Don Janus joined Niner Nation as a student in 2003. Today, he is the newly appointed director of the Engineering Services team in Facilities Management. An all-around nice guy with a contagious level of enthusiasm, he makes engineering and the complexities of problem solving interesting. Get to know Janus more in the Q&A below.
How long have you been a part of Niner Nation, and what’s your most memorable experience as a student and/or, now, as an employee?
I transferred to UNC Charlotte as a sophomore in 2003. I had spent my freshman year at a very small private school in New England. UNC Charlotte attracted me because of its size, location and engineering college.
Easily, my most memorable experience as a student at UNC Charlotte was when I met my wife Dayle, who was a teaching student at the time. Second to that, was when Duke Centennial Hall opened and I started taking classes in it. I was amazed at the technology in that building.
My most memorable experience as an employee was replacing the HVAC system serving the ninth floor of the Atkins building. It was an extremely challenging project which required a lot of collaboration between Project Management, Facilities Operations and the Atkin’s Library faculty and staff.
In your new role as director of engineering, what are you and the engineering services team responsible for?
The Engineering Services team supports the design, construction and operation of campus infrastructure and building systems. We provide mechanical, electrical and civil engineering support for UNC Charlotte's Facilities Management Department and our campus partners. We also manage the Facility Management Department's BIM Standards and Integrated Lifecycle Management Plan.
What drives your enthusiasm for engineering?
I love the challenges that engineering presents to me on a daily basis, and I have always enjoyed solving problems with a holistic approach. Engineering is a team-based industry where everyone can utilize their experience and knowledge to solve problems.
What is a fun fact about you that few people know?
I’m a huge fantasy and science fiction nerd. If you see me walking across campus to a meeting with my headphones on, I’m probably listening to some epic space odyssey or gaming podcast. Many of my old UNC Charlotte friends have stayed in contact, and we still get together to have board game nights or to play cards.
Interview and photography: NiCole Lynch