News Archives - 2015

Student Employees Present Semester Results

December 2015 – Student employees working with the Energy & Water Conservation (EWC) Program, Engineering & Technical Support, and Building Operations recently presented the results of their hard work during their semester with the Facilities Operations & Maintenance division of Facilities Services. From areas such as data integrity to energy models, and from process and reporting documentation to helping promote our energy conservation initiatives, our students’ efforts brought important contributions to the department. We are dedicated to the professional and educational development of our student employees and recognize how the opportunities we provide them support the university’s primary mission. See more about these students’ work.

Big Plans Made for Texas Arbor Day 2015

Join us as we celebrate this year's Texas Arbor Day 2015 - UT Style! Texans like to do things in a big way, and it's only natural for Longhorns to make this year's celebration something grand. So we're going out on a limb to bring you a forest full of things to do, see and learn in November and beyond.

We're kicking off our celebration with a tree planting ceremony, giveaways, free seedlings, and information on hand:

Arbor Day Ceremony
November 6, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
UT Orchard (24th and San Jacinto)

There's more to do and see! You can participate in our Tree Campus USA service project on November 21, visit our Memorial Tree Program interactive map, view our colorful catalog of the top 20 most notable trees on campus, and read our article about the historic Battle Oaks.

For more information about our Texas Arbor Day 2015 celebration activities and publications, go to our Urban Forestry webpage.

The Battle Oaks article is part of our: Values at Work Series

"Texas Arbor Day celebrates, protects University's trees"

November 9, 2015 - Urban Forestry arborists are featured in this Daily Texan article on the university's Texas Arbor Day ceremony and the upcoming Tree Campus USA service project slated for November 21 near Clark Field.

Building Operations Launches Building Automation Simulators

October 2015 - President Fenves champions Innovating Excellence, and we are heeding the call. Read the article below to learn about how our Building Operations manager designed two hands-on, portable training devices that simulate our campus’ technologically advanced, “intelligent” building systems operation and maintenance and an in-house curriculum that saves the university time and money.

To read the article and for more information about Buildings Operations: Visit the Building Operations Page

This article is part of our: Values at Work Series

‘Keepers of the Maces’ Help Maintain UT Tradition

August 28, 2015 - Custodial Services is featured in a Daily Texan online article and video for their important role as caretakers of the university's ceremonial maces.

Facilities Services Welcomes New Director

Dean Hansen, P.E., started his first day as the director of the Facilities Services Department on August 10, 2015.

Dean has more than 20 years of experience in construction, engineering and facilities management. From September 2013 to the present, he served as the assistant vice president for Physical Plant at the University of Memphis, a large, metropolitan research university. In addition to being responsible for the physical plant, Dean directed the university’s operation and maintenance of utility systems. His duties also included budget oversight and driving cultural change within the Physical Plant organization.

Previously, Dean was a Commander in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps from 1993 to 2013. During that time he served in several capacities, including director of Public Works and Construction for two large Navy bases and program manager for the largest base merger initiative in Department of Defense history. He also planned, developed, and tracked construction and infrastructure improvement projects for various military engineer units, developing innovative software tools and information processes for more effective project management.

Dean is a registered Professional Engineer (Civil) and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from the McCombs School of Business and his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University.

We are pleased to welcome Dean to Facilities Services!

Dean can be reached at 512-475-6766 or at

Going Once, Going Twice...Sold! Surplus Auction Slated for July 29

It's hot in Texas, and so are the deals at the next public auction of the university's property and equipment! Come on out to the J. J. Pickle Research Campus on Wednesday, July 29, starting at 9:00 a.m. Public viewing and registration for the auction opens Tuesday, July 28, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Take a sneak peak of what's on the bidding block or go to our Surplus Auction page to get more information, including tips, maps, and more. Don't miss out! We'll see you there!

President Fenves Starts First Day with Facilities Staff

June 3, 2015 -- The University of Texas at Austin’s President Greg Fenves shook hands with chiller techs, custodians, planners, plumbers, landscapers and more who took selfies and shouted “Hook ‘em!” in a facilities warehouse on campus this morning. Not the usual way to begin the first day in office for a university president. But it’s the Texas way.

“I didn’t think it made sense to spend my first day in my office. I wanted to get out on campus and meet the people who work here,” shared President Fenves, who chose to come to the Facilities Complex for his Inaugural Breakfast, complete with breakfast tacos. The crowd, peppered with the blue or tan uniform shirts worn by the facilities staff, listened as he spoke about the importance of the work carried out by the people who keep the building systems, grounds, and utilities running for the students, faculty, and staff on campus.

Based on the smiles on the faces in the crowd, President Fenves’ visit to the Facilities Complex was a hit. “It meant a lot to us that he came here,” said Support Services Manager Ben Reid. “He was willing to stand here in the heat to meet with us before he went to see the governor.”

Facilities staff were the first to greet President Fenves as he became the 29th president of The University of Texas at Austin, and they were also there at the end of the day when they lit the Tower burnt orange in his honor. Hook ‘em!

See event photos.

"Maintaining the Green"

May 2015 - John Burns, manager of Landscape Services, provides his expertise on sustainable landscaping in this article (PDF) published in College Planning & Management.

Longhorns Make the Dark Look Bright

Energy conservation never looked so smart as when one of the largest U.S. universities powers down and turns off lights across campus for one weekend each month to conserve energy. These efforts, also known as "Longhorn Lights Out" (LLO), have contributed to the university's goal to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2020. The initiative is managed by the Energy & Water Conservation Program team. The next LLO is scheduled for May 29, 2015, when the campus community can join the Dark Side for the weekend and still come out looking brilliant! To learn more, visit Longhorn Lights Out.

EWC Celebrates Earth Month 2015

The Energy & Water Conservation Program is taking our efforts to the next level in April as we observe Earth Month with three exciting initiatives--two of them extending beyond the 40 acres. Learn more about how EWC is ramping it up to help Longhorns power it down to make a difference on the planet!

Get more details about all Earth Month 2015 events on our campus.

Student Employee Named Finalist in President's Award Competition

Facilities Services' student employees know how to stand out from the rest. Kristen Cetin, whose work on the Longhorn Lights Out initiative made a strong impact, was recently selected as one of 10 finalists in the 2014-2015 competition for the President's Student Employee of the Year Award. Learn more about Kristen and our awesome Student Employees.

EWC Experts Make TRACS as Presenters

Energy & Water Conservation (EWC) Program Energy Stewards Meagan Jones and Matt Stevens, along with student employee Kristen Cetin, recently presented some of our successful initiatives at the 2015 Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS) Summit held March 2-3, 2015 at Texas Tech University. View Meagan's "Horns Up, Sash Down fume hood competition" presentation (PDF). View Kristen and Matt's "Campus Lights Out" presentation (PDF).

Congratulations to Our SLICE Winner!

Facilities Services is proud to announce that one of our own is the recipient of a University Operations 2014 SLICE award! Matilde Torres is with Custodial Services, and she is the night shift building attendant leader at Welch Hall. Read more about her exemplary work and the SLICE Awards.

Save Energy on Campus with Longhorn Lights Out!

Join our campus community as we turn off lights and power down at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2015. You can make a difference!

HVAC Holiday Scheduling Efforts Put the Brakes on Energy Use Over the Winter Break

Energy & Water Conservation (EWC) Program staff implemented an initiative that provided a 19 percent reduction in energy use over the university's winter break. Get more details about our successful 2014-2015 winter break results and this initiative on our Holiday Scheduling page.

Making the Greatest Impact in Our Urban Forest

The Daily Texan (PDF) gives an in-depth look at the work of our arborists and the challenges they face.

Leading for Change in Water Conservation

Local news stations YNN and KEYE spotlighted our water-saving irrigation system. Read about our networking with other Central Texas agencies and organizations to conserve water, spotlighted in the Daily Texan. See additional news about Facilities Services.