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NRCS Texas Engineers Recognized

story by Brian Wenberg

NRCS Texas State Engineer John Mueller (left) and Construction Engineer John Hrebik (right) were recently recognized by The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at their annual Texas Section Meeeting in Amarillo, TX.The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recently recognized two NRCS Texas Engineers at their annual Texas Section Meeting held in Amarillo on Oct. 9-11, 2013. NRCS Texas State Engineer John Mueller won the ASABE Texas Section Engineer of the Year Award and John Hrebik received the ASABE Texas Section Young Engineer of the Year Award.

"As a Professional Engineer, I dedicate my professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare."

These words from the Professional Engineer's creed embody John Mueller’s approach to his job. Mueller was born and raised on a family ranching operation near Meyersville, Texas. His background in agriculture has allowed him to understand and relate to the agricultural industry and others. As a 1984 graduate with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University, Mueller chose to use his engineering skills and talents as a public servant, dedicating his career as an engineer to applying conservation and protecting the public.

Since 2002, he has worked as the NRCS State Conservation Engineer out of Temple, Texas. Mueller is responsible for his Agency's engineering program in Texas. In addition to supervision of NRCS employees, he is very effective in working with the state's environmental regulatory agency, the state's conservation agency, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, and many others. He also coordinates with other agency personnel for effective and consistent technology transfer. Several of Mueller's supervisors have noted his superior performance and exceptional leadership skills that have enabled him to conduct an engineering program that despite an extraordinary high workload has consistently met all schedules, stayed under budget, and minimized claims against the agency.

Mueller currently resides in Belton with his wife, Kate, and their daughter, Julia, who is currently a student at Texas A&M University.

John Hrebik has worked for the NRCS since his graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Systems Engineering-Natural Resources Option. He began his career with NRCS in Macomb, IL as an agricultural engineer. He moved to Rock Falls, IL in 2006 and to Brownwood, TX in 2007. In 2008, he was reassigned to Temple, TX where he is currently employed as a construction engineer on the Watershed Construction Staff.

As a construction engineer, he is responsible for protecting government financial interests by keeping construction contracts on schedule. He uses his understanding of engineering design and construction to anticipate and mitigate potential problems. He ensures that construction documents are complete and communicated effectively to contractors and construction inspectors. He also maintains safe working conditions on his construction projects. His construction projects have included repairs to watershed dams and stabilization of stream banks and canals all across the State as part of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program.

John became registered as a professional engineer (civil) in Texas in 2010 after successfully completing all requirements including the professional engineering exam. He currently lives in Bell County with his wife, Maria, and two daughters Emma and Eva.