VICKSBURG, Miss. (February 19, 2019) -- The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center inducted three of their newest laboratory directors into the Senior Executive Service in a ceremony held on Feb. 19 at the ERDC headquarters building in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Dr. Lance Hansen, director of the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Dr. David Horner, director of the Information Technology Laboratory, and Dr. Ty Wamsley, director of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, were presented their SES certificates and pins by Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, 54th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Semonite presided over the ceremony and administered the Oath of Office to the inductees.
“This is the next step in this leadership journey of these three great individuals,” said Semonite. “It really commemorates, I think, great confidence — extreme confidence — that we place on all three of these great leaders.”
The SES was established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 to ensure that the executive management of the government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies and goals of the Nation and otherwise is of the highest quality.
“Today is not a prize, today is not a reward for doing great work — it’s not a thank you,” said Semonite. “This is really much more about the faith that we place in these people because of demonstrated potential to be able to serve at higher levels and even higher levels of a lot more responsibility, more people, more resources — and to a degree, more stress.”
As one of the most diverse engineering and scientific research organizations in the world, the ERDC conducts research and development in support of the Soldier, military installations, and the Corps’ civil works mission, as well as for other federal, state and municipal authorities. The ERDC consists of seven research laboratories located in four states and helps solve our Nation’s most challenging problems in civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources and environmental sciences.
CERL directs its research efforts toward increasing the Army’s ability to more efficiently design, construct, operate and maintain its installations and contingency bases and to ensure environmental quality and safety at a reduced life-cycle cost. As the director of CERL, Hansen is the only director to have served at three different ERDC laboratories. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he began his civilian career in the Environmental Laboratory and more recently served as deputy director of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.
“Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve with you,” said Hansen. “It’s an honor to serve alongside leaders of character who have chosen to dedicate a lifetime of service to our Nation.”
As director of ITL, Horner provides leadership in the development and execution of a broad range of research and development and operational programs. He has been with ITL since 2015, serving as the director of the High Performance Computing Modernization Program until his appointment as laboratory director in May 2018. ITL conducts research and development in informatics and computational science and engineering with particular emphasis on high-performance computing, computer-aided and interdisciplinary engineering, computer science and instrumentation systems.
“It is a great privilege for me and it’s so easy for me to go jump off the technical cliff, because I’m surrounded by people in this room and elsewhere who are very committed to the mission of the organization and to the technical excellence of the organization,” said Horner.
Wamsley has the distinction of being the newest director in the oldest laboratory at ERDC. CHL was the founding laboratory of the Waterways Experiment Station; the campus is the site of the ERDC headquarters. CHL provides experimental and computational expertise for solving water resource problems worldwide. Wamsley started his career as a research hydraulic engineer with CHL in 2000 and has led several successful research efforts in the laboratory.
“I am so excited about the future and about what it holds,” said Wamsley. “I’m honored to serve the CHL team members as director of the Coastal and Hydraulic Laboratory.”
“All these guys have very unique skill sets. They’re game changers. They’re experts at their fields,” said David Pittman, director of the ERDC. “We’re going to help the Chief revolutionize the Corps of Engineers. We’re going to turn some dirt, and we’re going to bring the power of ERDC to everything that we do in the Corps of Engineers and support the Warfighter.”