The Sacramento Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honored three DWR employees with individual awards for 2018: principal engineer Maurice Roos, supervising engineer Jesse Dillon, and engineer Amanda Ott.
The engineers were recognized at ASCE’s annual Awards Banquet at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento on September 27.
Roos received the Outstanding ASCE Life Member Award, which 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 the ASCE branch.
The internationally recognized expert in water resources has written many professional technical papers and contributed to numerous studies regarding climate change and hydrology. He has traveled to Israel, North India, Nigeria, and China to share his expertise.
Roos has been working for DWR for 61 years. Though he retired in 2000 as principal engineer and chief hydrologist, he continues serving DWR as a retired annuitant, offering his expertise on floods, climate change, weather modification, drought, and long-range weather forecasting. Highlights of his tenure with the department include establishing DWR’s first Flood Hydrology Center and serving as chief hydrologist of the Division of Flood Management.
ASCE awarded Dillon the Fredrick 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.
“It is one of the proudest moments in my career to have my contribution to the 2017 Oroville Spillways Recovery Project acknowledged,” Dillon said.
Dillon currently serves as a supervising engineer at the Division of Safety and Dams. Starting October 15, he will take a new role as a supervising engineer for the Delta Conveyance Office to work on California WaterFix.
Ott 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).
Ott and her EWB team are working to develop effective drainage solutions for the small coastal village of Sarteneja, Belize who suffer from major flooding. They traveled to the village last year, where they 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.
“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.
At DWR, Ott is part of a collaborative team testing a new technology that would remove mercury-laden sediment from reservoirs in the Sierra.
Photos from the event can be found on ASCE Sacramento's website.