Centers of Expertise

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosts numerous Centers of Expertise including: Mandatory Centers of Expertise, Technical Centers of Expertise, and Centers of Specialization. The professionals who make up these centers are among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' top experts in specific subject areas.

The Portland District hosts three Centers of Expertise.


Hydroelectric Design Center

Established in 1948 to support new hydroelectric development on the Columbia River, HDC is the Corps of Engineers' National Center for Expertise in hydroelectric and large pumping plant engineering services.

As a Mandatory Center of Expertise, HDC delivers quality products and innovative solutions in hydropower by providing product coordination, economic analysis and evaluation, electrical engineering, and mechanical and structural engineering and planning for all powerhouses and pumping stations across the Corps.

As part of its goal to recruit, develop and maintain a workforce to deliver excellence in hydropower engineering, HDC hosts the Engineer-in-Training program, which spans a 24-month time period, rotating assignments through various offices within the Portland District primarily and around the Corps.



Roller Compacted Concrete

The Roller Compacted Concrete Technical Center of Expertise, hosted within the Portland and Walla Walla districts, provides engineering, materials science and construction consulting services to other Corps districts and federal agencies. The TCX team maintains state-of-the-art RCC expertise and facilitates the transfer of technology and knowledge to practicing engineers via design manuals, codes and criteria documents and training.

As Corps infrastructure continues to age, the maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement of structures provides an opportunity for cost-effective RCC alternatives. The TCX team stands ready to sustain staffing and expertise to meet future RCC demands from the Corps’ multi-purpose civil works and water resource projects to ensure the proper project execution and taxpayer investment.


What is roller compacted concrete (RCC)?

RCC is concrete that has been compacted by roller compaction, which requires that, in its unhardened state, it will support a roller while being compacted. 

RCC was initially developed to produce a material exhibiting the structural properties of concrete with the placing characteristics of embankment materials. The result was a material that, when properly designed and constructed as a gravity structure, should be more economical than comparable earth-rockfill and conventional concrete structures.

RCC provides a cost-effective alternative to mass concrete for applications in dam modifications, navigation locks, bank protection and grade control for channels and rivers, cofferdams, traffic pavement, and abase slabs that support heavy structures.


Welding and Metallurgy

Bonneville Lock and Dam

Welding and Metallurgy Technical Center of Expertise (TCX) provides technical services and maintains state-of-the-art expertise for welding and fabrication projects for other Corps districts and other federal agencies. The WMTCX facilitates the transfer of technology and expertise to practicing engineers via design manuals, codes and criteria documents and training courses.

The Corps uses a variety of materials to build complex civil works structures and facilities, as well as building on military installations. Specialized experience in the selection of proper materials and the welding and fabrication of these materials is critical to the safety, performance and design life of these structures.

The team is particularly involved in the design, detailing, fabrication and inspection of hydraulic steel structures (HSS). The District's HSS inventory includes over 1300 gates, bulkheads and stoplogs at 23 multi-purpose facilities of locks, dams, powerhouses and fish facilities.