STEM Professional of the week

Victor M. Garcia, BSME, P.E.      
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Born in Tegucigalpa, the largest and most populous city in the central American country of Honduras, Victor M. Garcia is currently a Project Manager in the Protection and Restoration Office of the Programs and Projects Management Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District. 

Victor grew up with a strong support system and parents who had achieved professional success in their home country. His father was a mechanical engineer and professor. His mother - an economist. Despite leading a comfortable life in Honduras, Victor’s parents felt that the only way to provide their children with a safer and better future, would be to start a new life in the United States. Shortly after Victor graduated from high school, his father moved the family to the U.S. It was a struggle for them to leave a comfortable life to start over in a foreign place with nothing but they knew it was the right choice for their children’s future. Victor’s father settled for a job as a painter, while his mother opted to stay home. Taking into deep consideration his parents’ sacrifices, Victor took it upon himself to learn English and decided to follow in his father’s engineering footsteps.

In 1994, Victor began taking undergraduate classes at the University of New Orleans. Four years later, he earned his mechanical engineering degree, thus becoming the first member of his family to attend and graduate from a university in the U.S. 
Not one to hesitate, Victor jumped right into his professional engineering career. He began in private industry soon after graduating, spending five years working with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Textron before starting his long-term working relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – a team that works to strengthen the Nation’s security by building and maintaining America’s infrastructure and providing military facilities where service members train, work and live. 

Now entering his 13th year with the organization, in his current role Victor leads a project delivery team for the West Bank and Vicinity Project, part of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System that was funded after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This project provides 100-year Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Systems elevations for the 75 miles of levees, floodwalls, gates and drainage pumps designed to reduce flood risk for this area. 

Under this leadership, Mr. Victor was in charge of 22 of these construction contracts, worth approximately $450 million dollars at the time of award. He continues to develop himself by serving as a STEM role model with involvement in the Hispanic community by volunteering to serve on emergency operation teams, providing translation services and by being a speaker at annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations. 

Victor is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New Orleans and was recognized with a HENAAC Luminary award by Great Minds in STEM last October.  

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