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USACE Leader Provides a Unique Engineering Perspective to High School Students

Published April 6, 2016
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District Environmental Branch Chief David Frothingham provides a unique perspective on STEM fields

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District Environmental Branch Chief David Frothingham provides a unique perspective on STEM fields

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District Environmental Branch Chief David Frothingham addressed a large group of French Studies students from Buffalo Public Schools Hutchinson Central Technical, Buffalo, NY, April 5.

Frothingham, a gregarious and enthusiastic speaker, easily captured and maintained the attention of the group sprawled throughout the High School’s sizable auditorium. Through peppering the students with a variety of engaging questions, Frothingham established an open and friendly relationship with the group.

The French-speaking, globe-trotting environmental and civil engineer described his current work in the Formerly Utilized Site Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) and his unusual journey which led him to a career with the Buffalo District.

Frothingham’s traveling experience and ability to speak a second language has allowed him to enjoy a perspective that not everyone in his field has. He spoke of his semester in Dijon, France, which set him up for a two-year engagement with the Peace Corps in the African Country of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). His mission was to improve drinking water for the local communities.

This important work inspired him to return to college, change degrees, and pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering.

The group was eagerly engaged in Frothingham’s discussion and asked him a multitude of questions ranging from how the Corps of Engineers disposes of radioactive waste to whether or not he believes in global warming. These questions sparked further questions and the presentation quickly morphed into a conversation between Frothingham and the students.

Frothingham left the group with the message to embrace the journey, and regardless of the journey that’s taken, anyone can be successful at the passion they pursue.

“Talking to engaged students, like this group, always renews my appreciation for the importance and quality of the work we do.  It also reminds me what a talented group of professionals I'm lucky enough to call friends and colleagues,” Said Frothingham.


The Corps of Engineers recognizes the critical role that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technical leaders in the global marketplace.

Thanks to the volunteer efforts of team members in the Buffalo District, the Corps of Engineers continues to inspire and educate current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields.