Eight civil engineers with ties to Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Civil Engineers during the academy’s induction ceremony held April 24.
The academy honors civil engineers for their contributions to the profession, leadership and involvement with Missouri S&T. The academy also serves as an advisory group to the Missouri S&T civil, architectural and environmental engineering department.
New members are listed below:
- Francisco M. “Frank” Benavides of St. Louis, executive director of PENTA Engineering Corp., principal consultant of PEC Consulting Group LLC, and executive director of PENTA India Cement & Minerals Pvt. Ltd., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1970 and an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. A founder of PENTA and a member of its board of directors, Benavides has provided the company with strategic direction and employee development for 27 years. His engineering experience includes technical and economic feasibility studies for major capital investments for the minerals and energy industries; plant valuations; and the management of engineering and construction projects, including the planning, coordination and supervision of construction and commissioning of process equipment. He is a licensed professional engineer in seven states and is registered with the U.S. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. He holds memberships in numerous organizations, including the Society of Mining Engineers and the Manufacturing Technical Committee of the Portland Cement Association. He is also the consul of Peru for Missouri.
- Reginald H. Benton of Jacksonville, Ill., president and principal of Benton & Associates Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1979. His more than 34 years of experience includes working for consulting engineering firms and the Illinois Department of Transportation. As a Benton & Associates principal and president, he has ultimate responsibility for the quality, schedule and budget for a wide range of projects. Benton also serves as senior structural engineer for the firm, designing bridges, buildings, swimming pools and special structures associated with water and wastewater treatment. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Missouri, and is a licensed structural engineer in Illinois. Benton served on the boards for United Way, Sherwood-Eddy YMCA, Elm City Rehabilitation and Kiwanis. He currently serves on the Passavant Area Hospital board and as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville. He has held leadership positions with the American Society of Civil Engineers Central Illinois Section, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois and the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE). He was named Young Engineer of the Year by ISPE and an American Council of Engineering Companies Fellow.
- Michael W. Burke of St. Charles, Mo., an executive vice president for J.S. Alberici Constructors Inc., earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1991 and 1992, respectively. He is responsible for Alberici’s steel fabrication subsidiary, Hillsdale Fabricators, in addition to leading Alberici’s North American Water and Waster Construction Division, including two water and waste water subsidiaries in Atlanta and Topeka, Kan. Burke has worked on large projects in the U.S., Grand Bahama, Aruba, Portugal, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, with responsibilities for both design and project management. He was involved in the fabrication and erection of the structural steel used in the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium. A licensed professional engineer in Missouri, Burke served on the boards of the American Institute of Steel Construction and Associated General Contractors.
- John Frerking of Columbia, Mo., business development manager for Engineering Surveys and Services, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1987. He began his career as a sales engineer at CSR-Hydro Conduit in Kansas City, Mo. In 1996, he joined Burns & McDonnell as project development manager for the firm’s Infrastructure Division. In his current position since 2012, Frerking is responsible for planning and implementing strategies to grow the company’s market share with public sector clients. He has chaired committees for the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE), KC Metro and Missouri chapters of the American Public Works Association, and the Engineers’ Club of Kansas City, including serving as president. He served on the Miner Alumni Association Executive Board and received the S&T Civil Engineering Exemplary Young Alumni Award in 1998. He is a licensed professional engineer in Missouri.
- Dale L. Houdeshell of Lake Saint Louis, Mo., director of public works for the city of Clayton, Mo., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1972. He began his career with Bogina Architect Engineers Inc. in Lenexa, Kan., and held positions as director of streets and engineering, city engineer and manager of public works services in several Midwest communities. Houdeshell retired from the city of Manhattan, Kan., in January to return to the St. Louis area. In Manhattan, he was responsible for managing development review; infrastructure design and construction; water, wastewater and storm water enterprise funds; and a capital improvement and sustainability program. He also provided technical guidance for the Manhattan Regional Airport upgrade, Flint Hills Discovery Center Museum, local parks and pools, and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Bio and Agro-Defense facility. In his current position, Houdeshell is responsible for managing development review, infrastructure design and construction, facilities maintenance, fleet maintenance, forestry and a capital improvement program. He has held positions with the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE), the American Public Works Association, the Transportation Engineers Association of Metro St. Louis and the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) St. Louis Chapter. Houdeshell is an ASCE Fellow and received the Government Engineer of the Year award in 2013 from KSPE. Other awards include Order of the Engineer, Public Works Leadership Fellow, Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year and Outstanding Engineer in Government. He is a licensed professional engineer in Missouri and Kansas.
- Ralph C. Jones of Overland Park, Kan., board chair and CEO of Structural Engineering Associates Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1980 and a master of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1985. Since joining Structural Engineering Associates in 1986, he has served as field inspector, resident project representative and designer. He is currently the principal in charge of field operations including inspections, structural investigations, building forensics, masonry restoration design and concrete repair design. Jones has held several positions with the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), including president of the Great Plains Chapter. He received the ICRI Project Award of Excellence in the masonry category in 2008 for his work on the masonry renovation of the historic Quad at Missouri State University. He also received the ICRI Award of Merit in the water structure category in 2009 for the repair and waterproofing of the Kauffman Baseball Stadium fountains. He has been a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Kansas City for more than 25 years and served as president of a Kiwanis program that helps high school students who are living on their own earn their high school diplomas.
- Alard “Al” Kaplan of Houston, owner of Energy Projects Consulting, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, cum laude, from Missouri S&T in 1972. His career began at Mobil Oil Co., where he managed offshore and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Indonesia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Qatar. He served as vice president for major projects with Marathon Oil Corp., and after retiring in 2008, set up an independent consulting firm. He has since served as acting head of wind projects for BP U.S., an advisory board member for an algae to biodiesel company and is currently LNG project manager for the Mozambique LNG Project with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. His consulting business has had recent projects in West Africa, the Gulf of Mexico and Australia. Kaplan has served on the board of directors of the Construction Industries Institute and on the Project Management Practices Advisory Board at Texas A&M University. He has authored several technical papers on LNG production and transport and holds related U.S. patents.
- Sanjeev Kumar of Carbondale, Ill., chair, professor and Distinguished Teacher in the civil and environmental engineering department at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, earned master of science and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1993 and 1996, respectively. He began his professional practice career in India, then joined Geotechnology Inc. in St. Louis in 1994. In 1998, he joined SIU-Carbondale as an assistant professor. He has received more than $2 million in research grants and has published 36 publications in professional journals and more than 60 articles in conference proceedings. He has completed more than 100 engineering projects as a project engineer, manager, peer-reviewer or consultant. He has received numerous outstanding teaching awards, including the Engineering Excellence Award, Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Professional Recognition Award (ASCE), Distinguished Scholar (Phi Kappa Phi), Distinguished Fellow from the Institute of Hospital Engineers (India) and the S&T Civil Engineering 2003 Exemplary Young Alumni Award. He has served on many of ASCE’s national committees and chaired its Committee of Continuing Education.
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