Engineers Nominated by the US Army Corps of Engineers
Daniel E. Morales, E.I.T.
Daniel Morales, E.I.T., a structural engineer with the Tulsa, Oklahoma District, is involved in many programs throughout the district. He is a key team member on the Canton Dam Safety Assurance Project, which will result in the largest fuse-gated spillway structure in the world. He recently completed the design of a 540-foot bridge going over the new spillway, and he recently presented the bridge design at the 2009 USACE Infrastructure conference. As a technical lead in the district’s bridge safety program, he inspects and reports on public bridges, and his recommendations result in needed repairs. Many of the district bridges require a “hands-on” inspection by going underneath the bridge to inspect critical components every two years. In his community, Morales helped to facilitate the Keystone Lake Emergency Exercise, which involved the community and emergency response personnel.
Morales is a member of the Recent Graduate Panel for the Oklahoma State University student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers where he participates in MATHCOUNTS and attends career fairs as a member of the recruitment team. He is currently pursuing his professional engineering license, and holds both bachelors and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University.
Emily Devillier Schiffmacher
Emily Schiffmacher, an environmental engineer with the Baltimore District, has tackled progressively more complex projects over the past three years. She led the team that completed the cleanup of the first Formerly Used Defense Site within the Baltimore District under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. She has also been highly engaged in the management and technical oversight of Military Munitions cleanup programs. Due to her experience with cleanup at chemically contaminated sites and sites containing conventional and chemical military munitions, she was assigned as technical expert on the evaluation team to select highly specialized contractors for a one-billion dollar worldwide environmental and munitions contract.
Schiffmacher also contributes to her community through the Society of American Military Engineers where she chairs the student mentoring committee and is the program manager for the “Easy as PI” middle school program. She was selected as Young Engineer of the Year for her SAME chapter. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biological resources engineering from the University of Maryland.
Thomas J. Walker, P.E.
Tom Walker, P.E., a lead structural engineer with the Sacramento District, is the lead engineer on a $1.3 billion auxiliary control structure for Folsom Dam outside Sacramento. This control structure is a large concrete gravity dam with six submerged tainter gates, a 3,000 foot-long spillway, and a stepped chute and stilling basin located in a seismically active area. He is responsible for leading design, evaluation, analysis, and atypical investigations associated with the design. In addition to this work, he is certified to perform and to train others to perform post-disaster structural evaluations. Due to his expertise, he has been called upon to train Department of Defense engineers worldwide.
Walker participates in the “adopt a school” program in Sacramento and periodically visits local middle and high schools to explain how what they are learning is applicable to a future career in engineering. He is also an advisor in the Sacramento District’s rotational engineer intern training program. He holds a joint bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering and liberal arts from St. Mary’s College of California, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering from California State University.
Benjamin Charles Masters
Benjamin Masters, a research physicist in the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC-CERL), is not the “typical” researcher. He combines a background in physics and nuclear engineering with a practical attitude. He is currently researching the degradation of ferroelectric materials for the purposes of high energy plasma and particle emission. Potential applications for these ferroelectric plasma sources include destruction of harmful gases, energy-efficient lighting, and production of cold-cathode X-rays. He designed and constructed the multi-instrumented vacuum system with which he is conducting this research and repurposed dozens of discarded obsolete computers into a supercomputer cluster for running research-related simulations.
Masters is a member of several technical and honor societies, and he won the 2008 ERDC-CERL Research Assistant of the Year during his 18-month tenure as a student contractor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering, and is pursuing his doctoral degree in nuclear engineering, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Michelle Lay, E.I.T.
Michelle Lay, E.I.T., a project engineer with the Tulsa District, recently finished an intense two year training program and currently serves as the project engineer for the District’s largest civil works project. The Canton Dam Safety Project is multi-year and multi-phased, requiring a team of both in-house personnel and industry partners. She has used this opportunity to communicate agency messages on public and dam safety along with providing information on current design and construction activities to the local community. She also manages several other major maintenance projects for the Tulsa District and a dam rehabilitation project at Fort Sill.
Outside of her normal job duties, Lay serves as the chair of the Civilian Activities and Recreational Events Council, attends recruiting events to promote the benefits of engineering to college students, and serves in a national position on the Young Member Council for the Society of American Military Engineers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering both from Oklahoma State University.