Engineering and Technical Services helps develop the vision, strategy, incentives, and initiatives that will align operations, planning and design processes, and resource management with the principles of sustainability.

Engineering and Technical Services consists of:

  • Engineering Services
  • Energy Office
    • Strategic Energy Program
  • Energy Management
  • Fire Prevention Services
  • Facilities Preventive Maintenance

Associate Director: Sara Shirazi


Engineering Services

Electrical Engineering provides technical assistance to the Utilities Electricians in the operation and maintenance of the campus’s electrical power distribution system. Support is given to Construction & Design in providing new or upgraded electrical service to buildings undergoing construction.

Fire Alarm Engineering provides technical assistance, plan review, and consultation for any campus facility work that may directly or indirectly impact the campus fire alarm systems. Note that any construction or remodel work within a building could cause an avoidable false fire alarm. Consulting with project coordinators ensures that work will not impact the fire alarm / life safety systems, and that work be done only by qualified personnel.

The Fire Alarm Engineer, along with the Utilities Operations electricians, also participates in fire drills that are scheduled via a Work Order. Drills are conducted in conjunction with EH&S and the Fire Marshal.

Mechanical Engineering provides assistance on matters pertaining to campus steam and gas. The central campus is heated by a district steam distribution system. The basic function of the system is to deliver steam from the Central Heating Plant (a.k.a. Cogeneration Plant) to buildings for space conditioning, heating water for domestic uses, absorption space cooling, laboratory equipment sterilization and laboratory experiments.

Since the campus is heated by steam, there are very limited gas needs. The limited amount of gas is primarily used on small buildings (residential type homes converted into offices) and at the science buildings where gas is used in support of research.

Civil Engineering provides support to Utilities Operations in dealing with underground pipes that are affected by ground movement due to the nearby fault. The units provides Civil and Structural Engineering support for the Campus Facilities and Utilities Systems.

The Purchased Utilities group monitors use, and authorizes payment for, campus expenditures on steam, gas, electricity, water and sewage. The group records the readings of building meters to monitor electric, gas and steam consumption. Records of utility usage and payment are maintained, verified against accounting ledgers, and used to project future consumption and costs.

The Utilities Planner is responsible for providing the required short- and long- term infrastructure planning, scheduling and funding administration support for the underground and above-ground utility distribution services provided to the campus. The Utility Planner works closely with the Planning Office within Construction & Design.

Manager of Engineering and Utilities Services: Gilbert Escobar


Energy Management

The EMS group uses proprietary building automation systems to control and monitor the heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems in about 75 campus buildings. A new software upgrade has recently been installed that features web-based access with graphical user interface. The unit focuses on programming mechanical systems to balance building occupant comfort with energy conservation. The group also provides guidance and assistance in the design and construction of new campus building controls.

Manager of EMS: Venzi Nikiforov


Campus Fire Prevention and Preventive Maintenance

Fire Prevention Services performs code mandated, inspection, testing and preventive maintenance on building fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and emergency eyewash and showers. In addition, we also provide fire extinguishers demonstrations in conjunction with the Campus Fire Marshal’s office for a fee of approximately $200.00.

Please Note:

Fire Drills are scheduled via a Work Order Request. Drills are conducted with the Fire Alarm Engineer and FS electricians in conjunction with EH&S and the Fire Marshal.

For all Fire Prevention requests, including Shutdowns, please call the Customer Service Center at (510) 642-1032.

The Preventative Maintenance (PM) group addresses preventive maintenance requirements on campus and schedules work accordingly. Projects include: testing and servicing backflow prevention devices; generators, boilers and heating hot water/chilled water systems testing and chemical treatments; filters inspections and changing, vacuum pumps, air compressors, sump pumps, and performing inspections and ensuring cleanliness of mechanical rooms.

In addition, we are responsible for maintaining extensive building systems and life safety databases that track the frequency of preventive maintenance and the required services, keep accurate inventories and locations of equipment and the respective inventory replacement, with a value in excess of $500 million.

For all Preventive Maintenance requests, please call the Customer Service Center at 642-1032.

Manager of Campus Fire Prevention and Preventive Maintenance: vacant