Council staffer keeps a close eye on terminal for last fourteen years

Tom Kuckertz
Tom Kuckertz

Tom Kuckertz, project manager for the Terminal Operations and Environmental Monitoring program, retired from the council staff in June.

A member of the council’s staff for 14 years, Kuckertz worked closely with the council’s Terminal Operations and Environmental Monitoring Committee, which monitors potential sources of pollution at the Valdez Marine Terminal. During his tenure at the council, Kuckertz headed up projects to monitor such important council issues as corrosion of terminal assets, air and water pollution from the terminal, and issues related to maintenance at the terminal. Kuckertz was particularly known for developing a “systems integrity matrix,” which helped track issues at the terminal and when those issues were expected to be addressed.

He came to Valdez from Jemez Springs, New Mexico, where he was the vice president of software systems for Pajarito Scientific Corporation, a business that developed and manufactured instrumentation for the characterization of nuclear waste. He and several colleagues started the business to commercialize the technology developed while on staff at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Kuckertz held the position of Group Leader of the Systems and Robotics Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory prior to his first retirement so that he could pursue a second career at Pajarito Scientific Corporation.

After his retirement from his third career, Kuckertz and his wife Sue plan to remain in Anchorage and also spend time at their second home in Jemez Springs and travelling, with plans in the works to take a cruise from Copenhagen to New York. Kuckertz serves on the executive committee of the Engineering Accreditation Commission, and for ABET, Inc., (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), the organization that accredits all college engineering programs in the U.S. and in some foreign countries. Kuckertz has helped evaluate engineering programs at universities all over the U.S. and the world, most recently in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. He expects to continue that volunteer work during his retirement.

“RCAC has a lot of diversity of expertise,” Kuckertz says of his years working with the council, “the personality of the [of the organization] is what you might expect or want of a citizens’ group. Citizens might not be rational in an individual sense, but that diversity of backgrounds and perspectives helps form a rational viewpoint as a whole out of the many different perspectives.”

“Tom has been a great asset to and representative for this council,” said Mark Swanson, executive director of the council. “While we will miss his humor and technical contributions to the workplace, I expect many on staff will continue to see Tom socially. He’s been a great friend and colleague.”

New Terminal Operations Project Manager hired

Austin Love
Austin Love

Austin Love was hired by the council in June to replace Kuckertz. Love has a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of San Francisco and a Masters of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Most recently, Love held the position of Water Resources Engineer for Systech Water Resources, Inc., modelling and analyzing pollutant loading and hydrology in various watersheds in the United States. Love also worked as a volunteer for the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, collecting and recording water sample data.

Love commercial fished in Prince William Sound as a skiff-driver for Thane Miller, current vice president of the council. Love spent the week of June 16 training with Kuckertz prior to his retirement. Love began working full time in the Valdez office on July 14th, but will be taking some time off in mid-August to get married in Valdez.

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