Benjamin Fultz, Corrosions and Coatings
Ben is a specialist with 40 years’ experience in formulating, testing, selecting, and applying a wide range of nonmetallic materials of construction, from paints, linings, and insulation to fireproofing, refractories, and composites.
Get to Know Benjamin
What is the most exciting or challenging project you were involved in, and what was your role?
I have had many challenging opportunities while at Bechtel, ranging from the snows of the Ukraine to North Africa and the Andes of Chile. The Ukraine adventure consisted of a visit to Chornobyl in February to develop and test a fire-resistant floor coating to improve the overall passive fire resistance of materials inside the turbine hall. The North Africa trip was to an LNG project construction site near Alexandria, Egypt. During the work day I tackled corrosion issues; on the weekend, I visited historical Roman ruins, Coptic monasteries, and had drinks in a lounge frequented by both Rommel and then Montgomery. On the Andes trip, I helped to solve a leaking slurry line issue and then on the way back from the mine that night, stopped to view the stars that were so bright on a moonless night as to be able to read a newspaper without a supplemental light source. These are only three examples of many equally challenging and rewarding assignments.
What is the best career advice that you’ve received?
Never turn down an assignment or an opportunity to travel. Understand the root cause of a problem prior to formulating a solution.
What do you see as the key skills that new engineers need to have in the global job market?
Ask questions and listen, watch and learn. Having automation skills is a given. Field experience is mandatory.
What leadership skills do you think are needed to be a great engineer?
Know your subject and be able to perform engineering without the assistance of software programs. This means understanding the engineering principals behind the calculation, design, etc. Know yourself to include pluses and minuses. Know the skill sets of those who work on your team—supplement weaknesses and reinforce strengths.