NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 14, 2014) – Ben Burnham, a maintenance engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s East Tennessee River Area Office in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the District Employee of the Month for November 2013.
Burnham’s technical oversight as a Task Manager was instrumental in the successful installation of an experimental composite wrap material in the lower discharge ports of the deteriorating, 74-year-old Chickamauga Lock in July 2013, according to Tim Wright, assistant operations manager, East Tennessee River.
“Ben's technical expertise, combined with his abilities to synergize efforts across various organizations in a timely manner, resulted in the successful underwater installation and high quality performance of the composite wrap material on the lock’s discharge ports,” Wright said.
The structural composite wrap project was a research & development initiative that involved coordination with representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority; Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; USACE Engineer Research and Development Center; West Virginia University and Nashville District’s Diving Crew, according to Wright.
Burnham was also commended for his performance as Contracting Officer’s Representative for the nine Tennessee River lock projects and the Melton Hill Lock on the Clinch River as being instrumental in the larger Operation and Maintenance execution plan for the 10 TVA-owned locks operated and maintained by USACE Nashville District.
His work in preparing contract packages during the last couple of months of fiscal 2013 was credited with efficiently and effectively obligating more than $600,000 in needed equipment, supplies, and services, under very tight time constraints and demanding contractual requirements, according to Wright.
“Ben is a professional mechanical engineer and works well with anyone to coordinate focused efforts on complex projects,” Wright said. “We are fortunate to have him as maintenance engineer over these 10 TVA-owned navigation locks that Nashville District operates and maintains,” he added.
Additionally, Ben's ongoing efforts to synthesize the Chickamauga Lock Instrumentation Program with TVA & Canary Systems’ employees through technical oversight and drafting cumulative monthly reports for review has been a tremendous benefit to both TVA and the Corps, according to Nashville District commander, Lt. Col. John L. Hudson.
When asked about challenging aspects of his job, Burnham said, “Interpreting the voluminous instrumentation data we obtain on the existing Chickamauga Lock is one of the more challenging,”
As for the more rewarding aspects, Burnham said, “Working with both Corps and TVA folks and being involved in planning different projects at nine Tennessee River locks, and one on the Clinch River, then seeing them completed and delivered is very rewarding,”
“Ben's professionalism, dedication, and overall superior performance are a credit to the Nashville District, TVA, numerous other partners, stakeholders, and customers in the region, and the Corps of Engineers,” Hudson said.
Ben Burnham holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University, is married, and has been a USACE employee for four and one-half years.