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CSE2 Move Team recognized with College of Engineering Team Award

Group of people smiling in grey Allen School t-shirts
Members of the CSE2 Move Team, front row, left to right: Adrian Dela Cruz, Tracy Erbeck, Fred Videon, Sophie Ostlund, Emma Gebben, Voradesh Yenbut. Back row, left to right: Aaron Timss, Rod Prieto, Kris Venden, Stephen Spencer, Dan Boren, Alex Lefort, Jason Howe, Della Welch.

Not pictured: Tony Anderson, Nancy Burr, Joel Cohn, Alex Eckerman, Rebekah Hansen, Mark Murray, John Petersen, Jan Sanislo.

On February 28th, friends and supporters of the Allen School gathered to celebrate the dedication of the new Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering. It was a momentous occasion made possible by the generosity of more than 500 donors, a contribution from Washington state taxpayers…and the careful planning and hard work of nearly two dozen Allen School facilities, operations, and technology support staff responsible for orchestrating the move of people, labs, and equipment into their gleaming new space. Last week, those staff members were formally recognized with the College of Engineering’s 2019 Team Award for having undertaken that monumental — and monumentally successful — assignment.

“To meet the needs of rapidly growing student and faculty populations, the team orchestrated a complex plan to relocate and redistribute the Allen School across two buildings,” the College notes in its award citation. “They demonstrated an exceptional level of organization, efficiency and professionalism to ensure that all faculty, staff and students could access classrooms, laboratories and office spaces from day one.”

The team honored at last Thursday’s award ceremony included the following staff members, all of whom went above and beyond to ensure the Bill & Melinda Gates Center was ready to welcome occupants to their new home:

  • Tony Anderson, technology
  • Dan Boren, technology
  • Nancy Burr, technology
  • Joel Cohn, technology
  • Adrian Dela Cruz, operations
  • Alex Eckerman, technology
  • Tracy Erbeck, facilities
  • Emma Gebben, technology
  • Rebekah Hansen, technology
  • Jason Howe, technology
  • Alex Lefort, operations
  • Mark Murray, technology
  • Sophie Ostlund, operations
  • John Petersen, technology
  • Rod Prieto, technology
  • Jan Sanislo, technology
  • Stephen Spencer, technology
  • Aaron Timss, technology
  • Kris Venden, technology
  • Fred Videon, technology
  • Della Welch, technology
  • Voradesh Yenbut, technology

Professors Paul Beame, Associate Director of Facilities for the school, and Ed Lazowska, Associate Director for Development & Outreach, were among the faculty who sang the team’s praises. “We had extremely high expectations for the members of the Move Team based on their prior work in operations and lab support, but executing the move under extremely tight and shifting constraints was truly amazing,” they wrote in support of the team’s nomination. “Their work exemplifies the best qualities of teamwork, planning, and dedication that characterize the staff of the College of Engineering.”

Despite detailed plans that were months — in some cases, years — in the making, the team had to contend with a number of unforeseen circumstances that threatened to throw the move schedule off track. The move was to be done in phases over a period of nearly two months; every step of the way, team members expertly worked around delivery delays, travel schedules, holidays, and even a freak snowstorm that shut down the University to meet their deadlines and ensure that the new building occupants experienced a smooth transition with minimal disruption to their work. This included assisting teams with everything from rolling million-dollar robots across the street to packing up specks of DNA destined for the new wet lab, in addition to coordinating the arrival and proper placement of an entire building’s worth of computers, multimedia displays, furniture, and fixtures.

“The combination of personal commitment and absolute quality focus of the Allen School’s move team turned an enormous challenge into a smooth and successful transition in which occupants of both buildings are incredibly happy,” professor Hank Levy, Director of the Allen School, said. “Their amazing dedication to this task meant that faculty, students, and staff could walk into their new spaces and find them completely ready for occupancy on day one. They have my highest respect for their work.”

Teamwork is the hallmark of the Allen School approach, and it shows; previously, the Allen School’s undergraduate advising team was recognized by the College for providing exceptional service to our growing population of majors, prospective students, parents, and K-12 educators.

Way to go, team!