Hyman Alex Schwartz, 86, a civil engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, died of heart disease Sept. 10 at his home in Oakton.

Mr. Schwartz supervised the water resources programs in the eastern United States, projects that supported the planning, construction and maintenance of dams, reservoirs, canals, waterways, locks and levees.

He was born in New York City to immigrant parents and grew up on the Lower East Side and the Bronx. He graduated from City College of New York and from Cooper Union in New York and spent a year operating office equipment for a number of New York businesses.

During World War II, he served in the Army in the China-Burma-India theater and, after the war, in Germany. After his military service, he attended engineering schools in Germany and Switzerland, earning an advanced civil engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1952. He returned to the United States in the early 1950s and settled in Northern Virginia.

He worked from 1953 until 1986 for the Army Corps of Engineers, at Gravelly Point and later at L'Enfant Plaza.

Mr. Schwartz was a member of the Washington Ethical Society in the early 1960s and later joined the Northern Virginia Ethical Society in Vienna. He volunteered as a research assistant and docent at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History during the late 1980s and early 1990s. He also was a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and the AARP. He was passionately interested in mathematics, science and history and regularly would try to crack unsolved math problems, such as trisecting an angle.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Clare Schwartz of Oakton; five children, Rick Schwartz of Menlo Park, Calif., Randy Schwartz of Ann Arbor, Mich., Gary Schwartz of Rosendale, N.Y., Heidi Shapiro of Baton Rouge, La., and Terri Schwartz of Amsterdam; and two grandchildren.