VICKSBURG, Miss.- Participants from nine U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Districts and the Institute for Water Resources graduated from ERDC University (ERDC-U) in September, following project presentations to the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) senior leaders.
Now in its eighth year, ERDC-U pairs Corps division and district participants with relevant laboratory mentors for six-month research projects.
Following opening congratulatory remarks by ERDC’s Antisa Webb and Dr. Edmond Russo, the event featured slide presentations by graduates Zahraa Al Khafaji, Chicago District project engineer; Kyle Bayliff, Sacramento District chemist; Michael Deegan, Institute for Water Resources social scientist; Garret Hall, Portland District mechanical engineer; Joe Hernandez, Sacramento District economist; Canda Lorson, New Orleans District hydrologist; Michael Mansfield, Kansas City District hydraulic engineer; Ian Markovich, Jacksonville District invasive species biologist; Luke Navarro, Nashville District realty specialist; Jose Paredez, Los Angeles District civil engineer; Nakita Smith, Pittsburgh District realty specialist; and Kyle Tidwell, Portland District fish biologist.
“The ERDC University program has been an enriching and transformational experience for me,” said Al Khafaji. “The opportunities to delve deep into concrete forensic analysis, interact with seasoned researchers and employ state-of-the-art technologies has significantly broadened my understanding and honed my practical skills in a realm I am deeply passionate about.”
ERDC-U program manager Antisa Webb, chief of the Office of Research and Technology Transfer (ORTT), Technology, Knowledge and Outreach (TKO) Division, along with Environmental Laboratory Director Dr. Edmond Russo, presented graduation diplomas. Webb followed with certificates of appreciation for mentors and researchers who guided the participants’ projects as subject-matter experts from ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures, Environmental, Coastal and Hydraulics, Information Technology Laboratories, as well as the USACE Reachback Operations Center located on the Vicksburg, Mississippi, campus.
Dr. Gary Anderton of the ERDC Directorate of Human Capital commended the graduates for helping shape the future of the Corps’ technical knowledge-base and for sharing knowledge and experiences to assist their districts, while also building a collaborative partnership with ERDC.
The center’s Human Capital Office serves as co-sponsor of ERDC University.
Applications will be open in October for the 2024 ERDC-U session for Corps division and district team members. Selectees will be paired with mentors at one or more of ERDC’s seven laboratories to apply and implement technical solutions during this six-month program. ERDC funds the costs of labor or travel with the district covering the participant’s other choice.
For more information on ERDC-U visit: https://wiki.erdc.dren.mil/ERDC_University