Christian Manalo is a civil engineer with extensive expertise and dedication to the systems and processes that address our vast civil infrastructure needs—everything from energy and water resources to transportation systems. He currently supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, leading the agency’s resilience initiative. Christian has worked with a wide variety of clients including the Environmental Protection Agency, United Arab Emirates, Siemens, and U.S. Agency for International Development.
How is your work pushing boundaries?
As an engineer, I’m continually helping clients use technology to come up with better ways to do things. Water is of particular interest to me, and issues around climate preparedness, terrorism, and cybersecurity make it an exciting area. Hurricane Maria is just one example that shows the challenges of working around water, from protecting our coastal communities to ensuring safe water supplies. It’s been particularly rewarding helping clients like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army improve the delivery of safe drinking water post-disaster and in the battlespace. We have much work to do still, but I’m glad to be at the forefront, developing solutions for these issues.
For whom are you building the future?
To engineer is to build, and civil engineers build civilizations. This has been true for centuries. My primary ethical duty is to the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
As an architect of the future, what’s your take on what’s next?
Civil infrastructure is particularly difficult. Systems built today are expected to last 50 to 100 years. Planning for future threats and conditions is a constant challenge, especially now considering climate change. Uncertainty is certain. The key is to be creative, innovative, and adaptable, and keep finding ways to contribute.