Roger B. Benson grew up in Manchester, CT and studied engineering and philosophy at the University of Miami, receiving his B.S. degree in civil engineering in 1967. Roger moved to Sonoma County in 1976 and began working in the San Rafael office of Factory Mutual Engineering, now FM Global, in 1978 as a fire protection engineer. Rising quickly in the company, his focus turned to the semiconductor industry where he became a respected consultant and advocate for safety. As a Senior Engineering Specialist with FM Global, his responsibilities included design review of new Integrated Circuit (IC) Fabrication (Fab) facilities, visiting existing Fabs to review operations and practices and he provided extensive safety training and an overview of IC processes to numerous other FM Global engineers on a worldwide basis for more than twenty years.
Roger partnered with and sat on committees of semiconductor groups such as the SIA, SEMI, SESHA, NFPA, and others responsible for developing guidelines, standards and codes for the semiconductor industry. He was a member of the NFPA 318 Technical Committee, Co-chair of the SEMI Tool Fire Protection Task Force, a member of the SIA Fabs West group, and a member of the Board of Directors of SESHA. He was a leading authority on safety, fire safety and codes that impacted the semiconductor industry around the globe.
A gifted speaker, Roger provided numerous presentations in North America, Europe and Asia and was a frequent speaker for the past two dozen years at the annual SESHA international conference and local SESHA, SEMI and SIA seminars. Roger was an inspiration to all who had the opportunity and pleasure of hearing him speak on risk management and fire/life safety issues. He was the cornerstone of the annual SESHA Symposium EHS Bootcamp program.
Roger received the SESHA Meritorious Award in 1999, was elected as SESHA Fellow in 2002, and received the SESHA Presidents Award in 2004.
Roger trained many peers, engineers and clients on loss prevention practices for semiconductor manufacturing sites and contributed largely to the safe construction and operation used by most sites today. Many of the EH&S professionals working in the semiconductor industry today, very much owe their introduction to safety issues and knowledge of specialized engineering controls to Roger Benson.
Roger passed on Friday, August 19th, 2005 at the age of 66 and will be greatly missed by his industry colleagues.