District Digest News Stories

Nashville District names Phillips Employee of the Month for July 2022

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published Sept. 29, 2022
Kyle Phillips stands in front of Chickamauga Lock smiling and wearing all appropriate safety equipment.

Kyle Phillips, civil engineer in the Engineering & Construction Division’s Construction Branch at Chickamauga Lock Resident Office, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of District Employee of the Month for July 2022.

Kyle Phillips stands with another male engineer inside of a fully elevated basket crane.

Kyle Phillips in a basket crane on his way up to inspect removed defective concrete for validity at Chickamauga Lock, August 11, 2022.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 29, 2022) – Kyle Phillips, civil engineer in the Engineering & Construction Division’s Construction Branch at Chickamauga Lock Resident Office, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for July 2022. He is recognized primarily for his dedication to mentoring new staff and Quality Control personnel to keep activity at Chickamauga Lock moving forward.

Lt. Col. Joseph Sahl, Nashville District commander, announced Phillips’s selection and said, “You’ve likely heard of Chickamauga Lock if you’ve been in the district for longer than a month – real tough project and I’m very pleased we have folks like Kyle out there keeping it moving forward with quality and safety in mind.”

Phillips has worked on the Chickamauga Lock project since 2017, when he worked for Heeter Geotechnical Construction, the excavation contractor. However, his journey to Chickamauga started long before.

“When I was younger, I would ride across the Chickamauga Dam and look down at the coffer dam being constructed and dream to be a part of this awesome project.”

The hard work, dedication, and professionalism displayed by Phillips while working for Heeter did not go unseen by others working on the project. The quality assurance team for the Nashville District noticed Phillips’ attention to detail and mentioned to Tommy Long, resident engineer, that he would make a great addition to the team. In January 2019, Phillips joined the Nashville District and went to work right away in the resident engineer office.

Philips’ dream became a reality. “I can thankfully say, today I’m a part of the project and it’s so much better than I could have ever imagined,” he said.

In addition to his primary duties as a civil engineer, Phillips serves the Nashville District as part of the Quality Assurance team at Chickamauga Lock Resident Office. He has taken his role to another level by mentoring oncoming staff and new quality control personnel to reduce the learning curve.

Allen Malcomb, Phillips’ supervisor, said, “Kyle has really helped develop the quality assurance team.  He is the person who goes the extra mile, ensuring things are done correctly and is always willing to help mentor or train someone on how to do something before getting his task done.”

His co-worker, Cayce Grall, added, “Kyle doesn’t see mentoring as a chore, rather an opportunity to interact with and influence the next generation of engineers and inspectors, by passing on his own knowledge.”

His approach to mentorship and professionalism has led to the development of a strong quality assurance team. Because of Phillips’ mentorship and leadership, every team member knows what to inspect, how to inspect, and feels confident to ask questions arising in the field. 

Whether it is ensuring contract requirements are met or partnering with the contractor to work through issues arising in the field, Phillips’ professionalism and commitment is always on display. Because he is well respected within in his office and by the contractor, Phillips communicates regularly with Technical Lead Long Truong and Structural Technical Lead AY York as the liaison between the contractor and engineering.   

“Kyle is great example of you don’t have to be at the top to lead and influence people around you; he leads by example and is a role model that others try to emulate,” said Malcomb.

While others may find Phillips’ attitude and actions extraordinary, for him, it’s just another day at the office. “I’ve never experienced a more inviting workplace. It’s a pleasure to come in and see everyone with a ‘team’ mentality. I love my amazing team, some days I don’t even feel like I’m working,” Phillips said.

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.

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