US Army Corps of Engineers
Middle East District

District Architect Receives Important Certification

Published July 2, 2019

Transatlantic Middle East District (TAM) architect and value engineering program manager, Amanda Bianchini, recently achieved a major career milestone when she was recognized as a certified value specialist.

The professional credential, granted by the Society of American Value Engineers or SAVE International, is the highest level of certification available in value methodology. The process is extensive and includes classes, testing and demonstrating expert knowledge and career experience. The process can take months to years to complete.

“Certified Value Specialist is an internationally established standard, distinguishing those few subject matter experts that have attained the credential as leaders among their peers in the USACE Community of Practice. We celebrate and appreciate the dedication and discipline required for

Amanda to reach this milestone,” said Sean Martin, Bianchini’s supervisor and TAM’s chief of planning and requirements branch.

“It’s not really the amount of time, it’s the experience,” said Bianchini. “First you have to get the lower level certification. There’s training, testing and you have to participate in a minimum of six studies and submit a packet.  Corps wide there are not many people who have attained the certification.”

According to SAVE, value Methodology, also known as value engineering, is a process that analyzes the different parts of a project, product or process to ensure an optimal balance among factors such as cost, time and safety.

“A lot of times, people hear “value” and think money,” said Bianchini, “but that’s a myth we’re trying to dispel. People sometimes think of it as cost cutting but it’s really about trying to get more function for the resources you have. That can mean doing more for the same amount of resources or the same amount using fewer resources. And when we say resources that could mean time, amount of effort or several other factors, not just money.”

By regulation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to use the value engineering process on any project over two million dollars.  

“We are committed to being the best value option for our mission partners,” said Tom Waters, TAM’s Director of Programs. “Value engineering is only one of the ways that we do this but we take it seriously. When you choose to work with the Middle East District, you are getting a team of over 80 licensed and professionally credentialed engineers, architects, and project managers.  Mandy achieving this certification is just one more way to show our customers they are getting the best. I’m really proud of the work she put in.”

For her part, Bianchini said she couldn’t have achieved the credential without her supervisors.

“I‘ve been fortunate enough to have supportive and understanding supervisors who made sure that I got the training I needed to attain this.