By John Barker, Mobile District public affairs specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Senior Cost Engineer Michael L. Keating has earned the national-level Corps “Cost Engineer of the Year” award.
“I don’t think I fully appreciate it yet,” Keating said. “I get that email every year with the announcement of who won and this year it’s me. I think there’s a special significance that there’s only one cost engineer of the year. It’s nice to know that hard work pays off.”
Keating has been employed with the Mobile District as a federal employee since 2001 and was a contract cost consultant prior to that. He was honored for his efforts in support of the District’s Medical Command program and the Veterans Affairs, or VA, “Bed Tower” project in Tampa, Fla. In addition to Senior Cost Engineer, Keating is also the District’s Mobile District Value Engineering Officer.
The Medical Command program supports Army medical facilities around the world. Mobile District awards hundreds of renovation and new construction jobs to contractors, totaling several hundred million dollars each fiscal year.
At a cost of approximately $145 million, the VA Tampa Bed Tower addition is a design and build construction project for patients at the James A. Hailey Veterans’ Medical Center.
District Commander Col. James DeLapp’s award nomination stated, “Keating has worked on some of the most challenging and high-profile projects in the Mobile District, including the current Veterans Affairs Bed Tower mega project in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Keating has been the sole Cost Engineer for the District Medical Command program where contract awards routinely exceed $200 million annually.
Some of the evaluation factors for the nomination include: excellence in engineering, participation in professional societies, leadership in career development and education, performance and recognition, contributions to the profession, mentorship and participation as a sponsor for and/or advisor to intern and intermediate level cost engineers and community activities outside of the Corps.
“Keating embraces the team concept and serves as a leader and role model in the Cost Engineering Community of Practice,” continued DeLapp’s nomination. “He is currently completing the District’s Leadership Development Program, actively participates in the local chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers and is a regular contributor to the District Blood Drive program. Mr. Keating serves as a mentor for many new employees within the Engineering Division. Mr. Keating is a part-time professor at the University of South Alabama where he teaches Construction Management. He also teaches Professional Engineering, or PE, review courses for a national PE test preparation organization.”