NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 13, 2021) – Tommy Hollowell, quality assurance field lead in the Western Kentucky Resident Office, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for July 2021. He is recognized primarily for his efforts to control cost and time growth for the construction of the new Kentucky Lock on the Tennessee River in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
Lt. Col. Joseph Sahl, Nashville District commander, announced Hollowell’s selection and praised him for fostering a partnership culture focused on safely executing quality work despite significant engineer complexities.
“He is emerging as one of the district’s valuable team members working to advance the construction at Kentucky Lock,” Sahl said.
Hollowell began his career with the Nashville District in September 2011 and in July 2019, he accepted a reassignment to the Western Kentucky Office. Resident engineer for the Western Kentucky Office, Jeremiah Manning describes Hollowell as having a reputation for an approachable nature combined with a tireless work ethic fostering a culture of partnership focused on safely executing and producing quality work, despite any obstacles. A strong work ethic, “is a critical skill set for success in any resident office. Tommy’s reputation was the leading factor in recruiting him to our team,” said Manning, Hollowell’s supervisor.
In the Western Kentucky Resident Office, Hollowell is responsible for providing technical oversight of contractor performance and acts as a liaison with the design geologists, providing expert analysis and feedback to the resident engineer on all geo-technical related matters. Recently, Hollowell identified at least two opportunities to improve both contract specifications and contractor means and methods to deliver improved quality, in less time. Manning credits Hollowell’s proactive efforts on improving pipe pile and specialized treatment zone grouting activities are directly attributed to mitigating significant cost and time growth on a program of national significance.
Hollowell possesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise. He serves as the quality assurance field lead for all geo-technical related activities on the Kentucky Lock Addition Mega Project. His geological background and depth of construction expertise positioned him as the keystone of all critical construction activities occurring under the Kentucky Lock Downstream Excavation contract. Manning said, “Without Tommy Hollowell on the Kentucky Lock team, we would have had a big hole in the capacity of the resident office staff.” He continued, “Acceptance of the Downstream Cofferdam Foundation and DS Excavation blasting plans would certainly been further delayed.”
Proud of his efforts on the Kentucky Lock Mega Project thus far, Hollowell humbly recognizes the challenges he’s encountered. “I’ve done my part to minimize the impact to the project schedule to subsurface geologic conditions arising during post-tensioned anchor installation; grout curtain drilling and grouting; and pipe pile installation.” He credits the progress to open and ongoing communication between himself and fellow lock engineers, as well as other USACE engineers.
Hollowell eagerly shares his expertise and knowledge with others. He mentors two junior engineers who joined the project in July. Additionally, he shared lessons learned with two visiting Louisville District geologists to prepare them for future blasting programs under the Rough River Project. His willingness to teach others and his professional demeanor has increased the capability of his entire team, improving their overall efficiency.
While many agencies and organizations across the nation are suffering because of the pandemic, Hollowell’s dedication to the Kentucky Lock Mega Project has continued unfazed. He is continuously working extended shifts on-site to meet the operation tempo of the project’s contracting partners.
Summarizing his thoughts on Hollowell’s career, Manning states, “I would like to see Tommy continue to develop as a construction professional. He demonstrates the skills necessary to succeed as a Quality Assurance Team Leader.”
The Employee of the Month Award is another milestone in the ladder of career progression. Hollowell is humbled, yet ecstatic to receive this honor and believes the award is the result of the culmination of work he has completed on numerous projects throughout his career with the Nashville District.
Tommy, who says he “never loses sight of the forest through the trees,” attributes much of his success and professional satisfaction to the “comradery and sense of teamwork among my colleagues.”
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. The public can also follow Kentucky Lock on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kentyckylock.)