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Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast announced its 2024 Civilian and Military Engineers of the Year award selections.
Charles Stevens, P.E., Utilities and Energy Management (UEM) Water and Wastewater Commodity Manager at Public Works Department (PWD) Mayport, was selected as the Civilian Engineer of the Year; and Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Cloutier, P.E., Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Division (FEAD) Director at PWD Kings Bay, was selected as the Military Engineer of the Year.
"It brings me great pleasure to announce the recipients of the 2024 NAVFAC Southeast Engineer of the Year awards," said NAVFAC Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Miguel Dieguez. "In our community of exceptional engineers, the competition was truly intense. I extend my best wishes to each of them as they progress to the next stage of the competition!"
Each year, NAVFAC Southeast meticulously selects a Civilian and Military Engineer of the Year. These accomplished professionals subsequently progress to the NAVFAC Engineer of the Year competition, with the potential for earning further acclaim in the National Society of Professional Engineer's Federal Engineer of the Year award program.
Originally from Warsaw, New York, and now resides in Jacksonville, Florida, Stevens served as the UEM Water and Wastewater Commodity Manager at PWD Mayport. He joined NAVFAC in 2020, holding a Bachelor's in Natural Sciences from the University of North Florida and a master's in environmental engineering from the University of Florida.
"It's truly an honor to even be considered for NAVFAC Southeast’s Civilian Engineer of the Year,” said Stevens. “I'm surrounded by so many exceptional individuals at work who are equally deserving. Without their help and support, I wouldn't have achieved what I have."
Stevens demonstrated exceptional leadership and technical expertise, notably in his pivotal role supporting the Naval Station (NS) Mayport Waste Water Utilities Privatization initiative. His leadership achieved substantial cost savings and environmental risk reduction, transferring 238,000 linear feet of piping and 2,100 assets for a remarkable $65 million cost-avoidance over a 50-year contract. His efforts also set vital precedents for future Utilities Privatization projects within the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency Energy, showcasing his forward-thinking approach.
Stevens noted, “The Privatization of the Wastewater Treatment facilities at NS Mayport was a new experience for me and many others as well. The cooperation and encouragement shown by all involved truly paved the way for the project's success.”
Furthermore, Stevens made a significant contribution to NS Mayport's Inter-Governmental Support Agreement initiative, presently under assessment by the local utility provider. With his unwavering dedication, the City of Atlantic Beach was chosen for the Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program, securing 70 percent of the funding for a $596,000 community water line recapitalization project. This accomplishment further underscores his commitment to fostering robust partnerships between the Navy and the local community.
Stevens' remarkable contributions, innovative solutions, and tireless dedication have had a lasting impact on NS Mayport, exemplifying the qualities of an outstanding civilian engineer. His work has not only furthered the Navy's mission but also positively influenced the surrounding community, creating a lasting legacy of cooperation and progress.
He provides this advice to his coworkers, "Always treat others with kindness, never hesitate to seek guidance or lend a hand, and cultivate a positive workspace through your interactions with people every day."
Cloutier, originally from Placerville, California and presently residing in Yulee, Florida, is a Navy Seabee commissioned as an officer in the Civil Engineer Corps in 2010. He currently serves as the FEAD Director for PWD Kings Bay and holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from California State University, as well as a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Washington.
"To be named NAVFAC Southeast’s Military Engineer of the Year is a testament to the relentless effort and commitment of the exceptional teams I've been honored to collaborate with,” said Cloutier. “It's been my privilege to contribute to projects directly linked to the Strategic Deterrence mission within the command, and achieving success in such endeavors relies on the strength of a unified team and extensive cooperation with our supported commands, contractor partners, and project stakeholders."
Cloutier's most remarkable achievement is his exceptional leadership in the $627 million Trident Refit Facility (TRF) Kings Bay Dry Dock Recapitalization Project. This ambitious endeavor brought together a 36-member team, consisting of military, civilian, and contracted personnel, to strengthen the crucial dry docks at TRF Kings Bay, which play a vital role in the Navy's strategic deterrence mission.
"In my tenure at NAVFAC Southeast, I've faced a multitude of project challenges, not the least of which involved navigating over 15 months of round-the-clock construction to successfully complete the Kings Bay Dry Dock Recapitalization project, ensuring its readiness for the on-time docking of the USS Wyoming (SSBN-742) in November 2022."
Furthermore, Cloutier's leadership went beyond TRF Kings Bay. As the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the NAVFAC Pacific Northwest Seismic Mitigation Task Force, his team achieved an unprecedented transition from design-build contract award to construction execution within two weeks. In just five months, Cloutier and his team fully restored operational capability to all three docks, strengthening the Navy's resilience to seismic threats in the Pacific Northwest.
NAVFAC Southeast proudly acknowledges Cloutier for his outstanding accomplishments and steadfast commitment to his responsibilities. His efforts have not only enhanced the Navy's mission but have also highlighted the critical importance of exemplary leadership in safeguarding our nation's security.
Cloutier imparts this advice to his fellow shipmates, "Understand the mission you support and the capabilities our team brings to the fight; develop brilliance in the basics; strive for continuous improvement; maintain a 'yes, if' rather than 'no, because' approach to problem solving; and appreciate the importance of and invest in relationships and partnering. Above all, remember why you serve and take pride in your commitment to the Navy and our Nation!"
NAVFAC Southeast oversees the planning and design of facility projects, offering essential services in contracting, construction, leasing, environmental management, maintenance, and contingency support, all of which are crucial for meeting the needs of the Navy and the Department of Defense within the Southeast Area of Responsibility. Operating from its Jacksonville office, NAVFAC Southeast is responsible for managing operations across Navy installations spanning from Charleston, South Carolina to Corpus Christi, Texas, and extending southward to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. NAVFAC professionals are also engaged in the acquisition and disposition of real estate, facility management, and maintenance on all Navy bases in the Southeast (SE) region, while concurrently supervising public-private venture (PPV) housing for military families.