Army civilian engineer in Balad recognized for service
February 19, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 19, 2009) -- Project engineer and Army civilian Elizabeth Burg was recently named one of the 2009 "Top Five New Faces in Engineering" for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Her recognition came from her service as a research hydraulic engineer for the Engineering Research and Development Center's Coastal and Hydraulics Lab in Vicksburg, Miss.
"It's definitely an honor, and it came as a surprise," Burg said during a telephonic interview from Balad. "It's pretty humbling to know that my peers and superiors are looking at me as somebody who has something to offer to the organization."
Burg is serving a voluntary deployment to Iraq for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region North district's Balad Resident Office.
At 24 years old, Burg oversees nearly $46 million in military construction projects on Joint Base Balad as well as part of the Pipeline Exclusion Zone project, which is an infrastructure project aimed at protecting the pipelines that run from the oil fields in northern Iraq to the ports of southern Iraq.
"When I was offered a position over here, I jumped at it," Burg said. "It's very unique to be able to participate in nation building."
One of the most rewarding feelings is seeing how excited local Iraqis are when projects are completed, Burg said.
Her efforts of "nation building" in Iraq are not unrecognized.
"She exudes tremendous confidence," Maj. Gen. Michael R. Eyre, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division commanding general said. "It's a real privilege and honor to not only recognize Liz but to observe what's she's doing here and what she's accomplishing."
This self-professed "Air Force brat" enrolled in 11 schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Moreover, she has lived in Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming.
She earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and is presently pursuing her master's degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University.
"There's always lots of work for engineers," Burg said. "Anything that I can do to help others be interested in this type of work is all that I really need."