Heather Bishop, hydraulic engineer, Engineering Division
By Mark Kane, Public Affairs

Heather Bishop, hydraulic engineer, Engineering Division
Heather Bishop, hydraulic engineer, Engineering Division
The Quad-Cities Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers recently had its charter approved by the national organization and Heather Bishop, Engineering Division, is playing an active part in the local chapter and in the District where she says she loves working.

Bishop, the secretary for the Quad-Cities Chapter of the SWE, started working for the Rock Island District a year-and-a-half ago as a hydraulic engineer.

Bishop says she's been interested in the Corps since shortly after she graduated high school.

"I've been intrigued with the Corps of Engineers since I met some Corps employees at a county fair in Fairbanks, Alaska," said Bishop. "I was surfing on the web when I noticed a job opening here at the Rock Island District in the Hydraulic Branch. I decided to apply. A couple of weeks after I applied, Marv Martens called me and asked if I was still interested."

Bishop hit the ground running and is heavily involved in floodplain studies.

"I have only worked on one major project -- Black Hawk County Planning Assistance to States," said Bishop. "The goal of this project was to perform floodplain studies on several streams and their tributaries in Black Hawk County. I was responsible for developing hydraulic models for Miller Creek and its three major tributaries."

Now Bishop is working on a special study project in Hannibal, Mo.

"I will be developing hydraulic models for portions of Bear Creek, St. Claire Creek, and Minnow Branch," said Bishop. "Once the hydraulic models are complete, I will run the models to determine the water surface profiles and floodplain extents for the 100- and 500-year flood events."

Bishop says she not only enjoys the projects she's worked on, but the co-workers she works with everyday.

"I really enjoy the work that I do and the people with whom I work," said Bishop. "Everyone is willing to take time to answer my questions and help me when I need it."

When asked, Bishop actually claims Rock Island, Ill., as her hometown even though she's lived many other places.

"I was born in Bloomington, Ill.," said Bishop. "Shortly thereafter, my parents moved here to Rock Island where we lived until we moved to Austin, Texas, when I was 11-years-old. The summer after I graduated high school, my family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. At the end of the summer, I returned to Austin, Texas, for college."

Bishop's higher education achievements include a bachelor's of science in civil engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She also earned a master's degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in water resources engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Now she's making a career with her education and living where she grew up ... literally.

"My husband and I live in the house I grew up in," said Bishop. "My great-grandfather built it and my grandmother, father and I grew up there."

Bishop says their home has even become a hobby.

"I enjoy helping my husband fix up our house," said Bishop. "I also like to cross-stitch and do water aerobics. I love to go to the theater and travel with my husband too."

Mistletoe and Mr. Mistoffolees, the felines that occupy the Bishop's abode, round out their family.

Bishop's advice to anyone reading this article is, "Don't forget to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you."