VICKSBURG, Miss.— The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) brought home eight awards from the annual U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) National Awards Ceremony, held virtually Nov. 12, 2020.
Employees of the ERDC Construction Research and Engineering Laboratory (CERL) claimed two of the top honors at the ceremony. Dr. Rebekah Wilson was named USACE Researcher of the Year and Joseph Bush won USACE Mechanical Engineer of the Year.
“You are the best of our best,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and USACE Commanding General, to the crowd gathered virtually. “You have stepped up to our vision by engineering solutions to our nation’s toughest challenges, and I want to thank all of you. You stepped up and proved that innovation is the key to success. You have demonstrated to the world the Corps’ leadership, technical capabilities, integrity and steadfastness.”
As the leader of the research and development program for the USACE Paint Technology Center at CERL, Wilson conceives, develops, leads and performs research and development on new and innovative coating technologies to address the most pressing needs of the Department of Defense and USACE. From corrosion prevention to camouflage, energy efficiency and other related areas, Wilson’s work ranges from fundamental basic research to demonstration and validation of new coatings for use by USACE and the military.
Bush, a mechanical engineer at CERL, is a subject-matter expert in the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls and cybersecurity. He was recognized at the National Awards Ceremony for professional commitment, technical excellence and exceptional leadership for his contributions to a variety of mechanical engineering efforts.
“It is engineers and critical thinkers like the people we honored today whose work exemplifies the mission of this WORLD-CLASS organization. Thinking outside the box to engineer solutions for all Americans,” said Spellmon. “Each of you honored today exemplify what a leader looks like.”
In addition to Wilson and Bush, six other ERDC teams and employees were recognized for their outstanding performance. The ERDC contracting office was the winner of the 2020 Excellence in Contracting Award, while the USACE Sustainability Hero Award went to Dr. Guillermo Riveros of the Information Technology Laboratory. ERDC teams earned two USACE Innovation of the Year Awards, with one going to the COVID-19 Model and Analysis Team, made up of researchers from the Environmental Laboratory and the Information Technology Laboratory, and another to the Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment, and Transformation System (HABITATS) Team at CERL. The Environmental Laboratory’s Horseshoe Bend Delivery Team was recognized with the Green Innovation Award.
An individual award for USACE Innovators of the Year was also presented to Lyle Seethaler of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory for his work as Civil Works Business Intelligence Technical Lead.
“These awards are yet another example of ERDC’s commitment to taking the problem to the next level and thinking outside the box to solve the toughest challenges faced by our nation and military today,” said ERDC Director Dr. David Pittman. “As the great Henry Ford once said, ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.’”