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Engineers Week 2022: Meet Catherine Jerrard

  • Published
  • 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 Catherine Jerrard with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Installations Directorate. Jerrard is an environmental engineer in the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Management Division.

What is your engineering area of expertise?
My degree is in mechanical engineering and I have worked as a mechanical engineer for a paper company, a manufacturing engineer for an aerospace manufacturer, and as mechanical and environmental engineer for the Air Force.

What are the main things you are working on now?
I am the program manager for the BRAC environmental programs at two former bases: Williams AFB in Mesa, Arizona, and Myrtle Beach AFB in South Carolina. I also support the program manager at the former Griffiss AFB in Rome, New York. We plan and implement Air Force environmental remediation projects that include soil and groundwater investigation and cleanup, landfill management and munitions investigations. We also work on transferring Air Force BRAC property to civilian use and managing any land use restrictions associated with Air Force environmental sites.

What do you enjoy the most about being an Air Force CE?
My favorite parts of my job are the variety, challenges and people. I enjoy planning and implementing multiple projects. It has been rewarding to work with federal and state regulators, contractors, private landowners and stakeholders to transition BRAC Air Force bases to successful civilian use.

How do you contribute to the lethality and readiness of the Air Force?
The teams I work on have transferred BRAC property to civilian reuse and have advanced the environmental cleanup at Air Force sites. In several cases, the Air Force BRAC team has worked with private developers to complete redevelopment and environmental cleanup concurrently.  

What has been your favorite, most successful or most rewarding project in your career with the Air Force so far and why? 
I have able to work on many very interesting projects. At former Myrtle Beach AFB there is a new apartment complex that was built on a site with solvent contamination in the groundwater.  We worked with the developer to conduct additional remediation during the construction of a new storm water drain line. During continued construction of the complex, some military munitions debris was uncovered and the Air Force, with assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, completed a quick project to remove all of the items. After construction completion, the groundwater remediation continued with active, enhanced remediation injections in the apartment complex parking lot. The groundwater and munitions site cleanups are now complete and there is no further action needed.

What motivates and inspires you the most?
I am fortunate to have a job I enjoy. New challenges arise frequently and I can see the results of my efforts. I am grateful to have worked with so many skilled and personable people from many different regions of the country. Raising a family and working as an engineer both inspired me. Our three adult children are now all working themselves. I enjoy a wide variety of leisure activities with friends and family.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I would encourage anyone who likes math, science and problem solving to consider engineering. It is a very broad career field and there is a great deal of flexibility. I recommend engineering as a fulfilling and enjoyable career.