By Regina Adams, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington's 2014 Civilian and Military Engineers of the Year were honored during an awards ceremony held at the Washington Navy Yard Nov. 18.
Kyle Lehman, fire protection engineer (FPE), received the Civilian Engineer of the Year award.
"I could easily name a dozen other engineers who are equally deserving, so it's definitely a huge honor to be selected as Engineer of the Year," said Lehman. "The award might have my name on the plaque, but the truth is that I couldn't do what I do without the fantastic support of the architects, engineers, and engineering technicians that I've been fortunate enough to work with, and I like to think that it is also a recognition of the hard work they've put in and support that they've provided."
Lehman was handpicked as lead FPE for the emergency $50 million renovation of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Headquarters following the Washington Navy Yard Shooting. He worked tirelessly to develop and review designs solutions, working closely with the contract A/E and government team.
As lead FPE for the renovations of the Visiting Flag Officer Quarters on the Washington Navy Yard, one of the oldest buildings in the Navy, he worked closely with the contractor to develop performance-based solutions to complicated problems without impacting historic features. Similar efforts were brilliantly executed on the Commander Navy Installations Command Headquarters, another historic facility requiring low-impact, highly effective solutions to enhance occupant safety.
Lt. Cmdr. Keith Benson, Naval District Washington (NDW) and NAVFAC Washington energy officer, received the Military Engineer of the Year award.
"I am truly honored and humbled to be selected for this competitive NAVFAC engineer award," said Benson. "It's a privilege to serve our country in uniform and with such a diverse and talented team of professionals."
As NAVFAC Washington's Energy Officer, Benson continues to lead the charge on Energy Program initiatives covering Energy Culture, Energy Efficiency, Energy Information, Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels, and Energy Security.
His leadership has fundamentally transformed the Energy Program, reducing energy intensity in the Region by 25 percent, while assisting with the stand-up of NDW's Shore Operations Center, renewable energy program, transportation energy program and advanced meter initiative. He directed the engineering planning associated with over $200 million of diverse energy projects.
Because of Benson's exceptional leadership, the Regional Energy Program was recognized as a U.S. Department of Energy 2014 Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) National Award Recipient.
Benson was handpicked to lead the technical and acquisition team to complete award of the Navy's first Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) in four years, a $27 million contract at Naval Air Station Patuxent River which will reduce energy intensity by 38 percent at Webster Outlying Field.
Benson and Lehman are now nominated to compete in the overall NAVFAC Engineer of the Year program for even further recognition. Those chosen will be forwarded to the National Society of Professional Engineers to compete for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award presented in February 2015.