|Commander David Engelstad, design branch chief and project manager for the Project Management Division at Yosemite National Park, accepts an engineer of the year award from the National Society of Professional Engineers. Engelstad also won recognition as the National Park Service's engineer of the year and the Public Health Service's engineer of the year. (From left, NSPE President Harve Hnatiuk, Vistor and Resource Protection Deputy Associate Director Louis Rowe, Commander David Engelstad, NSPE Board Member David Scott Wolf.) Photo by Christies Photography.Photo by Christies Photography.
Commander David Engelstad, design branch chief and project manager for the Project Management Division at Yosemite National Park, was recently selected as the National Park Service engineer of the year.
Engelstad was also chosen as the 2015 Public Health Service engineer of the year and was further honored to be named one of the ‘Top Ten' federal engineers of the year by the National Society of Professional Engineers.
He received the honor during the 36th annual Federal Engineer of the Year Award Banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26.
Englestad was selected because of his leadership, several significant achievements and the success of important projects on which he has worked, as well as for his contributions to the engineering profession and his community involvement.
As the design branch chief, Engelstad is a valued member of PMD's leadership team and is noted for his mentorship and support of its employees. As project manager, his willingness to take on complex challenges and extra projects has kept PMD the ‘can-do' division that completes difficult challenges for Yosemite National Park and its approximately 4 million annual visitors.
Englestad also serves as a board member for Yosemite Community Church; champions Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, East Africa, for Yosemite's Sister Parks program; and mentors solar-lighting business startups in northern Tanzania. He was the keynote speaker at the Society of Women Engineers' 2015 Region A conference and has judged University of California-Merced senior-engineer projects.
Engelstad's education includes a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of North Dakota and a master of engineering in professional practice from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a professional engineer registered in the state of Wisconsin and is an active member of American Society of Civil Engineers, Engineers without Borders, National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service.
As a USPHS officer, global citizen and international traveler, Engelstad's career goal is to use his professional talents to help address water and wastewater health challenges in Africa. His wife Jill, an experienced physical therapist with significant exposure to health issues in sub-Sahara Africa, is his greatest advocate in reaching this goal. They both have a passion for improvements in global health and sustainable development in the developing world and hope to make an impact on the bottom billion stuck in extreme poverty.
When not engaged in professional, community, or global-citizen endeavors, he and his wife can be found hiking Yosemite's backcountry or planning a new travel adventure.