By Jeffrey C. Doepp, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic announced its selections for the 2020 military and civilian engineer of the year awards, Oct. 21.
“It is with great pleasure that I announce our two NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Engineer of the Year winners for 2020. Lt. Tyler Williams, CEC, P.E., assistant public works officer at Public Works Department Crane, was selected as our Military Engineer of the Year; and Linn Lebel, P.E., structural engineer in the Capital Improvements Business Line Core, forward deployed to Maine, was selected as our Civilian Engineer of the Year,” said NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Rich Hayes. “Congratulations to these two dedicated and talented professionals for their achievements and prestigious recognition!”
As an assistant public works officer, Williams spearheaded a unique and critical $85 million research, development, test, and evaluation project serving a critical Department of Defense program with a compressed military construction timeline. He was selected as the project field lead to coordinate and lead local engineers, technicians, and planners to keep early development critical path items on track including environmental regulations, geotechnical engineering, and local and state laws.
Williams managed a cradle to grave annual project list for Naval Surface Warfare Center Command, which included more than $30 million in planned and $6 million in unplanned projects. He provided 100 percent award or completion of all projects during fiscal year 2019. He was hand selected to serve on an improvement team for engineering category III/IV projects, which were limited in design or no design scopes of work, and developing a course of action for these improvements.
While serving as the acting Utility & Energy Management Branch head, filling a critical gap for several months, Williams lead a team of technicians and craftsman to ensure water, wastewater, steam, and electrical distribution were maintained to the highest levels. He developed a plan to bring 21 lift stations throughout the installation up to standards and ensured all power requirements matched, reducing the need for spare parts.
“Tyler is able to understand the strategic picture and use tactical efforts to bring about that vision,” said PWD Crane Public Works Officer Cmdr. Joel McMillian. “He tackles challenges head-on and is a trusted officer, engineer and leader, able to make wise decisions in a timely manner. His efforts to ensure PWD Crane kept its commitments helped solidify trust from the supported commands.”
Williams, a Princeton, Kentucky native who joined the Navy in 2012, said his being selected is a reflection of all the great people at PWD Crane and NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic who he gets to work alongside every day.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be selected for this award,” said Williams, who is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Engineers without Borders. “I am privileged and grateful to be able to work with those who drive us in achieving excellence.”
Lebel provided design management of the nearly $110 million P-310 Super Flood Basin, which constructs a 150,000 square foot lock outside an existing dry dock as well as managed the waterfront design of the approximately $700 million P-381 multi-mission Dry Dock #1. These projects are keystones in the fleet's plan to address critical submarine maintenance and deployment shortfalls, documented in reports to Congress. The candidate's expertise, specifically marine-concrete mix design, resulted in substantial cost savings and improved constructability.
She managed the design and resulting successful construction of the $26 million Dry Dock #3 Caisson Replacement and Concrete Repairs, leading an innovative approach of utilizing a limpet cofferdam to repair the outer seat while allowing the dry dock to be occupied. This saved the fleet significant submarine and crew idle time by allowing continuous utilization of the dry dock during construction, as well as saving the fleet millions of dollars in lost utilization of mission-critical assets.
In addition, Lebel supported the successful construction of the $7 million Dry Dock #3 Pumpwell Overhaul Project, where she proposed and led the successful implementation of exterior waterproofing techniques, which limited the invasive nature of the project and simplified the environmental permitting. She contributed significant knowledge and expertise of waterfront engineering to address several unforeseen conditions encountered during the project, limiting cost and schedule impacts, and ensuring uninterrupted execution of the fleet's mission.
“Linn is an exceptionally talented engineer and project manager,” said PWD Maine Public Works Officer Cmdr. Doug Herrin. “She fully comprehends the supported commander's priorities and works tirelessly to integrate infrastructure projects with the NAVSEA mission. Her dedication in support of the nuclear attack submarine overhaul mission at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine is unsurpassed. She is an integral member of our team and I am extremely proud of her.”
Lebel, a Trumbull, Connecticut native who has been working for NAVFAC since 2015, said that having worked alongside so many talented engineers at NAVFAC, her receiving this recognition is both unexpected and humbling.
"It is an incredible honor to be named NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic's Civilian Engineer of the Year," said Lebel, who is a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction. "I am proud to be a member of such an amazing, hard-working team."
Williams and Lebel will now go on to compete for the NAVFAC Engineer of the Year awards and potentially for higher honors in the National Society of Professional Engineer's Federal Engineer of the Year award program.
NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic is the Systems Command that delivers and maintains quality, sustainable facilities, acquires and manages capabilities for the Navy's expeditionary combat forces, provides contingency engineering response, and enables energy security and environmental stewardship across an area of responsibility that spans from Georgia to Maine and as far west as Illinois. As an integral member of the Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic team, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic provides leadership through the Regional Engineer organization to ensure the region's facilities and infrastructure are managed efficiently and effectively.