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IHS Names Dan Boccia as Engineer of the Year

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Over the past three years, Dan Boccia has lead an engineering team that produced 24 plan sets, worth an estimated construction value of $48 million, that improved sanitation in more than 20 communities, impacting more than 1,000 Alaska Native households. His team's efforts significantly improved health throughout Alaska, states an Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s (ANTHC) press release.

The lead civil engineer at ANTHC's Division of Environmental Health and Engineering (DEHE), Boccia was recently honored by the Indian Health Service (IHS) as the Engineer of the Year. “This is a big award – I didn’t expect it, but the reason I got the award was because of the people doing the work with me,” said Boccia, a member of the ANTHC staff since its 1997 inception, and an engineer in Alaska with the Indian Health Services since 1993. “And the nature of the work in this state is probably pretty attractive to someone in Washington, D.C., so the credit is also in the work we do.”

DEHE Engineering Manager Don Antrobus nominated Boccia, a 2008 founder of DEHE’s Engineering Services Department, for the award. “Dan has designed projects in the Bush for almost 20 years and he’s made an extraordinary impact over that time,” said Antrobus. “Dan is very much a person who gets things done, and this award is also recognition of his continual body of work.”

The award reaffirms Boccia's pride in his work. “I’m more excited than ever to be doing this work – it is very personal work,” Boccia said. “I see all the things I’ve been involved with and it’s incredibly satisfying.

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The Yakima, Washington-native received his bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Washington, "co-developed a local reference standard that is used by multiple agencies for procurement of millions of dollars of arctic water and sewer pipe each year. He also created a piping and instrumentation diagram templates that expedites design and better communicates the design intent," states the press release.

“It’s not particularly glamorous work, but takes someone like Dan who takes a lot of time and effort to get it done, and it’s very much needed,” explained Antrobus in the press release.