MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 21, 2019 – The 2018 U.S. Army Engineer Awards Board’s Outstanding Civilian of the Year Award Committee recently selected Memphis District’s Jamie Evans as the Outstanding Civilian of the Year. Every year the committee selects an Army civilian engineer to recognize for their outstanding contributions and support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the regiment, including civil works, humanitarian, and community achievements.
Highlights from Evans’ impressive year of achievements makes clear how he earned this special honor.
Using his expertise in seismic evaluation, Evans proposed and led a strategic initiative to establish the Seismic Design Center in which Memphis District’s Geotechnical and Structural engineers provide customized seismic studies. This allows engineers to design structures for site specific earthquake forces rather than using more conservative values based on broadly defined local building codes. He also served as technical lead for the completion of the Ensley Relief Well project that protects the Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park. He proposed construction methods that would allow well construction despite unfavorable groundwater conditions.
As a civic leader and humanitarian, Evans served as Coordinator and Board of Directors President for the First Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen; volunteered with the Friends of the Mississippi River Basin Model to clean-up and restore the historic site; spent 200 hours serving as a professional mentor to the White Station High School Robotics team; and coordinated with the Memphis Youth Mission to cook and serve meals at Ronald McDonald House for families whose children are treated at either St. Jude or Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Additionally, Evans collaborated with Thistle & Bee, an organization that works to support and educate women who are victims of prostitution and sex trafficking, to use the church’s kitchen to make granola for fundraising. Sales of the granola supports Thistle & Bee’s important mission.
Evans made regular financial contributions to First Presbyterian Church, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen, Civil Engineering Department at the University of Memphis, WKNO-FM (public radio), Mid-South Food Bank, and Hope House. He also supported micro loans through the Kiva Micro Finance organization. Through this organization, Evans helped finance 448 micro-loans over the last 10 years with a total of $11,200 to individuals in 79 countries around the world, including Haiti, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Paraguay, Samoa, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Kenya, Peru, Tajikistan and Uganda.
Evans holds Professional Engineering Licenses in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee and is a Certified Acquisition Professional holding a Level 2 Facility Engineering Certification. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in civil engineering from The University of Memphis.
Evans said he is surprised about receiving the recognition.
"It was a complete surprise that the things I have done, both at work and in the community, rise to the level of this award. It is an honor to be recognized for these efforts,” Evans said. “I want to thank our District Commander, Col. Mike Ellicott, who nominated me for this award and my supervisor, Cory Williams, and others in the district who wrote and edited my nomination for this award. I hope we all continue to do our part to make the Corps and our communities a little better every day."
Evans’ supervisor, Geotechnical Engineering Branch Chief Cory Williams is not at all surprised by Evans’ win.
"I am very happy that Jamie has been recognized for his engineering abilities and service to others. Few people have his commitment to excellence in the engineering field combined with his compassion. He is an excellent representative of the Corps of Engineers and I am proud to be his supervisor and coworker.
Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser wrote, “I cannot think of a more deserving individual for this recognition as he embodies the U.S. Army values through his daily actions both professionally and personally. Jamie is a World Class Engineer!”
“I cannot provide a stronger endorsement for Mr. Evans as a true role model for the community, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the nation, Memphis District Commander Col. Michael Ellicott wrote. His professional acumen and civic leadership are beyond exemplary.”