Lubbock Team Receives Two TSPE Awards

Congratulations to the Lubbock Freese and Nichols team for receiving two awards from the South Plains Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), including Trailblazer and Young Engineer of the Year.

Jillian Nava, a Transmission and Utilities project manager, was named Young Engineer of the Year, and our Lubbock team received the Trailblazer Award for their work on the Upper Brazos Regional Flood Plan.

The awards were presented at the chapter banquet in February.

Jillian Nava and Heather Keister holding their TSPE Awards

Jillian leads our water efforts across West Texas. She is a member of the TSPE South Plains Board, TSPE State Strategy Task Force, TSPE Young Engineer Committee and Texas Public Works Association, and she volunteers with Lubbock State Supported Living Center.

Her award is the highest honor given to a young TSPE member, recognizing technical ability, collegiate and professional achievements, civic and humanitarian activities.

“Receiving this level of recognition from my peers is extremely humbling,” Jillian said. “I love working for our West Texas communities, and I know my role on earth is to help bridge the gap when others are in need.”

The Trailblazer Award recognizes the best engineering project, product or invention in the Lubbock area served by the TSPE South Plains Chapter.

The Upper Brazos (Region 7) Regional Flood Plan is a component of the Texas Water Development Board’s first-ever state flood plan. Our project team worked with the Region 7 Flood Planning Group to identify flood risk, set goals and identify potential actions to mitigate flood risk for 36 counties and 81 communities with a population of 615,000. The region covers 20,000 square miles and encompasses 14 major lakes and reservoirs.

“We’re excited to be part of this big initiative that is going to provide better access to flood risk data and increase the flood protection standard for the region,” said Heather Keister, Lubbock Office Group Manager and Project Manager for the Region 7 Flood Plan.

“Many of the communities don’t currently have access to flood maps or know their flood risk,” she said. “We have really enjoyed working together with the Flood Planning Group, our team and our sponsor, the South Plains Association of Governments, who will play a vital role in providing outreach and education to the affected communities.”