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By Rodger Rees
Galveston Wharves Port Director, CEO
The Galveston Wharves has built a strong engineering team to carry out millions of dollars in expansion projects and critical repairs detailed in the port’s 20-Year Strategic Master Plan.
Our Engineering Department is overseeing many aspects of projects across the port, including the new cruise terminal at Pier 10, the West Port Cargo Complex and potential improvements on Pelican Island. Having an experienced team specially trained in maritime systems adds real value.
As you can imagine, design and construction work on and around the waterfront presents special challenges. Some port assets are more than 100 years old, which adds another layer of complexity. Having an inhouse team with knowledge of the port’s unique features is essential.
National Engineers Week, Feb. 20-26, is the perfect opportunity to spotlight the port’s Engineering Department and thank them for their dedication and hard work.
MEET THE TEAM
Port Chief Engineer Jeffrey Thomas oversees the planning, development and maintenance of the port’s assets with a full-time staff of eight. He has been with the port for 12 years. Jeffrey earned his maritime systems engineering degree from Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Benjamin Walcher is leading infrastructure projects for the new cruise terminal at Pier 10. The work, estimated at over $25 million, includes an internal roadway and utilities, as well as wharf repairs and improvements. Ben earned his engineering degree in maritime systems engineering from Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Diego Castro has a Bachelor of Science degree in project management from the University of Houston. He recently worked on relocating the port’s roll-on/roll-off cargo operations. Now Diego is supporting the new cruise terminal development by managing Pier 10-12 repairs and utility relocations.
Dominick Gaviria is overseeing repair projects at the West Port Cargo Complex and will oversee some construction in support the new Cruise Terminal 10. Currently he is working with construction crews on Pier 35 drainage improvements. He is also attending Houston Baptist University to complete his degree in economics.
Dylan LeMire most recently managed port interior roadway construction between 29th and 33rd streets. Dylan supports project technical needs and is beginning to focus on major asset inspections and needs. Dylan has an ocean engineering degree from Texas A&M University in College Station.
Branko Gligoric designs and manages projects, including the new cruise terminal monument signage at the port’s 23rd Street entrance. He also supports port project planning and management of port assets. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Belgrade in Serbia.
Port intern John Willis is majoring in maritime administration at Texas A&M University at Galveston. He’s getting hands-on experience in the port’s busy Engineering Department by helping support the growing number of projects. He’s also using his skills as a recently licensed commercial drone pilot.
Port Administrative Assistant Dorothy Dickens has been helping to keep the port’s Engineering and Operations departments organized and on track since 2019 with her associates degree in communications. Dorothy joined the port after a 22-year career as a civilian in the U.S. Army and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, supporting top-ranked officers including two-star generals.