ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Feb. 23, 2023) – The Institute for Water Resources (IWR) has named its best of the best during their annual awards ceremony. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ field operating activity held the recognition during a townhall honoring employees for their contributions and accomplishments across all IWR Centers.
IWR Director, Dr. Joe Manous, congratulated the winners, thanking them for their dedication and achievements. “Each awardee and team distinguished themselves not just in their individual accomplishments, but in elevating the quality, capability, and effectiveness of the Civil Works program and the capabilities of the Nation. These outstanding efforts are instrumental in IWR’s ability to effectively deliver new strategies and tools for planning and executing USACE’s water resources programs,” he said. Award recipients were as follows:
Business, Administrative/Technical Support Award of Excellence - Tracy McCawley, Risk Management Center (RMC)
• Tracy McCawley consistently provided exceptional administrative support for a multitude of administrative-related functions as a management support assistant for the RMC’s Eastern Division. She is recognized for a willingness to assist and support management and staff, making informed recommendations to promote continual process improvement and ensure timely and efficient implementation and execution of a multitude of administrative functions.
Employee of the Year - Adam Gohs (RMC)
• Adam went above and beyond his duties as a national expert in geotechnical engineering for dams and levees by demonstrating exceptional leadership developing risk assessment tools and training for USACE, private consultants, and sponsors. In addition to leading state-of-the-art advancements in several training courses including Best Practices, Adam also published technical manuals and tools for the RMC and advised risk assessment teams on several challenging projects.
Leadership and Mentoring Award of Excellence - Marriah Abellera, Water Resources Center (WRC)
• Ms. Marriah Abellera distinguished herself as a consistently exceptional leader, while serving as the IWR Coastal Program Manager that included leading the National Shoreline Management Study (NSMS), Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE), & development of the Coastal Storm Damages Prevented (CSDP) Tool. Her ability to provide leadership across this multifaceted program at the district, MSC, & HQ level including interagency & tribal interests speaks highly of her leadership skills.
Product of the Year - Dredging Information System 2.0 - Alexandra Schafer, Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center (NDC)
• The NDC is spearheading an unprecedented effort focused on the modernization of databases and information decision-support systems for the CW Navigation and Dredging programs. The goal is to develop and enhance capabilities, and to improve data quality and accessibility by users. Using the Agile project management framework as a pilot, the Dredging Information System (DIS 2.0) redesign exemplifies the first successful achievement of NDC's effort. DIS 2.0 was officially released in May 2022.
Scientific/Technical Award of Excellence - Greg Karlovitz, Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC)
• Greg Karlovits is nominated for research and innovative efforts to design, develop, apply, and educate the community in improved methods for modeling storm events used to drive hydrologic and hydraulic simulation models. Greg is leading part of a collaborative effort between FEMA and USACE to support FEMA’s Future of Flood Risk Data initiative. His efforts are modernizing how we create artificial events and evaluate storms, using USACE software, to estimate flood hazard across the nation.
Team of the Year - CWBI (NDC) – Team lead: Justin Pummell (CEIWR-NDC), Team members: W Breitkreutz, , T Hill, A Johnson, S Riley, J Schlagel, L Seethaler, T Upperman, L Zelaya
• The Civil Works Business Intelligence (CWBI) team is recognized for actively leveraging, aligning, and coordinating the diverse strengths of members, distributed across USACE offices and contractor teams, to deliver a cyber-secure cloud environment that has enabled timely migration of 123 Civil Works mission-essential data systems and applications to the cloud, in support of Civil Works' goals of improving the visibility, accessibility, and reliability of its data systems.
Special Act of the Year - Tom Brauer (HEC)
• January through December 2022, Tom Brauer embodied the DevOps principles of collaboration and teamwork by standing up an internal technology transfer webinar series and mentoring numerous colleagues one-on-one. Tom’s leadership in DevOps practices and selfless service as a center-wide resource for software engineering best practices allowed HEC teams to deliver better software more quickly and at less cost while also improving staff skill and office culture.
The Institute for Water Resources (IWR) is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Field Operating Activity that primarily supports the USACE Civil Works mission.
IWR is a 278-person organization consisting of seven centers that include the Water Resources Center (WRC), Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center (NDC), Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX), and International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) all located in Alexandria, VA; Hydrologic Engineer Center (HEC) in Davis, CA; Risk Management Center (RMC) located in Lakewood, CO, Pittsburg, PA, and Louisville, KY; and the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center (WCSC) located in New Orleans, LA.
The vision of IWR is to “provide forward-looking analysis, cutting-edge methodologies, and innovative tools to aid the Civil Works program”.