When Susan Vogel Wilson was growing up, she thought of her grandfather as a loving man with a priceless sense of humor who always brought back fun souvenirs from his travels. To the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Wilson’s grandfather is remembered as the man who started it all— the first commander of the Waterways Experiment Station.
Wilson’s grandfather, Herbert D. Vogel, was a world leader in engineering and retired as a brigadier general for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At the age of 29, after earning a doctorate in hydraulic engineering in Berlin, Germany, Lt. Vogel was selected to oversee the construction of a new hydraulics laboratory in Vicksburg. Today, the Waterways Experiment Station (WES) has grown into ERDC—seven laboratories across four states, home to approximately 2,100 employees and a $1 billion annual research program.