VICKSBURG, Miss.—Researchers from 10 U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Districts have been selected for the 2023 session of the Engineer Research and Development Center University (ERDC-U).
Garrett Hall, senior mechanical engineer with the Portland District’s Dalles Lock and Dam, has been chosen as a participant for this developmental program, now in its eighth year.
The 12 selectees were announced by ERDC-U Program Manager Antisa Webb, who serves as Chief of the Office of Research and Technology Transfer (ORTT), Technology, Knowledge and Outreach (TKO) Division. The Class of 2023 orientation session was held February 27 through March 2 at ERDC headquarters.
“ERDC-U offers partnerships between USACE Division and District participants and relevant laboratory mentors for six-month research projects, resulting in technical solutions benefitting their workplace, the Corps and the Nation,” Webb said. “Working with these subject-matter experts from ERDC’s seven state-of-the art laboratories, participants will focus on real-world solutions, as they also develop leadership skills for their home organization.”
As the senior mechanical engineer for The Dalles Lock and Dam Operations, Hall’s experiences with this multi-purpose facility have ranged from producing designs related to power production, spillways, fish passage, navigation and recreation to facilitating seven-figure repair projects.
Hall’s ERDC-U project, based at ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) with Mentors Travis Fillmore and Chad Bounds, will relate to the investigation of cracking in the downstream miter gates at The Dalles navigation lock. Hall first discovered the cracks during a routine outage in 2021 and has been involved in the repair, investigation and design activities since. The goal of his project is to gain knowledge from ERDC’s processes and capabilities from CHL experts based in Vicksburg for the Dalles Dam improvements.
The program is co-sponsored by ERDC’s Directorate of Human Capital (DHC) through an application and selection process. Program funding is split between the selectee’s Division or District for choice of labor costs or travel with the other funded by ERDC.
“Mr. Hall has expressed an interest in a developmental assignment at ERDC. In our discussions, he would like to study the issues of the downstream navigation lock gate,” said James Gale, engineering manager for The Dalles Dam. “This effort would allow for Mr. Hall to get a more diversified view of the work we do at different levels. This effort would allow Mr. Hall to refine his knowledge of a significant piece of our hardware here at The Dalles Lock and Dam. Supporting this effort has even more intangible benefits to our organization and agency. It would be an honor for us to have Mr. Hall take on such a project. With this, and in closing, I support the effort of Mr. Hall taking place in this detail assignment.”
“ERDC-U experiences build a collaborative and continuing partnership with ERDC team members as an investment in the future of the Corps, along with career-long problem-solving contacts,” Webb said.
The ERDC University Program specifically seeks individuals with interest and experience in general scientific and engineering fields encompassing one of the following areas:
- Civil Works and Water Resources
- Environmental Quality and Installations
- Geospatial Research and Engineering
- Information Technology
- Military Engineering
Participants serve as a member of the interdisciplinary Research and Development team reporting to Lead Project Managers and/or Research and Development Direct Program Managers.
In his welcome to the new class, ERDC Director Dr. David Pittman said selectees will “have the opportunity to make great relationships that can help you the rest of your career, and we can learn about District needs from you.”
For program questions, contact Antisa.C.Webb@usace.army.mil Applications for the 2024 program will open October 1 for GS-7-13 team members through the “Opportunities” icon at:https://wiki.erdc.dren.mil/ERDC_University