have the potential to benefit the entire water treatment industry. Andy has been working on the chlorine-resistant membrane project since 2003.
Michael J. Romansky, civil engineer in Geotechnical Engineering Group 2, was presented with a Superior Service Award in recognition of his technical contributions related to the design, analysis, and construction of geotechnical engineering projects. During more than three decades at Reclamation, Mike has developed expertise in all aspects of rock mechanics and has applied this knowledge in the realms of laboratory testing, field exploration, analysis, and design. He has used his technical skills and understanding of geologic conditions to evaluate rock slopes, the abutments of concrete dams, and the rock matrix surrounding tunnels and underground chambers. He has provided design, analysis, and construction support for many critical Reclamation dam safety projects (including Pine View, Hoover, Horsetooth, and Folsom Dams) and for many new projects (including Jordanelle, Spring Creek Diversion, and Ridges Basin Dams). He also takes a special interest in the development and mentoring of junior engineers. Both experienced team leads and junior engineers seek him out for advice on difficult and specialized tasks. He effectively communicates with all, including construction personnel and high level experts on consultant review boards, and his communication skills have improved cooperation in the workplace.
The U.S. Society on Dams has presented its annual award for Best Paper by a Young Professional to Hillery Venturini, of the TSC's Structural Analysis Group. The presentation was made April 25, 2012, during USSD's Annual Meeting and Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Hillery's winning paper was Freeze-Thaw Deterioration on Aging Structures — Structural Analysis of Gerber Dam. Gerber Dam, near Bonanza, Oregon, was built in 1925 and is suffering from freeze-thaw damage, particularly the exposed downstream face of the dam where it is not thermally protected by the reservoir. Hillery's paper provides information on the physical inspection of the dam and computer modeling that was completed to perform a structural analysis based on the current condition.
Jack Touseull Receives Award of Merit for Contributions to ASTM International Soil and Rock Standards
ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock has presented the Award of Merit to Jack Touseull, of the TSC's Engineering Geology Group 2. The Award of Merit is ASTM’s highest organizational recognition for individual contributions to ASTM standards activities.
The American Society of Civil Engineers recently recognized outstanding reviewers for all of their journals for 2011. Tony Wahl, of the TSC's Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group, and Henry Falvey, who retired from the same group in 1987, were among ten outstanding reviewers recognized for the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering.
The 2012 Hugo B. Fischer Award was presented to Nancy Parker, Water Resources Planning and Operations Support Group, by the California Water & Environmental Modeling Forum. The presentation was made April 16, 2012, at the group's annual meeting in Folsom, California. The award is made in honor of the late Professor Hugo B. Fischer's pioneering work on San Francisco Bay-Delta water quality modeling, and is given annually for (1) the development, refinement or innovative application of a computer model or (2) furtherance of the effective use of models in planning or regulatory functions.
Nancy was recognized for her leadership in the development and application of models — CalSim, Water Resources Integrated Modeling System (WRIMS), and CalLite — for decision support in California water management. In particular CWEMF recognized her efforts in developing the Central Valley Project logic that is used in CalSim II. Her work has allowed the California Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation to jointly develop, release, and successfully apply CalSim II as general water resources planning software.
Commissioner Michael Connor presented Reclamation's Engineer of the Year Award to TSC's Warren Frizell at a ceremony in Denver on December 14, 2011.
Warren is a Research Hydraulic Engineer in the Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group. He has made dramatic contributions to the solution of hydraulic engineering research and design problems affecting Reclamation facilities. His specialized experience includes physical scale modeling and field testing of high head gates and valves, hydroturbines and all manner of hydraulic structures experiencing high-speed, high-energy flow.
During the last three years, he has been extensively involved in the hydraulic analyses and design work related to the new auxiliary spillway and stilling basin for the Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project. Warren has made detailed and sophisticated analyses of the potential for cavitation of the proposed stepped spillway and stilling basin baffle blocks, and developed a revolutionary supercavitating baffle block to minimize the potential for future cavitation damage. This new feature will greatly extend the life of the facility.
Warren's work has directly improved the safety and reliability of many of Reclamation's hydraulic facilities. Additional recent work includes the development of new methods to predict uplift pressures and flow through joints in high-velocity flow surfaces such as spillways. This work has prompted requests for technical advice from other agencies for their high-profile spillway and dam safety projects.
Westin Joy, a civil engineer working for the Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory Group, has been chosen as the recipient for the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s (PCI) Martin P. Korn Award for 2011. This award recognizes a paper published in the PCI Journal that is most “worthy of special commendation for its merit as a contribution in design and research to the advancement of precast and prestressed concrete.”
Westin and his co-authors, Dr. Charles Dolan, University of Wyoming, and Donald Meinheit, of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, submitted a paper entitled “Concrete Capacity Design of Cazaly Hangers in Shallow Members.” The paper, based on his master’s thesis, was published in the Fall 2010 issue of the PCI Journal. The paper evaluated the behavior of the Cazaly Hanger under vertical load and proposes a revision to the current PCI Design Handbook by adding an additional design requirement for the connection.
Westin will receive his award at the Annual PCI Convention in Salt Lake City on October 23.
Reclamation's Commissioner Michael Connor presented Superior Service Awards to two Technical Service Center managers on September 7, 2011, at the Reclamation Managers’ Conference in Henderson, Nevada.
Karen Knight, Chief of the TSC’s Geotechnical Services Division, was honored for her “outstanding technical and managerial contributions to the geotechnical engineering, dam safety, and general technical capabilities of the Bureau of Reclamation.” Her citation mentions her leadership and oversight of a wide variety of dam safety projects ranging from Folsom to Red Willow to Scoggins Dams, her contributions to the Managing for Excellence effort and subsequent Coordination Oversight Group, and her work on strategic initiatives to develop mentoring and mid-career technical development programs, among many other accomplishments.
