Resilience and Maintenance: Roles and Responsibilities for Managers

Brian Cowperthwaite discusses his experiences in seeking to improve the resilience of the University of Chicago’s facilities and campus.   February 15, 2023

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

How resilient are your facilities? The question is becoming more critical as natural disasters and other emergencies – including floods, hurricanes, blizzards and wildfires – become more severe and frequent, as well as more costly to recover from. Resilience in institutional and commercial facilities is a complex challenge. Maintenance and engineering managers and their staffs are every organization’s in-house experts on the condition and reliable operation of facilities, so they play a key role in ensuring facilities are resilient so they can respond to and recover from emergencies quickly.  

In this video, Brian Cowperthwaite, who is senior director of facility services, maintenance and operations with the University of Chicago, discusses his experiences in seeking to improve the resilience of the university’s facilities and campus. He also offers his insights into staffing and setting priorities to ensure departments can help achieve their organizations’ resilience goals.

Here is what you will learn from this video: 

The role of maintenance and operations managers and staffs in their organizations’ resilience efforts (0:40) 

Strategies for setting priorities for resilience, safety and emergency preparedness for facilities and campuses. (2:50) 

Watch next: 

Knowing Limitations and When to Ask Questions in Facilities Management

Emergency Response Plans Essential for Post-Pandemic Facilities

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 25 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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