PHOENIX – Mike Ternak of the Los Angeles District is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' 2015 Sustainability Hero Award winner in the GreenGov Presidential Awards Program.
The award program recognizes federal civilian and military personnel, agency teams, agency projects and facilities, and agency programs that exemplify President Obama's mandate to lead by example towards a clean energy economy.
Ternak received the honor for his outstanding performance and change he has implemented throughout the Corps and, more directly, the five states of South Pacific Division.
"I serve as the Sustainable Engineering Program Manager for SPD," said Ternak. "I help develop our capabilities in such areas as LEED, renewable energy resources, vertical design and construction, and internal operations."
In 2009, Ternak was accredited as one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design professionals in the Division. He developed and coordinated numerous regional training classes from 2010-14, leading to an increase in LEED Accreditations from 12 to 65 employees in SPD.
His day-to-day effort involves multiple business lines such as military construction and civil works operations.
"I think my favorite project was the Rio Salado," said Ternak. "It was the first large scale ecosystem/river restoration project we had ever done. It required combining traditional engineering with ecological processes to try and mimic nature in the way that we restored the river."
His accomplishments on two civil works projects in particular were lauded in the program's nomination packet. Rio Salado received the Chief of Engineers Design and Environmental Award of Excellence in 2008 and Tres Rios was honored with the Chief's award in 2012. Both projects were recognized for their distinction in all major professional design disciplines.