University alumnus honored with prominent military engineering award

College of Engineering graduate recognized for engineering work in the U.S. Navy, more than 30 years of military service

5/2/2013 | By: Stephany Kirby  |

Martin Smith, a University of Nevada, Reno College of Engineering graduate, was recently chosen as the winner of the Goethals Medal from the Society of American Military Engineers for his work with the U.S. Navy. Smith graduated from the University in 1980 as an Ensign, a junior Navy rank, in the Civil Engineer Corps of the Navy and took his first job at the Public Works Center San Diego as an activity civil engineer.

Throughout the next 30 years, Smith held multiple civilian jobs in Nevada and California, and military positions including at Chief of Naval Operations N44 Facilities in Washington D.C. handling real estate issues, Assistant Operations Officer for the Desert Integrated Product Team at Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, and Deputy Officer in Charge of Construction Marine Corps Installations West at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, Calif. He was also recalled to active duty in Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was the Chief of Operations for the Civil Military Operations Section of Multi-National Corps Iraq.

The Society of American Military Engineers offers only one Goethals Medal each year and it is awarded to an individual who has been nominated for distinguished performance in the field of engineering, design or construction. Smith was nominated by the San Diego Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, and the nomination package was put together by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, whom he works for.

"Martin has led the Navy and the engineering, design and construction industry in the southwest region to new standards in execution throughout the past five years," reads the recommendation letter on Smith's behalf. "Through his leadership and dedication to collaboration, he has set the highest standard of excellence in service to the United States government."

Smith will accept the medal at an honors ceremony during a conference in San Diego, Calif. May 21-24.

"It is great being recognized for all of the work that has been accomplished in the southwest," Smith said. "I view this as proof that I did my job well enough that the team of government and construction contractors were able to accomplish unprecedented feats in the Navy and Marine Corps construction world. I know they can only recognize one person, but it really was a team effort."


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