Engineering Students Tour the Beating Heart of Campus

Facilities & Campus Services has offered a helping hand in showing and teaching students what happens behind the scenes of this campus. Wake Forest University’s engineering program is only in its second year, making this experience special for this group of students.

Our Director of Maintenance and Utilities, Mike Draughn, led the group from the control room through the large tunnels under the steam plant, and back, making sure to name and explain the machinery and parts of the system that help the campus to function.

The tour included Jimmy Nifong, the Utility Operations Manager (pictured below) as well as staff from Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety, and Sustainability to help the students understand all the important parts of such a large system.

Along the tour, Olga Pierrakos, the Founding Chair of the Engineering Department and professor of the touring class, tied the tour’s key points of focus back to her transport phenomena theme in her class. The collaborative lecture, tour, and discussion helped to illustrate “the role of engineers in the context of the steam power plant,” Pierrakos explained.

The students were very receptive to this unique experience, sending thank you notes after the tour back to Mike Draughn.

“It was so beneficial to get a view of what we are learning in class played out in a real life situation.”

“It was very cool for us to be able to see what goes on behind the scenes of our busy campus…”

“I really appreciate the time taken to introduce us to Wake’s beating (but very hidden) heart that few people ever have the opportunity to witness.”

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