UNM Today

Contact Us
Current Issue
Editorial Policies
Previous Issues
Publication Dates

Subscribe to
email edition



Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: February 3, 2003
Volume 38, Number 13


Marquez steps up to challenge

By Steve Carr

Steve MarquezLights, water, heating and cooling on campus can be taken for granted when they work properly. But when a utility goes on the fritz the folks who maintain them are invaluable. That’s when the phone of Steve Marquez, utilities manager at at Ford Utilities Division, a subdivision of the Physical Plant Department, starts ringing.

“My primary duties and responsibilities include, but aren’t limited to, the needs of the University, which includes students, faculty and staff,” Marquez said. “We try to ensure and maintain the comfort level of the classrooms, research facilities and other functions on campus such as student resident housing.”

It’s a job that Marquez and his coworkers perform on a daily basis with little recognition. But the rewards and challenges extend beyond that.

“The aim of the job is to limit outages with respect to the needs of the campus,” Marquez said. “Sometimes it’s very difficult to get on the calendar [for maintenance purposes]. For example, Popejoy schedules out 2-3 years in advance. It’s hard to do the scheduled maintenance efforts around the scheduling requirements of the University. It’s a juggling act at times.”

In addition to making sure the utilities work properly, Marquez, who spent 20 years in the Navy as a steam plant inspector, is also involved in several projects designed to improve services in the future. Projects such as the new Lomas chilled water plant, a lighting upgrade in 83 buildings across campus and the Ford Utilities renovation are ongoing.

“Keeping the new plant running, new tie-ins and limiting the amount of interruptions to the needs of the campus is quite a challenge,” Marquez said. “There’s no time to be bored.”

Outside of his duties at Ford Utilities, Marquez is an avid fisherman who takes annual fishing trips to the San Juan River and elsewhere across New Mexico.

His wife, Virgie, is a lead singer in a local band and Marquez operates their sound system. He also runs a DJ business on weekends. After all, there’s no time to be bored.