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).
Joe Hernandez, an economist with the Sacramento District, has been chosen to participate in the detail 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.”
Hernandez serves as a regional economist for his district’s Economic Section of the Planning Division with experience as a lead economist for Army and Air Force Military Construction projects. In the flood risk management arena, he has performed levee screenings and semi-quantitative risk analyses to determine project structural damages and life loss estimates.
Working with ERDC’s Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) mentors Ken Pathak and Jonathan Boone, Hernandez will research integrating Big Data Analysis, leveraging SMART strategies and the Internet of Things (IoT) for effective project computation, presentation and decision making.
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.
“I have worked with Joe professionally for six years as an economist with the Sacramento District, and I have been Joe’s supervisor since 2019. Joe consistently demonstrates his desire to grow as a professional, which I believe will serve him well if he is selected for the developmental assignment,” said Aaron Schlein, chief of Economics and Risk Analysis for the USACE Sacramento District. “Perhaps the biggest factor contributing to Joe’s habitual growth is his ability to connect with mentors and benefit from their guidance. Joe and I have met one-on-one every week for the past three years, and he is always prepared to discuss professional and personal challenges, progress on his current goals, and aspirations for the future. I am grateful for these conversations, as Joe also regularly contributes ideas that prove beneficial to our team.”
“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