Two Jacksonville District engineers recognized nationally

Published March 28, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announces the selection of two of its engineers as 2017 national award recipients.

The Society of American Military Engineers, which leads collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges, selected Laureen Borochaner, chief of Engineering Division at the District, as the 2017 Wheeler Medal Award Winner.  The U.S. Army Engineer Regiment selected Dan Blaydes as the 2017 Engineer Regiment Civilian of the Year Award recipient.

The Wheeler Medal is named in honor of Lt. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler who served in World War I and II, and as Chief of Engineers, 1945-1949.  The Wheeler Medal is presented for outstanding contribution to military engineering through achievement in design, construction, administration, research, or development. 

In 2017, Borochaner led a staff of more than 200 engineers, technicians and support personnel, and a multitude of complex projects.  Her contributions were extensive on significant Corps projects, including design and construction of the $300 million Indian River Lagoon / C-44 Reservoir project; the $200 million Portugués Dam in Puerto Rico; and, the $1.6 billion Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation program.  She also led design and construction recovery efforts, including time-critical emergency repairs, following hurricanes’ Irma and Maria impacts to Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

Borochaner, who holds a Master of Science degree in engineering from Tufts University, Medford, Mass., has served as the District’s Chief of Engineering Division since 2012.

The Engineer Regiment Civilian of the Year award recognizes the best civilian in the Engineer Regiment and is sponsored by Lt. Gen. John W. Morris who served in Vietnam and as Chief of Engineers 1976-1980. The U.S. Army Engineer School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, administers this award.

Blaydes earned this award through his extensive contributions on significant projects also.  In his role as lead Jacksonville District engineer for Dams and Levees, he led teams for five important dam design and construction projects including the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation, the largest dam safety modification project in the Corps’ inventory. The Indian River Lagoon C-44 and C-43 reservoirs – integral components of Everglades Restoration - represent the only new dam construction projects currently being built in the Corps of Engineers’ construction program.  The Guajataca Dam and Fort Jackson dams were damaged by tropical cyclones and required repair design and implementation under challenging schedule deadlines.  Blaydes demonstrated outstanding leadership, problem solving, and team building skills, and provided significant value-added input to keep these projects on target.

Blades holds a Master of Science degree in geotechnical engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.

The Corps of Engineers employs more than 33,000 civilian employees and 800 military personnel with a presence in more than 30 countries.  With a huge area or responsibility, Jacksonville District is always seeking highly skilled people to join the force and continue providing significant value to the nation.  


 Text Box: Herbert Hoover Dike cutoff wall construction near Pahokee, Florida. The current rehabilitation project includes removal or replacement of all 32 federal water control structures, over 50 miles of cutoff wall, and other miscellaneous repairs. Daniel Blaydes has been active with the Risk Assessment, the Dam Safety Modification Study, and the on-going construction contracts. (USACE photo by Mark Bias)



Susan J. Jackson
904-309-4313 (cell)

Release no. 18-020