NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 8, 2020) – Sam Hau, structural engineer in the Engineering and Construction Division’s Civil Design Branch Structural Section, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for October 2020.
Hau is recognized primarily for his construction support to progress the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Kentucky Lock Addition Project in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. He worked closely with senior engineers and geologists, and he utilized new design software to deliver high quality design products.
“He has worked on a variety of tasks in support of the Chickamauga Lock project including engineering during construction support for the ongoing lock chamber construction’s drilled shaft design, and detailing for the upcoming Approach Wall and Decommissioning contract,” said Cory Morgan, chief of the Structural Section and Hau’s supervisor.
Morgan added that due to poor geologic conditions in an isolated area of the Kentucky Lock project, Hau designed drilled shaft foundation supports for several lock wall monoliths with a short design timeline.
“Sam engaged quickly on both projects, worked closely with senior engineers and geologists, and utilized new design software to deliver high quality design products according to the requested schedule,” Morgan said.
Hau said he is pleasantly surprised by this recognition but credits his teammates, especially those on the project delivery team, and supervisors who have supported and mentored him. He specifically acknowledged William Mackie, Sarah Wiles, Mark Elson and Josh Bomar for their input throughout the process of the design work, and Britt Henderson and Barney Schulte, the technical leads for the projects.
“They were truly partners in my design work. Without their expertise on rock and soil properties, I would not be confident in my work,” Hau said.
Hau said Henderson and Schulte, along with Morgan, provided him valuable support and mentorship.
“Without their dedication towards giving us younger engineers plenty of guidance, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to succeed in my work,” Hau added.
Lt. Col. Sonny Avichal, Nashville District commander, announced Hau’s selection as employee of the month and noted that he is responsible for the design, inspection and analysis of various concrete and steel structures within the Nashville District. The commander also commended him for stepping up to support of the Chickamauga Lock and Kentucky Lock projects.
“Sam works diligently to progress the Chickamauga Approach Wall and Decommissioning Contract design. He volunteered to tackle a difficult design aspect for an excavation support system which included learning new software. He worked alongside geology team members to refine the design to perform more efficiently and effectively,” Avichal said. “He assisted the geology team with the software and explaining the design assumptions and calculations and provided design options ahead of schedule, in conjunction with his work on Kentucky Lock.”
The commander said he appreciates his initiative and desire to serve. Both projects would not be as far along without Hau’s efforts, he added.
Hau said the favorite part of the job is supporting the Corps of Engineers’ mission and serving the public by constructing reliable navigation infrastructure and providing emergency disaster services.
He is originally from Hong Kong but grew up outside Philadelphia. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in structural engineering from Lehigh University, and he thanks his family and friends for their love and support throughout his academic and professional career.
In his off time, Hau enjoys traveling and outdoor adventures. He recently completed an overland trip across the Malay Peninsula, and in the coming months homes to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Morgan added that Hau’s selection as employee of the month is indicative of his work ethic, competency, and commitment to the Nashville District.
“He works diligently to meet deadlines and is a great manager of his time to ensure he is able to balance multiple projects simultaneously. The Structural Section is stronger since Sam joined us and I look forward to his continued great work moving forward,” Morgan said.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)