Shop Spotlight: Operating Engineers with heavy machinery in transportation bay.

Shop Spotlight: Operator Engineers

Who doesn’t want to play in the dirt??

Stephanie Amabeli, F&S Operator Engineer

F&S operating engineers learn and use machinery to aid in construction, renovation, and other labor across campus.

Small machines plow snow from paths. Backhoes move earth to access underground networks. Cranes and other extending arm implements take work to the skies. An operator’s very purpose is to support other crafts and trades — and they’re required across campus all the time.

Stephanie Amabeli, F&S Operator Engineer

For Mark Stine, five family members worked in the trade, which “steered” him towards that line of work.

“I had first-hand knowledge at a very young age with big equipment,” said Stine. “I got to touch it, ride in it, and understand about how things work.”

Andrew Moore calls his career a “cool” one.

Mark Stine, F&S Operator Engineer

“I had the sandbox as a kid and I was interested in heavy equipment at a young age. I still collect toys and construction equipment,” said Moore. “There’s so many fascinating pieces of equipment and they can do things you don’t know about. They can be big or small or specialty. We are very fortunate. You never stop learning. It’s stimulating. We’re always striving to do something better than the last time.”

Amabeli came a totally different route – she previously worked for a grocery store chain in management before a chance meeting with an operating engineer. Her curiosity turned into a passion, and she stridently believes in the work she does now and is proud to have learned new skills. She believes in the importance of her service to her colleagues.

“Our job is to make their job easier,” she said of the other common partner crafts and trades, like high voltage electricians, roofers, and brickmasons. “With the crane, you can make someone’s job real hard if you can’t control the swing. On a backhoe, if you can’t grade well, that’s going to make things harder. It’s stressful for everybody if you’re not doing well. They’ve already got a hard job: my job is to make their job easier.”

Stine and Moore echoed that concept.

The better you can be and the more you know, the better you can serve others. They trust you. So they know when they ask, they don’t have to second guess it. I try to learn as many things as I can, to do my job to the best of our ability.

Mark Stine, F&S Operator Engineer