About FOM

Initiatives

Read our article on Building a Legacy: One Piece at a Time - The Overview (PDF) to see how Facilities Operations & Maintenance is undergoing a complete overhaul of its preventive maintenance program to enable better workload management, maintenance requirements identification, and cost accounting.
See more photos of our preventive maintenance program in action.

This article is also part of our: Values at Work Series

Technical Expertise: The Tools of the Trade

Facilities Operations and Maintenance (FOM) employees collectively hold over 252 trade licenses, certifications, academic degrees, and other relevant credentials. Our facilities have become more complex and sophisticated over the years. We have a staff with strong technical skills and experience to maintain our buildings and systems efficiently and provide an effective energy and water conservation program. We offer training and development so our staff is well-matched for the needs of a modern university.

Good Stewards: What FOM Means to the University

FOM brings these benefits to the university:

  • Achieving the expected life of our building systems and equipment
  • Improving asset reliability – fewer repairs and replacements
  • Reducing downtime – less disruption to campus community
  • Providing more efficient service at a lower cost
  • Properly diagnosing and treating maintenance issues
  • Proactively using preventive/predictive techniques
  • Actively conserving the university’s energy and water resources

People in spaces work better when spaces work better for people.

What does it mean to provide facilities operations and maintenance to the university? What if we weren’t here?

Like an automobile that needs its oil changed and its parts checked or serviced at certain intervals, if its performance isn’t evaluated and maintenance doesn’t occur, the vehicle doesn’t operate well—or worse, becomes dangerous to its driver. Plus, the cost of repairs can increase as the vehicle condition continues to deteriorate. No car lasts forever, but with proper review and maintenance it can run more smoothly and efficiently at less cost and last much longer, as originally intended.

It’s the same with our buildings on campus. FOM monitors the performance of our building systems and provides proper maintenance, including preventive care.

Not Your Ordinary Crew

What makes us unique? How have we increased our value? Here are more ways we benefit the university:

  • Our experience in managing specialty environments such as labs and museums avoids costly damage to research, equipment, works of art, and more.
  • By using and developing in-house expertise, we can often avoid higher costs with outside contractors.
  • We are prepared to face the challenges of one of the largest public universities in the United States—be it campus growth, aging buildings and systems, increasingly complex facility technology, or tightened budgets.
  • We bring pride in our work because we know we are supporting the university’s mission.

The Proactive Plan

We look for ways to move from reactive mode to proactive, as in these examples:

  • Monitoring operation of equipment critical to researchers to avoid damage or loss of valuable research
  • Providing engineering and technical support to our field maintenance technicians to achieve real solutions, not patch problems
  • Raising the bar on improved customer service through our zone-based strategy
  • Reaching out to the campus community to reduce energy and water use for improving conservation

 

High-tech or low-tech, prevention works!

 

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FOM team member monitoring alarms on lcd displays
Building Operations crew leader monitors alarms on critical equipment, alerting us of issues before loss of valuable research can occur

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a refrigeration mechanic performs preventive maintenance on an HVAC unit
A refrigeration mechanic performs preventive maintenance on an HVAC unit
 

Innovation and Technology

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Technicians use hand-held devices to connect to the work order system remotely
Technicians use hand-held devices to connect to the work order system remotely

The best organizations know they must keep evolving, adapting, and growing. It's about being nimble. Facilities Operations and Maintenance teams look for innovative ways to save money, time, or both.

Mobility is a major trend for improving efficiency and communication. We are applying this trend on campus through the use of hand-held devices so our front-line workers can access our work order system from the field.

More opportunities are being explored. See our Innovative Technologies page for more information on this topic.

 

Client Satisfaction: What Our Clients Say About Us

We’re here for you - the students, faculty, and staff who carry out the mission of this university. We appreciate the opportunity to hear from you about how we’re doing. When we don’t get it right, we take your feedback and act on it. You help us to improve. When we do get it right, we share your accolades. Here are recent ones:

“I’m writing to express my sincere gratitude for the help and support extended to me by Facilities Services. Our cage washing equipment is at the heart of our animal care operations, and this morning we discovered that a critical heat exchanger had failed, shutting down our only rack washer in the ARC.  The outstanding plumbing crew at Zone 1 showed up early this morning on short notice to disconnect the heat exchanger and was on hand to reinstall it by 11:30 am.  Thanks to the efforts of these outstanding staff members, ARC operations are back on track within 4 hours, instead of weeks.“
-Animal Resource Center
 
“As part of the FAS team, I know the importance of the FAS core values. I wish to commend Mr. Middleton for his integrity and stewardship. His action has brought great relief to a distraught UT undergraduate and has delighted her father and her circle of friends on social media.  Thank you for encouraging us all to practice the FAS core values. Mr. Middleton clearly lives by them.”
-Enterprise Business Information Technology Solutions (EBITS)
 
“Hernan and I are extremely grateful for the fast response and resolving the issue!  Please pass on our gratitude to Josh & Geoff.  Their diligence and attitude is a great example for all to follow.”
-College of Natural Sciences
 
“I want to tell you both how much I appreciate this task being seen through to completion.  This will help keep our building looking sharp and professional for decades to come so it is not trivial. I appreciate the skill and excellence in which you perform your work.  Without having to talk about it, the finished product shows not only your knowledge and skillset but also your dedication to your craft – well done, and keep up the good work!”
-UT Bureau of Economic Geology
 
“I just wanted to pass on a good word for the Zone 2 I&C techs. They have been very impressive in their responsiveness and their can-do attitude. They have also consistently come from a place of “yes” instead of the typical place of “no”. This has been one the best zones to work within my five years at UT, so give them a gold sticker or a Kudos from us at Energy Management.”
-Utilities, and Energy Management
 
“I am truly grateful for the collaboration, positive attitude, and competency of your teams!”
-Dell Medical School

Safety: An Integral Component

Safety begins with communicating with our people to:

  • Take those few extra minutes to put their safety first
  • Follow shop safety procedures and guidelines, including regular assessments of safety knowledge
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

We work closely with our department’s Safety Manager & Programs to:

  • Train our employees and provide guidelines for fall protection, asbestos awareness, confined spaces, lock-out tag-out, and other relevant safety areas
  • Comply with national, state, and local safety requirements
  • Advise on our Arc Flash Analysis Program and other safety programs
  • Track number and type of incidents that occur to implement improvements.