Thumbs Up: Ken Williams

February 16, 2015  


Ken Williams

Ken Williams, indoor air quality technician VIII. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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Editor's note: Since 2010, Purdue Today has invited faculty and staff to recognize the good work of others on campus through its weekly "Thumbs Up" feature. Purdue Today periodically will publish an expanded version of this popular feature in an effort to further call attention to employees' excellent work.

Rob Eddy, plant growth facilities manager, recognizes Ken Williams, indoor air quality technician VIII, for his excellent work keeping temperatures properly regulated in the University's horticulture greenhouses during the recent harsh weather. Eddy writes:

"For the second winter in a row, the horticulture greenhouses have maintained proper temperatures during winter nights with wind chills in the negative teens. A single quarter-inch pane of glass and an energy retention curtain separate irreplaceable research plants from conditions that would kill them in minutes. This is no accident, but a remarkable feat of maintenance provided by Ken Williams of the Zone 5 Maintenance Group throughout the year.

"Ken makes sure that every piece of heating and cooling equipment in 24 glass rooms is operational. He checks the heating valves in autumn and repairs or replaces ones that do not open. He fixes hot water leaks that would otherwise keep the equipment from working efficiently. He keeps an eye on the boiler and pumps in the mechanical room. He does similar repairs and maintenance on our cooling fans and evaporative pad pumps prior to summer. He can hear a fan going bad as he walks by.

"Without this kind of dedication, the greenhouses would not maintain proper temperature during weather extremes, when every component needs to be working properly. With early January's frigid night temperatures, there is no room for error. Sustained temperatures below 45 degrees or above 95 degrees could ruin research plants, causing a loss of time, data and investment. Some of our plants took years to develop. They are unique and therefore irreplaceable.

"Our grateful thanks to Ken and the Zone 5 team from the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture."

Writer: Amanda Hamon Kunz, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu 

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