ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. The Institute for Water Resources (IWR) recently honored team members for excellence at its annual awards ceremony. Merry Henley was named the IWR Employee of the Year in recognition of the exemplary manner in which she provides Human Resources liaison and Resources Management support services to IWR’s directors, corporate organizations, managers and staff. Ms. Henley was particularly cited for her work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Headquarters Manpower Study team, which entailed coordination with senior managers across the IWR organization with USACE Headquarters and the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, as well as her successful establishment and organizational implementation of the new Group S team at IWR.
The U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization Study Team was recognized as the Institute’s Team of the Year for their outstanding effort in developing a strategy for meeting the needs for U.S. port and inland waterway modernization, as well as turning around the “U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization: Preparing for Post-Panamax Vessels” report for Congress within 180 days. The team was led by Keith Hofseth and included team members from across IWR, including the Conflict Resolution and Public Participation Center of Expertise, USACE Headquarters Civil Works, the Inland Navigation Planning Center of Expertise, the Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of Expertise, and the Cost Engineering Center of Expertise.
The Hydrologic Engineering Center Watershed Analysis Tool with the Flood Risk Analysis Computation Option (HEC-WAT) was named the 2013 Product of the Year. The software is recognized for its state-of-the-art innovation and capability to address USACE requirements to perform a comprehensive, system-wide study while incorporating risk analysis. It was created to help USACE study teams conduct watershed and water resources studies in an integrated, comprehensive and systems-based approach. The software integrates commonly applied software that a multi-disciplinary study team uses to perform hydrologic, hydraulic, environmental and planning analyses. HEC-WAT was concurrently developed and implemented for the Columbia River Treaty 2014/2024 Review Study to provide robust analysis for questions that no other modeling software could credibly answer.
IWR leadership was also pleased to honor the following employees for their contributions to the organization throughout the year:
- Robin Ash, Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center Employee of the Year, for outstanding support to the a wide variety of Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center activities, including technology development support to USACE on the implementation of the corporate Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) .
- Ray Jones, National Capital Region, Administrative/Technical Award of Excellence, for his initiative and skill providing support to Group W and to IWR more generally, including several IWR projects and teams such as PIANC USA, the Inland Waterways Users Board and the Planning Associates Program.
- William Lehman, Hydrologic Engineering Center, Scientific/Technical Award of Excellence, for his demonstrated initiative and skill with innovations that have advanced the practices of economics and cost estimation – in particular, a GIS-centric method he created to rapidly compute flood damages with the HEC-FIA software tool using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) HAZUS database and output from hydraulic models.
- Guillermo Mendoza, IWR National Capital Region, Leadership Excellence, for excellence in leadership of teams and programs within IWR and throughout USACE, including such efforts as building a coalition with the U.S. State Department, World Bank, and Conservation International around an alternative “decision scaling” approach to climate change for the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA); leading the pilot team for the Integrated Budget Evaluation Tool (IBET) watershed-based budgeting tool; and running highly successful strategic scenario planning workshops for the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), such as the Mekong River Commission workshops.
- Justin Pummell, IWR @ Pacific Ocean Division, Special Act of the Year, for his leadership in international capacity development efforts across Asia, including high-level events such as the U.S. Pacific Command Regional Environmental Security Conference, Indonesia Disaster Response Exercise & Exchange (DREE) and Bangladesh DREE Exchange.
- Gerhard Kruegar, Hydrologic Engineering Center Employee of the Year, for his contributions to and leadership of the Corps Water Management System (CWMS) team.
- Timothy O’Leary, Risk Management Center Employee of the Year, for outstanding leadership support to the Risk Management Center (RMC); serving as a national technical resource and mentor for risk management, risk assessment, risk analysis and dam safety; and being the senior RMC geotechnical engineer responsible for leading the development of risk analysis tools, methodology and policy guidance.
IWR Director Bob Pietrowsky and IWR’s leadership team congratulate the honorees and thank them for their excellence and dedication to the Institute!