Christi Young, Manager of the TSC’s Client Support and Technical Presentations Office, was recognized for “her significant technical and managerial contributions, related to hydraulic engineering and the efficient business operations of the Bureau of Reclamation.” The accomplishments specifically mentioned in her citation include her effective team leadership and key project management services to a variety of studies of the Rio Grande, her service as the TSC’s primary liaison with the Human Resources Office in support of the TSC’s succession planning efforts, her role in establishing recruiting strategies and specific recruiting activities that have yielded numerous highly qualified new hires, and her representation of the TSC on numerous interoffice teams.
On June 13, 2011, Jeffrey Farrar of the Engineering Geology Group received the Woodland Shockley Memorial Award at the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) meeting of committee D18 on Soil & Rock.
The Shockley Award is the highest award given by the committee and is granted to a person of recognized eminence. The award grants an honorary membership in committee, and the recipient’s name is inscribed on a special plaque mounted at ASTM headquarters.
Jeff has been a member for many years and has served six terms as the chair of various subcommittees, including those on Sampling and Related Field Testing, Groundwater and Vadose Zone Investigations, and Education and Training, and he currently chairs the Construction Control Testing subcommittee. Jeff also served on the executive subcommittee. He has received five standard development awards, five special service awards, and the Ivan Johnson Achievement Award.
Jeff’s colleague, Jack Touseull, Geotechnical Services Group, previously received this same award. With Reclamation’s support, Jack and Jeff have done an excellent job on this committee and performed extensive technology transfer activities with their experience from authoring the Earth and Rock Manuals.
Yuliana Porras, Water Treatment Engineering Research Team, received the “Professional Member of the Year” for her dedication and hard work. She has been an outstanding professional member for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers in Region 3 from fiscal year 2010-2011. She has exceeded the expectations as a member and as a leader. Yuliana is a very active member with the Colorado Chapter and has accomplished many things. She was a major component in the planning of the 2010-2011 Regional Leadership Development Conference (RLDC), which was the most successful RLDC in Region 3 history.
Katie Bartojay is Reclamation Engineer of the Year
Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor has congratulated Katie Bartojay of the Technical Service Center on being named the Reclamation Engineer of the Year. Her award was presented to her by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science John Tubbs on Feb. 24, 2011.
Katie is a civil engineer in the TSC's Materials and Engineering Laboratory, where she manages large-scale laboratory investigations for mass concrete mixtures and field investigations of deteriorating concrete. She also participates on many other design teams for Reclamation and has published several professional papers. She provides technical advice throughout Reclamation to resolve concrete construction problems and to assist in creating project specifications for a wide variety of concrete features.
She is the primary technical construction materials contact for Reclamation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In this role, she coordinates work activities to ensure that the resulting several hundred test specimens are properly made and tested and directs modifications to the testing program. She also wrote the materials section of the Quality Assurance Manual for the $250 million Warren H. Brock Reservoir and is an advisory panel member for the Dam Safety Office's Technology Development Program.
She was a featured speaker on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels episode, “Dams.” She explained why mass concrete is used to build large dams. She also is a past President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, and currently serves on multiple national ACI committees.
Katie was previously named the TSC's Engineer of the Year in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently working on her Masters Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado.
Two Received Special Service Awards from ASTM
Two TSC Civil Engineers received Special Service Awards from ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock, at the Committee’s meeting in Baltimore on January 31, 2011. Jack Touseull, Embankment Dams and Geotechnical Engineering Group 2, and Jeff Farrar, Engineering Geology Group, were both honored for having served for three two-year terms as Subcommittee Chairmen. Jeff was chairman of Subcommittee D18.21 on Groundwater and Vadose Zone investigations, while Jack chaired Subcommittee D18.91 on Standards Development and Review. Both men are also previous recipients of the Committee’s A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Achievement Award.
Exemplary Act Award to Bret Robertson
On January 14, John Bret Robertson, Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory, was presented the Department of the Interior’s Exemplary Act Award in recognition of his efforts to assist a person in dire need and his unwavering compassion and concern. Bret took quick action to save the life of a participant during the 2010 International Safety Evaluation and Visual Inspection of Existing Dams International Technical Seminar and Study Tour, which is sponsored by the Reclamation International Affairs Office.
Lisa Fotherby Named Federal Engineer of the Year for 2010
On Thursday, February 18, 2010, Lisa Fotherby, Ph.D., P.E., a Hydraulic Engineer in the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group (86-68240), was named the 2010 Federal Engineer of the Year at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Lisa is the first Reclamation engineer to be chosen for this prestigious award.
Lisa was selected for her significant achievements in the fields of
river research and development, river engineering and restoration
design, and collaborative planning in interdisciplinary teams for
adaptive management. For the Animas-La Plata Project in
Colorado, she designed 3 miles of meandering stream for flow
delivery. This ecosystem friendly design preserves preproject
sediment movement in the stream system, promotes expansion of
riparian habitat and natural channel evolution, and protects a
native fishery in the downstream Animas River.
Of the 96,000 federally employed engineers identified by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 28 were nominated and only 1 of
10 finalists was selected for the award.
In addition to winning the top honor, Lisa was honored with
receptions at the Commissioner’s Office in Washington and at the
Denver Office. She also met with Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary
for Water and Science.
2009 Reclamation's Engineer of the Year AwardWinner is Dr. John England of the Technical Service Center, Flood Hydrology and Consequences Group (86-68250). John has pioneered the research, development and application of new techniques to estimate extreme flood probabilities for dam safety, and he has overseen their use in Reclamation's risk analysis procedures.
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