DENVER — CH2M HILL announced that CH2M HILL Vice President Phil Benson and Structural Design Engineer Keith Coleman were presented with Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) on Feb. 9 during the 27th annual BEYA Science Technology, Engineer and Math (STEM) Global Competitiveness Conference held in Washington, D.C. The STEM Recognition Program provides employers an opportunity to recognize exemplary STEM employees for their achievements and to help retain highly capable and talented employees in a time where the skilled workforce is declining.
Benson, Vice President and Global Operations Lead for CH2M HILL Water Business Group’s Industrial, Energy and Mining Platform based in Washington, D.C., was recognized with the BEYA Visionary Award for his ability to see the world in a brand new light and have the energy and persistence to push forward until others see it, too. Benson has more than 25 years of progressive line management, project management and leadership, and technical delivery leadership across a variety of industrial, utility and government client sectors. He has experience in developing and implementing international business strategy, with experience in overseeing all operations and project performance metrics for a $150 million, 500-person, global business with operations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, South America, Australia and the Middle East.
As a recognized legacy leader at CH2M HILL, Benson was invited to attend CH2M HILL’s global summit of its Black employee network group, Harambee, in 2010, 2011, and 2012. His involvement with Harambee has included participation on a legacy discussion panel with former and present African-American employee leadership and key roles on the steering and networking and mentoring committees. He serves as a mentor and role model providing professional advice, guidance, and constructive feedback for current staff, new employees, and interns within the enterprise.
“Phil is a highly regarded and valued leader, not only in his role as Operations Director but also as a member of the Workforce and Diversity Subcommittee to the CH2M HILL Board of Directors, influencing employee diversity policy at the highest management levels of the firm, “said Bob Bailey, President of the CH2M HILL Water Business Group. “Phil truly is a visionary and great role model, and we are proud to have Phil representing CH2M HILL at the BEYA conference and as he is recognized with this prestigious award.”
“The BEYA Visionary Award is a tremendous honor to me,” said Benson. “The BEYA organization strives to help minorities and women excel in the fields of engineering and technology. I have found at CH2M HILL both an expectation for my own excellence and a commitment to help others excel. To have those traits honored by BEYA is truly a lifetime achievement for me. Thank you.”
Coleman, a structural design engineer with the Government Facilities and Infrastructure Architectural and Engineering Design Group in the CH2M HILL Atlanta office, was recognized with the BEYA Technical Sales and Marketing Award for his ability to combine technical expertise with marketing skills in a high-level position, not only selling cutting-edge technology, but also participating in development of product lines and marketing plans on a national and international scale. He has experience with analysis and design of complex steel, concrete, masonry, and timber systems for government facilities projects. Coleman also has experience in structural damage investigation and has provided structural support in the design, selection, coordination, and detailing of structural components and systems for numerous projects. He also has experience in Building Information Modeling (BIM) in addition to computer-aided drafting and design (CADD).
Coleman was recently selected as one of 65 employees to attend CH2M HILL’s Harambee Summit to dialogue with the firm’s executive leadership and prominent African-Americans in the community, including Mayor of Denver, Michael B. Hancock. In addition to mentoring and regularly sharing his passion for STEM with local schools, in 2008 Coleman established the Otis Christian Scholarship at his hometown high school as a need-based academic scholarship for minority students.
“Keith has made great achievements in the area of civil and structural engineering and is one of our go-to engineers for innovative solutions and a critical team member needed to quickly fix engineering challenges to the delight of our clients,” said Gene Lupia, President of CH2M HILL’s Government Facilities and Infrastructure Business Group. “But Keith’s strongest attribute is his humble personality and ability to connect with others. His academic prowess, innovative thinking and problem solving are very important, but his commitment to mentoring and his community are from the heart. As one example, Keith volunteers his services during Engineers Week in Atlanta, GA, and reaches out to more than 700 children explaining engineering concepts and exposing them to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. We congratulate Keith on his achievements—he is truly deserving of this honor.”
“CH2M HILL has afforded me continued growth in my career by offering me interesting projects in interesting locations,” said Coleman. “I appreciate working side by side with other employees who are considered at the top of their respective fields. I feel enthusiastic about my future and the professionalism gained from my day to day experiences.”