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Welcome to the future: US Army Corps of Engineers leading the way in national engineering excellence

Posted on February 26, 2024

WASHINGTON — I look forward to flipping my calendar to February each year because nestled among this month’s observances – Black History Month and Washington’s Birthday among them – is National Engineers Week.

This week, which celebrates and promotes opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), has a special meaning to me as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Part of that meaning is secured to our past, as USACE can trace its beginnings to the Continental Congress of 1775. But most of that special meaning – and my pride – is rooted in what USACE is doing today and what the future holds for us and the nation.

This year’s National Engineers Week theme is “Welcome to the Future,” and after seeing what the best and brightest minds are doing for USACE, I can’t imagine anything more fitting.

I recently had the opportunity to see STEM achievements in action during a visit to Fort Liberty, N.C., where our forward-thinking engineers used smart phones, tablets and simple game controllers to explore how to keep Soldiers out of harm’s way during future military engagements.

On the timber front, our best STEM minds are creating a new product using an innovative thermal modification process on Coastal Western Hemlock. The resulting wood product would meet military needs abroad and could be used to develop a highly durable, quick-erect building panel system for military housing.

USACE civil engineers also recently perfected an additive that protects freshly poured concrete from irreversible damage during freezing weather. This expands building capabilities when we are called upon to construct civil and military infrastructure in some of Earth’s harshest cold climates.

The list goes on. From field trials for combatting harmful algal blooms to new science that forecasts risk for our 740 dams, our technologies continue to address the nation’s toughest challenges today and look to the future to anticipate the engineering challenges of tomorrow.

Innovation and modernization are at the forefront of USACE’s efforts. We are committed to delivering infrastructure that protects and sustains communities, economies, and the environment. The focus is on holistic solutions that integrate human engineering with natural systems, in line with the foundational principles of “engineering with nature.” As we face critical infrastructure challenges, USACE is dedicated to continuous improvement, learning, and leading in the application of innovative and nature-based solutions.

I am privileged to spearhead an organization that applies engineering ingenuity and innovative thought to enhance safety and prosperity for everyone. From fortifications and infrastructure development to modern combat engineering and disaster response, the value of Army engineers is immeasurable.

The future holds exciting possibilities as USACE leans into exploring new ways to deliver projects and uncovering yet-to-be-developed technologies. With a commitment to delivering over $91 billion in ongoing and upcoming projects, USACE is honored to help pave the way for a brighter and more resilient future.

But, our future also depends on recruiting and bringing the next generation of military and civilian talent into the fold to build on what so many others have accomplished over our 248-year history. USACE is always hiring, and you don’t need to join the Army and wear a uniform to join our ranks. You don’t even have to be an engineer as our organization relies upon many other occupational specialties to operate as a fully functional team.

Wherever you find yourself this National Engineers Week, take a moment as you drive across bridges, visit man-made lakes, view towering buildings, or travel the interstate highway system to appreciate and celebrate engineering ingenuity.


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