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Posted 7/29/2013

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By Jim Frisinger
Fort Worth District


FORT WORTH, Texas – Ten persons from one laboratory and one district share this year’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Innovation of the Year Award for development and deployment of the BUILDER Sustainment Management System.

Eight researchers were honored from the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Ill., a part of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center – Lance R. Marrano, Michael N. Grussing, Kelly M. Dilks, Louis B. Bartels, Veda D. Scarpetta, Bruce L. Rives, Matthew E. Richards and Joseph E. Karbarz. Sharing in the award are two Fort Worth District employees: Alain J. Bernier, Chief of the Infrastructure Assessment Branch, Engineering and Construction Support Office, and Andrew G. Kraus, facility condition assessment manager, Infrastructure Support Section.

The team effort, which developed this facility assessment software, was judged to be highly creative, forward thinking and innovative in competition among 23 entries Corps-wide. It will be presented in August by Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers, at the National Awards Ceremony at the 2013 Strategic Leaders Conference.

“Their contributions to the development of BUILDER promote smart asset management,” said Peggy Grubbs, Deputy District Engineer. “Their team is writing a new chapter of sustainable infrastructure solutions that fulfills our USACE mission to deliver vital engineering services that make a positive difference for the American public.”

BUILDER showcases USACE innovation by providing a solution to a major challenge – facility and asset management for the Department of Defense and other agencies. BUILDER provides an industry-leading solution that dramatically lowers assessment costs, improves investment decision making and ultimately lowers facility life-cycle costs. This is a must for ongoing financial challenges that federal agencies face.

“The innovations developed by this ERDC-Fort Worth District team represents a significant USACE business opportunity when it is most needed,” said ERDC Director Jeffery P. Holland. “As military construction budgets are steadily dwindling, the Corps is using BUILDER as a new business line that leverages the existing skills and capabilities of the USACE workforce to provide installation support services.”

BUILDER played a key role in USACE support for the Defense Logistics Agency’s efforts to meet audit-ready requirements under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. The software system is also being used or considered for use by multiple agencies inside and outside the Department of Defense.

award BUILDER engineer ERDC fort worth district innovation lab