VICKSBURG, Miss.— Researchers from five U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Districts have been selected for the 2022 session of the Engineer Research and Development Center University (ERDC-U).
Coastal Engineer Spencer Harper with the South Pacific Division’s San Francisco District was chosen as a participant for this detail program, which is now in its seventh year.
ERDC-U Program Lead Antisa Webb, who serves as Chief of the Office of Research and Technology Transfer (ORTT), Technology, Knowledge and Outreach (TKO) Division and the program’s co-sponsor, announced the six 2022 selectees.
“ERDC-U offers partnerships between USACE Division and District participants and relevant laboratory mentors for six-month research projects, resulting in technical solutions benefitting their workplace, the Corps and the Nation,” Webb said.
Working with these subject-matter experts from ERDC’s seven state-of-the art laboratories, participants will focus on real-world solutions as they also develop leadership skills for their home organization.
Harper’s areas of expertise include coastal engineering, nearshore processes and beneficial use of dredge material. He will join fellow selectees to meet their mentors and plan projects during an orientation session set for March 1-2 at the ERDC headquarters in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Harper’s expert mentor is Research Hydraulic Engineer Dr. Gaurav Savant of ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL), which one of the four laboratories on the Vicksburg campus to be featured in orientation tours.
“It is my intent as an ERDC University participant to be a part of an interdisciplinary Engineering with Nature team led by Dr. Savant to investigate the resilience of shallow water placement of dredge material in the San Francisco Bay with respect to relative sea level rise (RSLR) due to a non-stationary climate,” Harper said, commenting on his proposed project.
He added that the goal of this work is to identify an optimal shallow water placement location in the San Francisco Bay that will maximize the long-term stability of the surrounding wetlands.
“The project will numerically investigate the resilience of placement sites by simulating the dispersion and transport of material placed in shallow water and the long-term suitability of the placement sites to provide sediment to the surrounding wetlands,” Harper said. “At the conclusion, this project will provide SPN and their project partners with placement locations optimized for long-term stability against RSLR.”
The program is co-sponsored by ERDC’s Directorate of Human Capital through an application and selection process, and this session will run from March through August session. Program funding is split between the selectee’s Division or District for choice of labor costs or travel with the other funded by ERDC.
“As the District Commander of the San Francisco District, I am requesting you strongly consider Mr. Harper as a candidate in the upcoming FY22 recruitment class of ERDC University,” Lt. Col. Kevin P. Arnett said in his endorsement letter. “As his immediate supervisor can attest, Mr. Harper is an exceptional and dedicated employee and jumps at the opportunity to take on new challenges. This opportunity would be invaluable to Mr. Harper’s career and would additionally strengthen the capabilities of the San Francisco District, in having a highly trained employee, capable of understanding difficult engineering problems and implementing solutions that integrate engineering with nature.”
“ERDC-U experiences build a collaborative and continuing partnership with ERDC team members as an investment in the future of the Corps, along with career-long problem-solving contacts,” Webb added about the benefit of the program.
The ERDC University Program specifically seeks individuals with interest and experience in general scientific and engineering fields encompassing one of the following business areas:
- Civil Works and Water Resources
- Environmental Quality and Installations
- Geospatial Research and Engineering
- Information Technology
- Military Engineering
Participants serve as a member of the interdisciplinary Research and Development (R&D) team reporting to Lead Project Managers and/or R&D Direct Program Managers. The incumbent supports and possibly leads any number of activities to develop R&D.
“Selectees have the opportunity to make great relationships that can help you the rest of your career, and we can learn about District needs from you,” ERDC Director Dr. David Pittman said about the program.
For program questions, please contact Antisa.C.Webb@usace.army.mil.
Applications for the 2023 program will open October 1, 2022, for GS-7-13 team members through the “Opportunities” icon at: