An award in memory of Mr. Ken Close, a long time member and supporter of HEEP, may be given to honor one or more members at the annual meeting each year. Suggestions for the award may be made to the President for consideration. The President will make the final determination of any nominations and canvass the HEEP Officers for approval. The award is not necessarily presented annually. Although no specific criteria have been established for determining eligibility, recipients should reflect the goals of HEEP.
Kenneth (Ken) G. Close was a special projects engineer for the Federal Highway Administration and served as the Secretary of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Data Processing, now known as the AASHTO Subcommittee on Information Systems. Ken was also the FHWA-designated delegate to the HEEP organization. In the 1970’s the HEEP organization did not enjoy the collaborative working relationship with AASHTO that we enjoy today. Ken worked with Norm Baker of the Iowa DOT and Myron (Mike) Bacon of the Wisconsin DOT to improve and expand the working relationship between the AASHTO IS Subcommittee and the HEEP organization. This was a daunting task given the fact that the two venues had few common attendees; however, the team prevailed, laying the groundwork for the supportive relationship between the two organizations. Tragically, in 1984 Ken and his wife were involved in a fatal automobile accident while returning from the AASHTO subcommittee meeting.
In 1985, HEEP President Jerry Coleman of the Maryland DOT made the recommendation that HEEP establish a mechanism to recognize HEEPers who have provided long term support for the organization. Jerry further suggested that the organization turn the tragic loss of Ken Close into an opportunity to honor Ken's memory and significant contributions to HEEP via the establishment of the Kenneth G. Close Award. He, with the approval of the Board of Directors, established the award in 1985.
This award is given at the discretion of the current IHEEP president.