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Posted 8/26/2016

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By Gwyn G. Neill
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs

Gerardo I. Velazquez, a research civil engineer in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory of the U.S. Engineer Research and Development Center, has been awarded the 2016 Great Minds in STEM Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation’s Professional Achievement Award in Civil Engineering.

This prestigious career achievement award recognizes Velazquez’s 30 years of research, program management and professional leadership.

GSL Director Bartley P. Durst commended Velazquez by saying, “Gerardo Velazquez is, indeed, deserving of this very prestigious honor. Mr. Velazquez has a strong desire to see young engineers and scientists excel in the STEM fields. He is a talented engineer and researcher, with an exceptional career of service to the nation. I am so very proud that he will represent GSL and the ERDC at the HENAAC conference and receive this great honor.”

Velazquez’s experience lies within the areas of military engineering, primarily camouflage, concealment and deception of fixed facilities and structural assessment, monitoring, repair and upgrade of U.S. Army fixed bridges. As a principal investigator, he is responsible in the full-scale evaluation of bridges and bridging systems for the purpose of determining their performance, improving their technologies and developing mechanistic-empirical performance models.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be the recipient of this prestigious award. I would like to thank God for blessing me with the health, skills and opportunity to work in an organization like ERDC that has allowed me to develop a successful 30-year career and to be an example in my community,” said Velazquez.

Published numerous times, Velazquez has also authored or co-authored more than 50 special reports documenting the results of inspections of U.S. Army bridges located in the U.S. and overseas.

He has won several awards during his career including the ERDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in EEO, the Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service and the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.

Velazquez is a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and a lifetime professional member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. He is a founding member of the Mississippi Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Velazquez earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and a master’s in engineering mechanics from Mississippi State University.

As a mentor and instructor at ERDC, Velazquez continues to be a passionate sponsor of minorities and the Hispanic community, including many who are graduates of his alma mater.

In October, Velazquez will be honored at the Great Minds in STEM 28th Annual HENAAC Conference in Anaheim, California.

ERDC Gerardo I. Velazquez Great Minds GSL HENAAC STEM USACE