NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 9, 2012) – Experiencing the “day in the life” of an engineer, two sophomores from Montgomery Bell Academy participated in a shadow program today with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Engineering Branch.
Twenty students kicked off the preparatory school’s two-day job-shadowing program with a meet-and-greet dinner March 8, then dispersed March 9 to various agencies throughout the area. D. J. Mott and Will Singer, studying engineering in their post-secondary education, shadowed Nashville District engineers.
Mott and Singer said they wanted to shadow Corps engineers because of their interest in engineering, and this gave them an opportunity to learn as possible about the career field, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and military service.
They met Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, Nashville District commander, at the dinner event March 8, and then rose early March 9 for morning briefings at the Nashville District Headquarters located at the Estes Kefauver Federal Building.
District engineers gave Mott and Singer a brief orientation on the roles of civilian workers and military personnel, then received a more in-depth look at the district’s history, branches, and project locations and purposes.
Following the opening orientation, they met experts from the structural, mechanical, water resources, water management, and cost engineering sections of the Engineering Branch. Moving from one engineering section to another, the students gained an overall better understanding of what it means to be a military-support and civil-works engineer in the Corps.
In the afternoon, Mott and Singer traveled to nearby Old Hickory Lock and Dam in Hendersonville, Tenn., for a tour of the project and interaction with engineers who operate and maintain the facility.
Maj. Patrick Dagon, Nashville District deputy commander, accompanied the students and said it was a great opportunity for them to learn about the district’s civil works projects.
“It is important to get out to a project that showcases everything Nashville does and Old Hickory was the obvious choice,” Dagon said.
Power Project Manager Olga Beddingfield, Lock and Dam Operator James Bishop, and Natural Resource Specialist Noel Smith gave Mott and Singer a guided tour of the lock and dam structures, including the hydropower units, and provided a short presentation on the importance of environmental stewardship and natural resource management at the district’s lake projects.
At the end of the day Mott and Singer said they were impressed with the day’s activities and appreciative of the chance to shadow Nashville District engineers.
DeLapp said the annual job shadow program is a success because the students receive a comprehensive overview of the Engineering Branch and how that translates at an actual project site.
“It’s a good opportunity for the students to see what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does in terms of the full spectrum of everything we do,” DeLapp said.
For more information about Montgomery Bell Academy, go to http://www.montgomerybell.edu
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