News & Features

Alumnus Josh Aldred – 2016 Federal Engineer of the Year

photo of josh aldred

 February 29, 2016

Major Josh Aldred (MS 2010, PhD 2015) has been honored as the nation's top federal engineer with the 2016 Federal Engineer of the Year Award.

Sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers and Professional Engineers in Government, the award honors engineers employed by a federal agency that employs at least 50 engineers worldwide.

Aldred is currently serving as operations flight commander at Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea where he is responsible for managing 170 military and Korean civil engineers. He oversees the maintenance of 1,083 facilities, encompassing 3.6 million square feet, in addition to the daily maintenance of the air base's $260 million airfield.

In recent years, Aldred defended his doctoral dissertation at The University of Texas at Austin, which was a systems analysis of evaluating the feasibility and monetary benefits of ozone control through the use of activated carbon filtration in buildings. In cooperation with the UT Energy Stewards and Environmental Health and Safety, his team was able to achieve considerable energy savings (~$50K per year) on a campus building and then re-invest some of the savings in improved filtration which lowered the indoor ozone concentration by an average of 45%. 

“This was a win-win as we were able to simultaneously save energy and improve indoor air quality in the laboratories,” said Aldred. “Furthermore, this strategy can be used in other buildings on campus to save energy.”

Aldred also previously taught Civil and Environmental Engineering courses at the U.S. Air Force and has been deployed overseas three times.

“One of my most meaningful experiences in the military was leading a work training and education mission in Iraq called the Village of Hope,” he said.  “We helped train 200 former Iraqi militiamen in construction trades to help re-build their village which was badly damaged after several battles with militants.  In the course of starting up the training program, we noticed many of the men were illiterate so we began a literacy program to help the men learn to read and write.  It was a really fulfilling experience.”

When at home in his Austin community, he volunteers his time with nonprofit organizations providing food, counseling, job training, and housing assistance for the economically disadvantaged.

The award was presented on Feb. 26 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.