Engineers Week 2022: Steven Willis

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – It’s Engineers Week and we wanted to spotlight a few of our engineer teammates at AFIMSC.

Meet Steven Willis with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Installations Directorate. Willis is the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program manager.

What is your engineering area of expertise?

My degree is in aerospace engineering with a Masters in engineering systems management and I’m currently working on environmental restoration of BRAC bases.

What are the main things you are working on now?

I’m working on environmental cleanup at the former Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan. We have three separate systems operating to treat contaminated groundwater, a vapor intrusion study and an investigation of former explosive ordnance disposal and grenade ranges ongoing.

What do you enjoy the most about being an Air Force CE?

I get to work on all kinds of projects. There’s never a boring day. I started my career working as a structural engineer on B-52 bombers at a base that was subsequently closed under BRAC and now I’m working on environmental cleanup of a BRAC base where B-52 were assigned.

How do you contribute to the lethality and readiness of the Air Force?

That’s a tough one working on BRAC bases but our work dovetails with work on active installations that are dealing with the same environmental issues. Resolving these issues enables the rest of the Air Force to focus on readiness. Environmental considerations also factor into new weapon systems acquisition and basing requirements/decisions. Our roles intertwine to support the Air Force mission.

What has been your favorite, most successful or most rewarding project in your career with the Air Force so far and why?

I was part of a technical group providing engineering support to 23 countries and the U.S. Navy that purchased the F-5 fighter. It was very rewarding to be able to go meet with personnel from these air forces in their maintenance facilities and help them solve problems and keep their fleet flying. They were great hosts and I got to experience many cultures.

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I really enjoy a challenge and the opportunity to learn something new.  I look forward to the many opportunities available as an Air Force engineer.

Is there anything you would like to add?

During a break in my Air Force career, I enjoyed the opportunity to work as a project manager on investigation and cleanup of unexploded ordnance at sites across the United States. Being an engineer has afforded me many new and challenging opportunities in my career and I look forward to more opportunities with the Air Force.