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Posted 7/28/2015

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By Michelle Stewart
ERDC Public Affairs

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) Director José E. Sánchez was recently appointed to serve as the Alternate U.S. Representative to the World Association for Waterborne Transportation Infrastructure (PIANC) Inland Navigation Commission (InCom). The appointment is for a four-year term.

Sánchez, a native of Puerto Rico and graduate of the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, began his ERDC career in 1995 as a research hydraulic engineer. In August 2013, Sánchez was promoted to the Senior Executive Service and appointed as director.
As a representative, Sánchez will attend meetings of the technical commission and send summary reports of PIANC action items, recommend subjects for study by working groups and international study commissions and consult with other technical commission representatives.

He will also ensure working groups are promptly and accurately presented to the commission, serve as monitor of working groups, review group draft reports and maintain contact with U.S. chairmen of working groups offering assistance when requested.

PIANC is a worldwide network of navigation professionals who solves technical issues and provides global guidance for economic, sound and sustainable solutions for issues of waterborne transportation infrastructure. Established in 1885, it continues to be the leading partner for government and private designers, developers and users of ports, waterways and coastal areas. PIANC USA was organized in 1902 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serving as the Secretariat. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, PIANC’s membership comprises of marina and vessel owners, scientists, economists, dredgers, planners, engineers, port operators and regulators. The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and the USACE Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Engineering Emergency Operations serve as liaisons to the U.S. National Commission.

PIANC has technical commissions concerned with inland waterways and ports (InCom), coastal and ocean waterways – including ports and harbors (MarCom), environmental aspects (EnviCom) and sport and recreational navigation (RecCom).

“The organization organizes conference, seminars and workshops to disseminate the latest engineering, scientific and economic advancements in the field of inland and maritime navigation and ports,” Sánchez said.

“Being selected to represent the U.S. in this commission will facilitate the exchange of ideas amongst countries with navigation interests, share lessons learned, leverage research findings and assist in the development of strategic research needs,” Sanchez said. “These activities are essential for the continual improvement of inland navigation infrastructure and practices and help the U.S. continue to grow as the worldwide leader in this field.”

Other ERDC representatives include Alternate Representative (MarCom) – Richard Styles, CHL; Principal Representative (EnviCom) – Todd Bridges, Environmental Laboratory (EL), and Alternate Representative (EnviCom) – Burton Suedel, EL.

The Engineer Research and Development Center is the premier research and development facility for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with more than 2,500 employees, $1.2 billion in facilities and an annual research program exceeding $1.1 billion. It conducts research in both military and civil works mission areas for the Department of Defense and the nation.