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Congratualtions to Alumni LCDR Chris Thomas, 2022 Military Engineer of the Year

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LCDR Chris Thomas, 2022 Military Engineer of the Year

Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering is proud to congratulate LCDR Chris Thomas, who was named 2022 Military Engineer of the Year for Officer In Charge of Construction Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. LCDR Chris Thomas earned his Master’s of Engineering in project management from MAGE in 2019. 

Thomas has been working at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard since February 2020 and is currently the Assistant Operations Officer (AOPS) for the OICC, which provides oversight of over $2.5B in major Facilities Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (FSRM) and Military Construction (MILCON) projects. In this role, Thomas said he “helped stand up the OICC organization after its formation was directed to focus on the Multi Mission Dry Dock Mega Project and other Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) projects.”

While completing his B.S. in mechanical engineering at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Thomas also took some classes at the University of Maryland College Park campus. After he was promoted to the rank of LCDR in December 2018, he decided to pursue a graduate degree, and chose Maryland and Applied Graduate Engineering.

“I chose UMD for the well established project management program because I had heard good things from fellow Navy and the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officers,” said Thomas. “Additionally, it gave me an opportunity to get back to Maryland after being away for the past 10 years.”

“I chose UMD for the well established project management program because I had heard good things from fellow Navy and the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officers. Additionally, it gave me an opportunity to get back to Maryland after being away for the past 10 years.”

LCDR Chris Thomas

Furthermore, the Navy encouraged him to commit 100% to his education, allowing him to enroll as a full-time student and concentrate completely on his studies for the 12 months he needed to complete the program. “It was a great time to learn and spend time with family. It’s one of the many benefits of serving in the CEC,” Thomas said. 

The project management curriculum was extremely relevant to Thomas’s position, allowing him to expand his knowledge of construction execution and further the mission of the OICC. Thomas was able to choose the project management courses that were most relevant to his career: “scheduling, risk management, and current industry trends like Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) delivery method which we are utilizing at the shipyard today,” he said. 

Leading up to his graduation in December 2019, Thomas learned of an opportunity at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as the Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Director (FEAD). Intrigued by the description of the position, Thomas transitioned to his new post. “The shipyard hasn’t disappointed! I have learned so much during this tour and the work being performed at the shipyard is at the forefront of supporting the US Navy’s mission,” he said. 

MAGE is proud to congratulate Thomas on his incredible achievement. MAGE looks forward to continuing to support armed service members, especially those in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia corridor, and veterans to further their careers. As for Thomas, he says that he is looking forward to “continuing to grow as a leader, engineer, and project management professional.”   


Published January 30, 2023