Keith Becker, SCC civil engineering technology graduate, is a student of extremes – extreme, difficult-access drilling sites, that is. As operations manager at Salisbury and Associates, a leader in the difficult-access geotechnical drilling industry, Keith manages all aspects of Salisbury’s projects and troubleshoots the logistics of getting equipment and staff to places sometimes only accessible by helicopter. He also manages the equipment fabrication and maintenance. He credits the SCC's civil engineering technology program for giving him skills that effectively meet the needs of Salisbury’s engineering clients for accessing and drilling on steep slopes, in confined spaces, over water and on dams and bridges.
Keith is no stranger to the hands-on side of the job. Salisbury builds most of their specialty equipment in house, a job that he plays a large role in. “We’ve built some pretty unique apparatus – everything from drills that bolt onto the side of a dam to drills that are small and light enough to be moved by ATV, Sno-Ca, or even by manpower. My plan reading and structural engineering classes at SCC were invaluable,” Keith said.
Keith spent a year in SCC’s diesel/ heavy equipment repair program in 1997 and later went to work for Salisbury from 1998 to 2006 where he was introduced to geotechnical engineering and difficult-access drilling. During this period, he spent a lot of his time working in the field. “I left Salisbury to start my own business, but when that didn’t work out, I knew I wanted to go back to school and study civil engineering technology. I really dug the course material, and I knew it was a great fit for me,” he said.
He returned to Salisbury and Associates in October 2012 as operations manager, where he mainly works from home. Does he miss the travel to remote drilling sites throughout the Western U.S.? The 35-year-old father of three-year-old twin boys laughed, “It’s exciting to be there when equipment you’ve had a hand in building is being used on these awesome projects, but right now, I’m in a great place.”