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HENAAC honors Corps employees at national conference

Los Angeles District
Published Oct. 27, 2017

PASADENA, Calif. – Great Minds in STEM has a long tradition of honoring civilian and uniformed military personnel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

During the 29th annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation conference Oct. 18 to 22 here, three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees received recognition for their outstanding performance in support of that program.

Carlos Gonzalez, a research civil engineer at the Engineering Systems and Materials Division, Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, received the HENAAC 2017 Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.

The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant technological contribution to STEM through key research or by having designed, developed, managed or assisted in the development of a product, service, system or intellectual property.

The STEM Military and Civilian Hero Awards were established in 2010 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Through these awards, Great Minds in STEM pays tribute to outstanding individuals who protect servicemen and women everyday with technological advancements used around the globe. They are diverse in the work they do, ensuring the growth and maintenance of the infrastructure of the country, national security and the protection of freedom.

This year, Mayra Flores, a civil engineer with the New Orleans District, and Juan Dominguez, a regional technical specialist cost engineer with the Los Angeles District, received that honor.

Flores is a civil engineer at the Corps’ Inspection of Completed Works Project with the New Orleans District. She delivers engineering services on flood, hurricane and storm damage risk reduction systems that comprise 1,800 miles of levees, floodwalls and flood control structures protecting southeast Louisiana.

Her Hero Award recognized her achievements, dedication and selfless service as a Hispanic engineer and for serving as a role model for others to follow.

Dominguez has applied his skills, expertise and attention to high-volume workload programs, routinely being assigned large and highly complex projects critical to the Corps’ successful execution of its military, civil and environmental missions. He also mentors other estimators and reviews their technical work products for sufficiency.

“My job consists of developing independent government estimates for new procurements and modifications, total project cost estimates for planning and project control, cost and schedule risk analyses, and initiating new methods and procedures for cost engineering, among other things,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez has been a key member of the Cost Engineering Section for 25 years and the Cost Engineer steward of the Santa Ana River Project, a $2-billion effort that has spanned 50 years.

His devotion to the practice has helped elevate the cost-engineering function as a critical part in accomplishing the military, civil works and environmental missions of the Corps.

"The people of USACE bring unmatched talent in engineering solutions for our nation’s toughest challenges. Our HENAAC award winners inspire others to pursue STEM education and careers,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “They are role models in their communities, and they do amazing work for the Corps. I am grateful for their continued service and incredibly proud of their achievements."