USACE Design Branch Chief Earns Connolly Award

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, Design Branch Chief, Kate Dixon, was presented the 2024 James Connolly Award during the Society of American Military Engineers Tri-Regional Joint Engineering Training Symposium by SAME Savannah Post President, David Nelson, at the Marriott Riverfront in Savannah, Georgia, June 27, 2024.

The Connolly Award is presented each year to a civilian or military engineer within the Savannah community for notable contributions in the field of engineering. The award is named in honor of James B. Connolly (1868-1957) who was a former District employee, 1896 Olympic gold medalist, Spanish-American War veteran, and distinguished author.

Dixon was nominated by her supervisor, Engineering Division Chief Tracy Hendren, for her accomplishments within the District this past year.

“Kate personally took on the oversight of the contract at Fort Liberty for remodeling the VOLAR barracks,” said Hendren. “She did that while still doing her job as branch chief.”

The Savannah District’s Construction Division, teamed up with the Huntsville and Omaha Districts to work with the contractors to complete the renovation of three Smoke Bomb Hill barracks at Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg), within one year and turned them over to the installation in early 2024. The USACE expertise addressed the issues through several capabilities to include engineering, architectural and construction competencies as well as a rapid contracting capacity.

Dixon was responsible for the technical design support during the one-year contract. She wrote the technical specifications for the project and assisted heavily with gathering documents required for the request for proposal.
Throughout the construction duration, Dixon attended biweekly status update meetings so that any requests for information, questions, technical approvals, or variance requests could be handled in real time. Typically, requested items would have a 1-2 week turnaround time, but with Dixon’s close involvement, answers were provided within 1-2 days. This kept the project moving on its accelerated schedule.

“It means a lot that my supervisor thought highly enough of my work to take the time and effort to nominate me,” said Dixon. “I am very appreciative.”
Dixon has worked for the District for 20 years and has served in her current position for two and a half of them.

The Design Branch is a multidisciplinary team consisting of architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers. They are responsible for producing military construction project design for the District and are also in charge of reviewing design projects completed by outside Architect-Engineer firms, to ensure they meet criteria and mission needs.

“We have a lot of great people in Savannah District working together to meet the mission, and it’s enjoyable to be a part of such a dedicated team.” said Dixon.