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Posted 2/1/2013

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By Tyler M. Stalker

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District engineer Marcus Williams has been selected to receive a Modern-Day Technology Leader award at the 27th Black Engineer of the Year Awards and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Global Competitiveness Conference Feb. 7-9, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Williams, a civil engineer in the Sacramento District’s structural design branch from May 2010 until January 2013, will be recognized for his accomplishments while serving on one of the Corps’ largest and most complex construction projects in the nation, the Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway project.

As the lead structural engineer for project, Williams oversaw the design of the new spillway’s approach channel, “managing in-house and consultant resources to ensure the timely delivery of high quality designs for this high profile project,” according to his award nomination. The project is a $962-million collaborative effort of the Corps, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, state of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency to improve the dam’s safety and reduce flood risk for the greater Sacramento area.

To gain final approval of the design, Williams needed to present it in person to the Corps’ top officials.

“That was nerve-racking!” Williams said. “There is always anxiety associated with a presentation, but in the end I tried to focus on finding the best engineering solution that was mutually beneficial to all involved parties.”

From a young age, Williams knew he wanted to be an engineer - thanks in large part to a television program.

“The show "Beyond 2000" would come on and I would be captivated by the mile-high buildings they said would be under construction in the near future,” Williams said. “It all just seemed so cool.”

Williams completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University and received a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, mechanics and materials from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006 before joining the Corps in May 2010.

Williams moved on from the Corps in January 2013, taking a new position as a senior structural engineer at MWH Global in Walnut Creek, where he supports several water infrastructure projects and mentors younger engineers.

His time and role with the Corps won’t be forgotten any time soon, he said.

“It was challenging but extremely rewarding,” Williams said. “I felt important, inspired, involved, and up-to-date on one of the most amazing projects under construction in the nation.”

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