Davis leaves mark on ERDC after 42 years

Published 9:39 am Monday, October 3, 2022

Worker retention is a problem facing many enterprises across the country. In fact, a recent study released by Gallup showed that millennials — those between the ages of 25 and 34 — expect to change jobs about every three years. Working for a single company for the life of a person’s career seems to be a thing of the past.

Dr. Jack Davis, however, does not fit into this mold. After 42 years of service, he retired from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) on Aug. 31.

Davis began his career with the ERDC in 1980 as a student intern with the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign, Illinois. In 1984, he moved from CERL to ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, where he served as a researcher and in other various leadership roles for 27 years.

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Over the course of his career, Davis served as a program manager for several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) research and development programs, including the Regional Sediment Management, Research, Development and Demonstration Programs and the Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Program. He also served as the technical director for flood and coastal-storm damage reduction, flood risk management, emergency management and water supply.

His work included research in reservoir water quality, the design of river control structures, wind-wave generation and propagation, coastal wetland restoration engineering and protection, beneficial uses of dredged sediment, coastal sediment management and the design of shore protection structures. He also coordinated and led several short courses on Coastal Engineering.

In 2011, Davis was selected as the deputy director of ERDC’s Environmental Laboratory (EL), where he oversaw operations related to people, portfolio, products, facilities and communication.

“Jack was a model public servant to generations of ERDC employees who trusted in his expert advice and benefitted from his wisdom,” said Dr. Edmond Russo, ERDC-EL director. “He leaves us with a towering legacy of outstanding leadership achievements at ERDC that will endure for years.”

Over the years, Davis has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the USACE by receiving the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Superior Civilian Service Medal, the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal and the Bronze de Fleury Medal.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Davis also earned his doctoral degree in ocean engineering from Texas A&M University.

“Jack’s leadership, vision and loyalty to the ERDC will be greatly missed,” said Dr. David Pittman, ERDC director. “I am truly grateful for his service, and I wish him all the best in his retirement.”