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Posted on: February 19, 2023

Port Engineers Play Lead Role in Strategic Master Plan Projects

By Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves Port Director and 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. National Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25, is the perfect opportunity to spotlight the port’s Engineering Department and recognize them for their dedication and hard work.  

Our Engineering Department is overseeing major aspects of projects across the port, including extensive renovations at Cruise Terminal 25, the West Port Cargo Complex and construction of the interior roadway. Having an experienced team specially trained in maritime systems adds real value.

Interested in joining our great team? Check out Engineering Department job posts on Indeed.

MEET THE TEAM

Port Chief Engineer Jeffrey Thomas oversees planning, development and maintenance of the port’s assets with a full-time staff of nine. He has been with the port for 13 years. Jeffrey earned his Maritime Systems Engineering degree from Texas A&M University at Galveston.  

Benjamin Walcher is putting the finishing touches on the new cruise terminal at Pier 10 and leading Cruise Terminal 25 renovations. The scope of work includes a new gangway, Pier 25 upgrades and terminal building renovations, all to service Carnival’s new ship Jubilee arriving in December. Ben earned his degree in Maritime Systems Engineering from Texas A&M University at Galveston and recently completed a port engineering certificate program through the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dominick Gaviria is overseeing repair projects at the West Port Cargo Complex and will oversee some construction in support for Cruise Terminal 10. Currently he is working with construction crews on concrete repairs at the west end of the port. Dominick is also attending the Houston Baptist University to complete an Economics degree.

Branko Gligoric is responsible for managing and designing projects and supports the port’s planning and assets. Some of his projects include the new cruise terminal monument signage at the 23rd Street entrance and the architectural and structural design and layout of new parking lots. Branko holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Belgrade in Serbia. 

Dylan LeMire recently completed Pier 39-40 mooring improvements and Lot D building demolition projects. Dylan is currently supporting the technical needs of the Cruise Terminal 25 Jubilee improvements project. Dylan has an Ocean Engineering degree from Texas A&M University in College Station. 

John Willis is Asset Coordinator for the port’s Engineering Department. In addition to piloting the department’s drone as a licensed commercial drone pilot, he is implementing ArcGIS software and supporting other ongoing projects. John is a graduate of the Texas A&M Galveston Maritime Administration Program.   

Diego Castro has a Bachelor of Science degree in Project Management from the University of Houston. He supported the new Cruise Terminal 10 project by managing Pier 10-12 repairs and utility relocations. Diego is leading the Rider 37 Project (Wharf Road extension from 20th Street to 23rd Street) which includes realigning Wharf Road with new reinforced concrete pavement and installing a new storm sewer system. It also includes allowances for signage/traffic control devices, replacing an existing 6-inch water line with a 12-inch water line, pedestrian/bike routes and signalized pedestrian crossings. 

Krista Cardenas, the newest addition to the Engineering Department, is the port’s Field Engineer. She is looking forward to working with her team on port expansion projects. She has a background in the construction private sector, assisting with projects across the Houston/Galveston area. Krista graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor of science in Construction Management.  

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 with the U.S. Army Command and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.


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