“Be prepared to manage the unexpected” is a lesson Pete Lelonek learned his first day on the job at Iowa State on Dec. 1, 1990. A severe snowstorm hit Ames the night before, and, in an occurrence repeated only rarely in subsequent years, he didn’t have to work his first day on the job. Since that unusual first day, Pete has been handling all sorts of other unexpected challenges as a Facilities Manager for the Molecular Biology and Carver Co-Lab buildings, always while trying to maintain the optimum working environment that minimizes distractions and allows researchers to operate efficiently.
After Pete earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa, he worked in Chicago modernizing Howitzer cannons. He later found a better job fit at Stanley Consultants in Muscatine, IA, where he designed commercial and industrial building mechanical systems. One of the projects he worked on involved the mechanical systems for the Molecular Biology Building at Iowa State, the same building he has managed since the day after that snowstorm in 1990.
Pete thrives on helping people solve their building related problems, from tracking down a room that will work for a student project to developing an adequate space for a researcher’s multimillion-dollar piece of equipment.
What is your favorite Iowa State research discovery? “The world’s first digital computer. Computers have advanced almost everything we touch, more so than any other thing we have created.”
Pete can help with: Getting repairs and changes made through Facilities Planning and Management; finding spaces for projects, equipment, or events; and sharing institutional knowledge, tips, and information to help get research done.