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As a building controls technician II within Facilities Maintenance, Roger spends most of his days within various campus buildings, making sure all of the HVAC (air conditioning and heating) units are up to specs. He has worked for the university for more than two decades and, although his responsibilities have changed somewhat since being hired, Roger has worked in the same shop all of his 22 years here.
Formerly working within Instrumentation and Controls, Roger now works in the newly-developed Optimization shop. The shop was created just about a month ago, so Roger is still getting used to all of the aspects of his new role. “It’s all about learning the tricks of the trade,” he explains. He receives a thorough checklist of each building and looks for energy and water savings potential in that building’s HVAC units.
He and his coworkers pay particular attention to units that show higher-than-average chilled water or steam use because that can be a sign of a failing or malfunctioning part. Whether replacing a single part or a whole unit, Roger’s goal is for each HVAC unit to run as though it were brand new.
A born-and-raised Austinite, Roger attended Reagan High School for a few years but ultimately graduated from Lanier High School. After graduation, he began working in construction. However, he did not like the inconsistency of the job. He would work ten- or 12-hour days for a short period, then not have a project to work on for weeks at a time. After about four years, Roger decided construction was not for him.
Roger saw the university as an opportunity for stable employment. He desired the consistency of a 40-hour work week and looked forward to the prospect of gaining employee benefits. Throughout his time here, the most notable change Roger has seen is the immense growth the university has experienced. He is also impressed by how advanced the HVAC technology on campus has become.
When he is not working, Roger’s hobbies include hotrods and motorcycles. He even owns a Harley-Davidson bike and, although he “doesn’t wear leather or anything,” Roger enjoys riding it around town in his free time.
Article and photo by Katherine Kahlke
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