BLOG - By Jay Pak, senior research civil engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District.
My name is Jay Pak. Currently, I am a senior research civil engineer at the Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), an organization within the Institute for Water Resources, designated Center of Expertise for United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
My major role at HEC is to lead a research program developing the sediment transport module for the Hydrologic Engineering Center - Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS), which is a well-known computer program designed to model watershed hydrology.
I am writing to share three takeaways (Opportunity, Challenges, and People) from my rewarding experience with the Far East District (FED) USACE, located in Camp Humphreys, South Korea.
Throughout my 19-year professional government career with USACE, I have been fortunate enough to experience two opportunities working with FED. During my first stint, I served as Chief of the Geotechnical Engineering Section (Oct. 2009 to Aug. 2012). A few years later, I returned as Chief of Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering Branch (Aug. 2015 to May 2019). Prior to these roles, I was not aware of my full capabilities.
My years at FED served as an opportunity to challenge myself, overcome my fears, and develop my leadership skills. However, my most valuable take-away at FED was the people I met. By meeting the wonderful individuals at FED, they enriched my experience and created priceless memories in Korea. We are a professional team and a family.
During my time with FED, I have had various opportunities to develop and maintain proficient analysis abilities and communication skills. I am confident that I will be able to contribute immensely to USACE. This confidence stems from my educational background and work experience, including my four years working as a liaison officer between USACE and Korea Water Corporation (K-water). This will serve to reinforce an already strong and mutually beneficial partnership, and to build capacity in water resources management abroad.
I pride myself on my dependability, and ability to work well with other foreign organizations. Being a part of USACE and K-water could not have come to fruition for my professional career without my experience in South Korea.
Additionally, I was a member of one of the largest transformation, re-stationing and construction project, Yongsan Relocation Plan (YRP), and Land Partnership Plan (LPP). These projects designated a new footprint for the American military in the Republic of Korea.
Through this opportunity, I was an honorary member of the FED history as it completed FED’s headquarter relocation from Seoul to Camp Humphreys.
Now I get to share my awesome experiences with others.
Don’t miss a great opportunity to challenge yourself both personally and professionally with new people and new culture.