In Focus: Travis Benson Leads Commercial and Residential Civil Design
As Focus Engineering and Surveying’s Site Civil Department Manager, Travis Benson concentrates his attention on teamwork and client needs. In 2014 Travis was recruited to join Focus by Founder and General Manager, Ron Paul. This was the second time Ron hired Travis, as the two worked together years previously at another firm.
With over twenty years’ experience in a variety of roles within design and engineering, Travis recognizes the ways Focus is different from other firms. “All engineering firms need to be able to understand the technical side of the industry, but we step far beyond this in several ways. When problems arise, we run at the problems and face them head-on with the intent to find resolutions as quickly as possible. We are constantly looking for the areas that we fall short in and rigorously look for ways to improve.” One example he describes is holding team reviews and follow-up training for any project with errors and omissions.
The Site Civil Department led by Travis consists of two teams. One has an emphasis on commercial and multi-family projects, while the other focuses on single-family projects. Currently, the department consists of 22 people including designers, cad technicians, and engineers. Travis believes consistent and proactive communication is critical both within his group and with their clients as well. He describes each day as bringing a variety of responsibilities, including design work, design/construction issue resolution, site visits, design meetings, staff meetings, marketing efforts, strategic planning, and staff training.
His role demands a critical understanding of the construction development world, how projects evolve, and what it takes for a project to be successful. He is accountable for communication with a variety of people in different industries: developers and those that work in land acquisition, city staff and municipalities, utility company staff, UDOT employees, citizens that work and live around our projects, and contractors that construct the designs. “Each has different perspectives and views on what is important within a given project,” explains Travis. “We need to be able to take all of these perspectives into consideration and manage multiple expectations while making sure our direct clients are getting the results they need.
When asking Travis about some of his most memorable and possibly favorite projects, he’s noted several in the Traverse Mountain area of Lehi, Utah. Being located in mountainous terrain required an emphasis on the management and awareness of grading and earthworks. Travis and the team successfully utilized different types of retaining walls to tier the sites and provide a lot of variety to the landscape and building pads. Some of these specific projects were La Ringhiera with Perry Homes, Canyon Trails with Fieldstone Homes, Canyon Point with Toll Brothers, and Seasons Estates and Seasons Townhomes with Mountain States.
Travis describes his leadership role as rewarding, with the opportunity of working with a team of passionate, driven professionals who communicate and achieve at a high level. He also appreciates the firm’s commitment to professional development, reinforcing standards and protocols that both encourage and support their professionals to rise above the industry’s typical level of excellence.
“We are passionate about what we do and have our client’s success at the center of how we operate,” concludes Travis.