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Universities are big. Think about it; you have housing for thousands, lecture halls, arenas, hospitals, laboratories, supercomputers, server banks, dining facilities; the list goes on and on.
To say that each and every university in the Big Ten is in itself a small city, wouldn’t even touch on hyperbole.
Yet, we often only focus on the “what” that is being done therein, not the “how.” To power the innovation of the Big Ten takes an army of engineers, mechanics and associated staff members working around the clock. For these unsung heroes, the accolades are few, but the impact is mighty. And, frequently their work is helping to make our world a little greener.
Take, for instance, the University of Minnesota, where facilities staffers have converted the once-shuttered coal-burning Old Main Energy Plant into the newly revamped natural gas-powered Main Energy Plant for the flagship Twin Cities campus. According to Jerome Malmquist, director of energy management for the university, it was a labor of love and no small amount of practicality.