Civil engineer lauded for plan development on Wolf Creek Dam dissolved oxygen project

Elizabeth R. Boeglin, civil engineer in the Engineering and Construction Division, is the Nashville District Employee of the Month for June 2022 for plan development and design work in support of the Wolf Creek Dissolved Oxygen Improvement Project.

Boeglin is credited with assembling two sets of plans and specifications to coordinate responsibilities between Tennessee Valley Authority engineers and a Corps of Engineers contractor working simultaneously on the construction project.

The project involved developing plans and specifications to mitigate downstream dissolved oxygen concerns at Wolf Creek Dam on the Cumberland River in Jamestown, Kentucky, by utilizing an oxygen diffuser system, which stores liquid oxygen, converts it to a gas, and diffuses it in the dam’s forebay.

As the site developer, Boeglin detailed grading plans for supporting the 200,000-plus oxygen tanks, coordinated and designed access routes for 110-foot oxygen delivery trucks, and threaded thousands of feet of oxygen supply and buoyancy line between countless utilities and challenging terrain to ensure a viable and constructable oxygen delivery to the reservoir.

Lt. Col. Joseph Sahl, Nashville District commander, announced Boeglin’s selection as employee of the month and recognized her work to assemble multiple plans and specifications that required difficult navigation to assure clarity, so the left hand knew what the right hand was doing during construction.

“As the design progressed toward final submission, coordination challenges and details arose requiring Lizzy to make rapid fire reworks and plan development to ensure all components were addressed,” Sahl said. “Lizzy’s performance, work ethic and technical capabilities were specifically lauded by TVA.”

Boeglin said the project design at Wolf Creek Dam changed often as the team worked through issues with site access and oxygen line paths and plant layouts.

“I think the biggest challenge was just how quickly things would change and require updates to the plans and specs to help explain the changes to others involved with the project. We had a great team working together on the project; I enjoyed working with and learning from everyone involved in the design effort,” Boeglin said.

She is also credited for her work on the project team at Barkley Dam in Kuttawa, Kentucky, where she developed plans and specifications to repair an eroded area along the downstream slope of the dam embankment. The team formed a plan to remove eroded material and to place and compact new material.

“This project was cool because the work will be performed from the railroad, so we had to think about accessing the site and moving material differently than we typically do. I am so proud of the team and how quickly we were able to put together the design package,” Boeglin said.

Frank Mills, supervisory civil engineer of the Survey and Mapping Section, supervises Boeglin and praised her for her actions while supporting the design of the dissolved oxygen project at Wolf Creek Dam.

“The TVA engineer was very experienced and senior to Lizzy, but couldn’t stop raving about how impressive Lizzy’s drawings and designs were,” Mills said. “Every time a project delivery team member had an idea, she would always interject with ‘Lizzy can make everything you just said come to life in a plan sheet.’ We’re all very proud of her!”

Mills said Boeglin completed the majority of her training and gained experience in a COVID environment, meaning the majority of her capability can be attributed to her own drive and tenacity toward being an exceptional site and design civil engineer.

“No one was looking over her shoulder and prodding her to be better. She did it on her own and achieved to the point where she’s now turning the heads of engineers with 20-plus years of experience under their belt,” Mills said.

Boeglin has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Tech University. She began working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District in April 2019.

The Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, native thanks her fiancé and sister for always motivating her, and her parents for always being there for her. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking and sewing.

As for her selection as employee of the month, Boeglin said she is surprised but honored to be recognized.

“None of these projects would have been possible without the teams working on them. It truly took a group effort to deliver the projects like we did. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to help me learn as I go and talk through challenges as they arise,” Boeglin stressed.

Chris Stoltz, project manager, also praised Boeglin for developing a solution to mitigate dissolved oxygen concerns as the scope of the project changed significantly from inception to completion.

“Lizzy’s patience and commitment to finding the right solution helped complete the design,” Stoltz said. “I’m not surprised by her selection because of her continued dedication, flexibility while navigating large changes in design, and how well she carried herself while working hand-in-hand with senior engineers with the Tennessee Valley Authority.”

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