Sacramento Section of American Society of Civil Engineers honors three DWR employees

By on October 18, 2018

Three California Department of Water Resources (DWR) employee were recently honored by the Sacramento Section of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with individual 2018 awards. The three were honored as follows:

Maurice Roos — Outstanding ASCE Life Member Award

Ross, a DWR employee for 61 years, is an internationally recognized expert in water resource. He has written numerous professional technical papers and contributed to various studies regarding climate change and hydrology and has traveled to Israel, North India, Nigeria, and China to share his expertise.

Though Roos retired in 2000 as principal engineer and chief hydrologist, he has continued to serve DWR as a retired annuitant and offering his expertise on climate change, drought, floods, weather modification, and long-range weather forecasting. Highlights of his tenure with the state’s water department include establishing DWR’s first Flood Hydrology Center and serving as chief hydrologist of the Division of Flood Management.

The Outstanding ASCE Life Member Award recognizes the current efforts of an active ASCE life member in the Sacramento region who contributes to the advancement of ASCE and its members by devoted service to an ASCE branch.

Jesse Dillon — Frederick W. Panhorst Structural Award

Dillon currently serves as a supervising engineer at the Division of Safety and Dams. He was awarded the Frederick W. Panhorst Structural Award for his work as structural team design lead and engineer of record for the 2017 Oroville Emergency Recovery Project. His duties included providing engineering direction, technical guidance, and oversight to the staff and consultants producing the design of the project.

The Panhorst Award highlights the former chief of the Bridge Section of the California Division of Highways from 1931 to 1960. The original Russian Gulch Bridge in Mendocino County was renamed the Frederick W. Panhorst bridge in 1974, by California Senate Concurrent Resolution 145. Panhorst was also a director for the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Upon receiving the Frederick W. Panhorst Structural Award Dillon said, “It is one of the proudest moments in my career to have my contribution to the 2017 Oroville Spillways Recovery Project acknowledged.” Beginning this past Monday, Dillon has a new role as a supervising engineer for the Delta Conveyance Office working on California WaterFix.

Amanda Ott — Joseph W. Gross Humanitarian Award

Professionally Ott is part of a DWR collaborative team testing a new technology that would remove mercury-laden sediment from reservoirs in the Sierra. But she has received the Joseph W. Gross Humanitarian Award for her volunteer work as project manager of a civil works drainage project in Central America with the Sacramento Valley Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

“I believe engineering is as beautiful as art. And we can choose to take our art and paint the world of progress into a masterpiece. We are engineers. We are artists. We are all humanitarians. And we have work to do,” Ott said during her acceptance speech.

Ott and her EWB team are working to develop effective drainage solutions for the small coastal village of Sarteneja, Belize who has suffered from major flooding. They traveled to Sarteneja last year and ran a topographic survey and organized interviews that helped them complete hydraulic and hydrologic analyses. The team plans to travel back to begin implementation in April 2019.

These outstanding engineers were recognized at ASCE’s annual Awards Banquet at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento on September 27.