Spotlight Projects

  • Uniform Shirts to be Worn by F&S Frontline Staff

    Aug 18, 2020

    Dear Colleagues,

    Beginning Monday, August 31, F&S frontline staff will start wearing a uniform shirt while preforming service and project work. This new Illini Blue attire will emphasize the unit’s role as the caretaker for the university’s physical environment by presenting a consistent visual appearance on campus that reflects the professionalism of our team while contributing to proactive university security efforts.


    The shirts will also be labeled with each employee’s name and feature the block I. The apparel will aid in our ongoing customer-focused COVID-19 response strategies, allowing you to better identify and interact with F&S employees during the return to on-site instruction. 

    F&S dress guidelines have always focused on the importance of maintaining a professional appearance as a representative of our organization and the university. As a means to help achieve our strategic objective of furthering engagement with the campus community and especially during this vital period, the new shirts will strengthen F&S’ commitment to being a responsive and highly valued service provider while highlighting the unit’s vast expertise and capabilities.


    Dr. Mohamed Attalla, MBA, P.Eng.
    Executive Director, Facilities & Services
  • Shop Spotlight: Steam Distribution

    Aug 04, 2020
    The Steam Distribution operators may be one of the most unique jobs on campus with responsibilities that deserve more recognition.Steam tunnels
    Despite what their name suggests, they deal with more than just hot water vapor.
    The team’s primary objectives each day are to provide a safe and comfortable work environment for research, classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, and spaces for students to learn and staff to work. Operators provide service delivery in two main areas, mechanical and utility systems. Mechanical systems include components with moving parts; utility systems involve steam, natural gas, water, and electrical components.
    As the “eyes and ears of campus,” Steam Distribution checks on all alarms after normal working hours and respond to facility systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
    “Our team of operators are often at work when most people are in bed asleep,” said Steam Distribution foreperson Bill Conner. “They are at work during weekends, evenings, night shifts, and holidays.”
    “This team is not just a set of generalists,” said Dave Boehm, associate director for Operations, Maintenance, & Alterations, Building Maintenance. “They are highly-skilled operational individuals who may be better described as ‘field operators’ for utilities, infrastructure, and all buildings on campus. They are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals you will ever meet when it comes to operating the campus, essentially a small city, where it involves utility distribution, gas pipeline operations, building operations, and system operations.
    “Operators can address multiple issues and then bring in helpful team members from other shops to further repair the most difficult tasks.Steam blow
    “Basically, if it is any component, system, or sub-assembly, they know what it should be doing and how to deal with it,” Boehm said.
    Conner is proud of his team and looks forward with confidence.
    “Every day, we challenge ourselves to make it a better day than the one before,” Conner said. “We want to ensure the campus is happy over and over again. Whatever it is, we are up for it. We are always trying to make sure campus functioning safely. We’ve got to keep it going.”
    Full steam ahead!
  • Chilled at Chalmers

    May 21, 2020

    Facilities & Services has continued to perform essential work through the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Recently, a team from F&S collaborated with the Mutimodal Corridor Enhancement (MCORE) Project crews to complete two infrastructure improvements at the same time.

    F&S Utilities Distribution recently performed this quick response chilled water piping project on Chalmers Street between Sixth Street and Wright Street. When MCORE Project 4 planned to replace the street surface and sidewalks in this area, it was identified that the 14” underground chilled water supply and return piping beneath this area had recently failed a “hydro” test, a controlled way to discover what is in need of repair. This work would include 200-foot lengths of 14” chilled water supply and return piping (400 total feet). Addressing the issue now would help to steward university resources by eliminating the need to tear out and redo the recently done street and sidewalks in the future  

    Management Engineer, Robbie Bauer, quickly coordinated with F&S Transportation Demand Coordinator, Stacey DeLorenzo and MCORE Project Manager Lou Braghini. A project schedule accounted for time to perform the chilled water piping work without adversely impacting the MCORE Project timeline. This process even required a formal executive approval to classify this project as essential.

    In a less than one-month time period, the project was identified, planned, scheduled, authorized, and constructed.