News: Employee Spotlight – Bill Gray
Story by Jay Townsend
Bio: Bill Gray
Position: Mechanical Engineer
Years with SWL: 24 years, 7 months
Years of federal service: 28 years, 5 months
Hometown: Graduated High School from Paron, Ark.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
Q+A with Little Rock District Mechanical Engineer Bill Gray
Q: What would you say you do here Bill?
A: I work in the Operations Division where I go out to the projects and do annual inspections and provide technical assistance. It’s our job to assess the status of our infrastructure and plan maintenance that will keep it resilient and reliable.
Q: What’s the most rewarding project you’ve ever worked on?
A: I get to work on a lot of neat projects here in Little Rock like dewatering locks, making repairs, inspecting underwater parts, and helping fix things that are broken or about to break. I have been a part of things like lock dewatering, inspecting and repairing the stilling basins at DeQueen and Nimrod dams. I also have had the opportunity to be in most parts of all the dams in Little Rock District from the conduits at the very bottom of the dams to the gates on top. The most rewarding project was working on the Hurricane Blue Roof Teams where we got to help people whose homes and lives were affected by the disaster.
Q: Are you working on anything now that will have major impacts on the Arkansas River’s future?
A: We are planning a dewatering at Montgomery Point Lock next year. We will replace the gudgeon pins on the river wall miter gates. We had to do an emergency dewatering in 2012 to replace the landwall gudgeon pins because the upstream one seized. This is going to be a big job that will inevitably increase the navigation systems reliability.
Q: The folks in your office put you in for a Peer Recognition award. How does it feel to be recognized by your peers as a valuable team member?
A: GREAT! It’s uplifting to be recognized for good things. It feels good to know the folks I work with value my contributions as much as I value theirs.
Q: Is there anything else about you that you’d like the rest of your Corps family to know?
A: The Corps is a great place to work and I’m very thankful that I get to be here with all these great people. Our work provides true value to the nation. When your work has meaning and value it makes it real easy to get out of bed and come to work.