By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) headquarters celebrated National Engineers Week Feb. 26 with an award presentation ceremony for the command's 2015 Engineers of the Year.
NAVFAC Capital Improvements Director and Chief Engineer Joseph Gott presented award plaques to NAVFAC Washington's Lt. Cmdr. Keith Benson and NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic's Timothy Bayse as the Military and Civilian Engineers of the Year.
Bayse also represented NAVFAC as one of ten National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) finalists for their 2015 Federal Engineer of the Year.
"It's a pleasure to recognize the contributions these two individuals made to the profession of engineering," said Gott.
While serving as the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain Public Works Officer, Benson led a team of 424 personnel in supporting 94 commands across the Middle East.
"Lt. Cmdr Bensen was instrumental in managing 320 active construction projects in Bahrain," said Gott. "That's a lot of projects and a lot of real estate assisting our support commanders over there."
Bayse served as a construction manager in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Djibouti during 2013 and 2014. While in Djibouti, he executed a substantial workload of 33 projects valued at more than $340 million, including a $150 million, multi-utility complex.
"Tim Bayse was the lead U.S. engineer on these projects, which is quite an honor and quite a responsibility," said Gott. "In addition to working 60-80 hours a week while in Djibuti, Tim volunteered to teach English as well."
The purpose of National Engineers Week is to call attention to the contributions that engineers make to society. It is also a time for engineers to emphasize to others the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills.
NAVFAC's 13 commands around the world are celebrating the week by holding informative outreach events that underline math, science and engineering skills to students.
National Engineers Week is held in conjunction with the birthday of President George Washington. Washington is sometimes referred to as the nation's first engineer, notably for his survey work. Although he had a limited formal education, Washington acquired surveying skills very early in his life and became a master technician and mentor. In fact, in 1749, at the young age of 17, Washington was appointed the Surveyor General of Virginia.
National Engineers Week was started by the NSPE in 1951, and runs this year to Feb. 28.