By Jeremy Murray
MOBILE, Ala. – Allan Annaert, Mobile District lead cost engineer, was awarded the Cost Engineer of the Year for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during an annual national awards ceremony on Nov. 29 at USACE Headquarters in Washington.
Professionals across USACE were recognized for their hard work and accomplishments for the year. This accolade is a testament to Annaert’s role, which has been pivotal in ensuring the success of various projects.
Annaert's responsibilities go beyond providing cost estimates; his team is trusted with identifying critical items, issues, or design features that could impact project costs. They play a critical role in advising on risk analysis, management, cost control, scheduling, planning of construction work, and managing and estimating construction contract changes.
Reflecting on the award, Annaert expressed gratitude for the professionals across diverse specialties, he collaborates daily. He emphasized the importance of the challenging projects entrusted to his teams and the invaluable support received from leadership.
"The Cost Engineer of the Year Award reflects not only my technical skills but also 'the amazing teams I get to work with, the great professionals across a wide array of specialties,' said Annaert. “Also, the challenging and important projects our teams are tasked to do, and the tremendous support of our leadership.”.
Annaert's thorough approach to project planning and execution has been a driving force behind his success. His understanding of cost dynamics, strategic mindset, has not only optimized project budgets but significantly enhanced overall project efficiency.
Colleagues and peers commend Annaert for his ability to navigate cost engineering challenges.
"Allan's achievement as Cost Engineer of the Year is well-deserved,” said Timothy Caldwell, Mobile District cost engineer. “He has been an asset to the entire team, bringing knowledge and experience to every project, and it's inspiring to work alongside.”
George Brown, Chief of Cost Engineering Section at Mobile District, praised Annaert's unique talent for forecasting potential cost challenges and implementing proactive measures to address them. He said that his dedication to delivering projects on time and within budget has set a benchmark for the entire team.
“The recognition of Allan as Cost Engineer of the Year not only solidifies his individual reputation but also highlights the collective success of the entire team,” said Jason Krick, Mobile District, Chief of Engineering. “It is clear that Allan’s leadership and collaborative spirit continues to elevate the standards within the cost engineering section, setting an inspiring example for everyone.”
Annaert, who transitioned from a role as a construction project engineer, spoke about his satisfaction with choosing this career path.
"I am glad that I have selected this career after moving on from a construction project engineer," Annaert said. "I still get a tremendous amount of pride from hearing updates on past projects that have been completed and are in use by untold numbers of people, both military and civilians around the world."
Annaert credits his success to the unwavering support of his family. His wife was a vital role in convincing him to pursue his engineering degree and embark on this fulfilling career after his time in the Army. Despite the challenges of travel and overtime work, Annaert's family remains supportive and takes pride in the impact of his work, including projects in the Mobile area. His dedication, both professionally and personally, makes Allan Annaert a true leader and a source of inspiration within the engineering community.
Annaert encourages young professionals to consider a career with the Corps, emphasizing the exciting opportunities available.
"The Corps has given me many opportunities to work on exciting, important, and challenging projects,” he said. “We have so much work going on, that there is always a possibility of moving not only within a specific District but across the whole USACE around the world."