Past Meetings

January 2020: Capacity Building & Inland Navigation in the Amazon River Basin

In January, our meeting featured a presentation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on the Brazil-USACE Partnership, by Brian Alberto, a Senior Hydraulic Engineer with the St. Paul District.

USACE signed their first 5-year agreement with the Brazilian Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DNIT) in 2016 to provide technical assistance and capacity building support to inland navigation projects throughout Brazil. To accomplish this, USACE regularly embeds one or more Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) within DNIT’s office in Brasilia, Brazil to assist and collaborate with Brazilian engineers to improve navigation reliability, safety, and efficiency throughout the year. Inland navigation in Brazil is problematic during the dry season (August – October), as shallow water depths require convoys to either light‐load their barges or increase their travel time as they navigate around sand shoals and/or rock outcrops. This presentation will provide an overview of the DNIT‐USACE program, discuss DNIT’s mission to increase navigation reliability (particularly in the Amazon River Basin), walk through a case study of the Madeira River feasibility project, and discuss the cultural and social aspects of working in Brazil.

Brian's slides and feasibility study are available to our members on our LinkedIn Group page. 


December 2019: Panel Discussion on the Human Side of Engineering

In December, our meeting featured an informal speed round of presentations and discussion on the ‘human’ side of engineering. Topics included the following topics:

  • Ideas for On-boarding of New Employees
  • Leadership Development at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • LeadBLU: Mortenson's approach to Leadership Development
  • Ethics: Tough Decisions and Analyzing Benefits and Impacts

This meeting did not include a presentation or slides to share with the larger group. The meeting consisted of a group of professionals sharing and listening to each other’s experiences.