Contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District install a 23-foot-tall concrete shaft enclosure weighing approximately 120,000 pounds as part of the guard wall at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Nov. 16, 2023.

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Fox named Nashville District Employee of the Month for October 2023

Nashville District
Published Jan. 10, 2024
Man looks down at large pieces of paper, indoors.

Lionel Fox III, electrical engineer in the Engineering and Construction Design Section, looks at designs for the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project Jan. 9, 2024, at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. Fox was recently selected as the Nashville District Employee of the Month for October 2023 for his electrical expertise supporting the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Barkley Crane Project in Kuttawa, Kentucky. (USACE Photo by Leon Roberts)

Lionel Fox, electrical engineer assigned to the Electrical Section, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District employee of the month of October 2023. 

Fox is recognized for his significant, ongoing contributions to the successful delivery of the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project and for his electrical expertise supporting the delivery of the Barkley Dam Crane Project. 

“Lionel is an exemplary employee,” said Faron Bean, chief of the Electrical Section. “His incredible attention to detail and knowledge of electrical systems is beyond reproach. He is extremely conscientious and devoted to his craft and is a shining example to others in the field.”

The Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project includes design and construction of a replacement 110-foot by 600-foot navigation lock downstream of the existing dam and riverward of the existing lock. Four wall sections of the dam will be removed so commercial and recreational vessels will be able to access the new lock. The fifth bay wall closest to the river midpoint will be transformed into a concrete shear wall. This necessitates complex changes to the electrical layout.

Fox singlehandedly and successfully facilitated the critical removal of this shear wall feature from the ongoing lock chamber contract by fully redesigning the electrical layout for the entire new lock as well as update the lock controls to current code requirements to accommodate the change. 

“It’s like a fairly complicated sequence of construction to make sure that even though we are destroying part of this dam, we have to keep power running from one end to the other, and to keep all these things energized and on,” Fox said. “Otherwise, we stop the river traffic.”

This work required Fox to switch work priorities and spend hundreds of regular and overtime hours identifying impacts and reworking hundreds of conduits across the chamber accommodating both the lock chamber contract and the upcoming contract. 

He has been on this program for a number of years, rotating on and off in different capacities. “I’ve been back on this since March of last year, and this particular topic has been a topic for a good portion of that time,” Fox added.

No stranger to regular overtime, Fox previously worked in the high-tech private sector in semi-conductor development where “It’s a lifestyle of a job,” Fox said. The Navy veteran has been with USACE for approximately five and a half years, and received his education at San Diego State University, having completed his Navy career in that southern California city. “I miss the food,” he said wistfully.

Lt. Col. Robert Green, Nashville District commander, announced Fox’s selection with praise. “His attention to detail and dedication in spending many difficult hours on a tedious and technical task as this one is more than commendable,” Green said.

Bean, Fox’s supervisor, concluded, “I believe that the public should know that the electrical design for this new lock is being overseen by one of the most capable and talented electrical engineers in the Corps and that his commitment to the safety of the public on this and every project he touches cannot be overstated.”


Chick Lock

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