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Black & Veatch has expressed condolences regarding the death of Henry (Hank) H. Benjes Sr. Benjes died at the age of 87 at his home in Overland Park, Kan.
Benjes worked at Black & Veatch from 1951-1981, where he served as an engineering manager. He spent his entire career in the Civil Engineering Division, which today is known as the Americas Division of Black & Veatch's Water Sector. In 1956, he was elected by Black & Veatch co-founder, Thomas (Tom) Veatch to serve as partner for the company.
For 30 years, Benjes led many high-profile water and wastewater projects. In 1956, he was selected by Tom Veatch to oversee construction of Black & Veatch offices in Kansas City. Benjes was involved in numerous water and wastewater projects across the United States and around the world. He was involved in a nationwide effort to build dozens of microwave stations for AT&T. For many years, Benjes was responsible for reviewing all project plans prior to implementation.
Benjes was also active in professional organizations. He was known for developing standards for the American Water Works Association (AWWA). As chairman of the AWWA Standards Council and Butterfly Valve Committee, he helped create standards that are still used today. Benjes was also a diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. His engineering expertise was widely recognized and he participated in evaluating problems, such as the failure of the Hyatt Regency pedestrian walkway bridge in Kansas City.
"Hank instilled and vigorously insisted on the highest standards of engineering performance," said Len Rodman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Black & Veatch. "He was an intelligent, highly skilled engineer who made significant contributions not only to our company, but to the industry."
Jim Patton, president of the Americas Division, said, "Hank was an excellent leader who helped build the foundation of what the Water Sector is today. We will miss and never forget him."
Benjes was a 1935 graduate of the University of Kansas in Lawrence. To show his support for the engineering arts and his family, Benjes established the Benjes Family Fund at the University of Kansas for unrestricted use in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.