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Ben Burmester

Administration ~ Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Ben, who is also an Auburn alumnus, works within Facilities Management as a Campus Planner, specifically as a University and Transportation Site Engineer.   Ben focuses mainly on transportation, infrastructure, and water management, applying an ethic of stewardship in working on behalf of the Auburn campus. Ben works closely with university staff to ensure that campus planning goals and standards reflect Auburn’s sustainability commitments and that in implementation, those goals and standards are met.

Ben’s handiwork can be found all over campus.  Some of it is visible and apparent, while some of it is not so visible but every bit as important. Whether it is making the campus more walkable and bikeable or managing stormwater in a more enlightened way, Ben is at the center of things.

For example, Ben’s contributions to the concourse in front of the Mell Classroom building reflect a beautiful, integrated design.  The concourse is human-friendly.  It incorporates places to meet and study, accommodates foot and bicycle traffic, and mimics nature’s approach for stormwater management using beautiful landscaping elements that absorb water nature’s way.

Ben has been a quiet champion for the use of green infrastructure for stormwater management wherever possible.  That means using nature’s approach, with natural features and human-made features that mimic nature’s way of treating stormwater runoff by slowing it down, spreading it out, and letting it soak into the ground rather than flushing it into local streams the way curbs, gutters, and storm drains do.

Ben has been a key contributor to Auburn achieving designation as a Bicycle Friendly University.  His efforts to create covered parking for bikes, dedicated bike lanes, increasing bike parking, and so on are a big reason why Auburn achieved this designation.

Ben’s commitment, leadership, and creativity to achieve a more sustainable campus are delivered in his typical low-key, quiet, thoughtful way.  His work is done in such a professional, methodical way that his sustainable design elements often seem to appear whenever land is disturbed on campus.

Photo of Ben Burmester with his Spirit of Sustainability Award