Before he was maintaining air conditioning and chilled water refrigeration, Gerrod Forquer was tearing apart motors to see how they worked.
Forquer is an HVAC and refrigeration mechanic II for operations and maintenance in Facilities Management. He helps to make sure the buildings on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus stay cool during the hundred-degree summer weather and maintains equipment to keep the campus powered on.
“We spend a lot of our time just checking equipment for any maintenance it might need so we can fix it before it goes completely down and stops work in that building,” Forquer said. “We do most of our work behind the scenes so that others can do their work efficiently.”
When Forquer was a young boy, he would watch his grandfather remodel cars and work with engines — feeding a fascination with taking apart anything with a motor to see how the object works.
“When mom and dad would throw something away that they thought was broken, I would get it out of the trash and take it apart,” he said. “Sometimes I made it work again, and other times I would make it do something it wasn’t meant to do.”
This curiosity carried over into his career with OSU.
“Sometimes a part or piece of equipment doesn’t work the way we thought it would or we need it to do something completely different, so we Frankenstein two or more parts together to make it work the way we need it to,” Forquer said. “It might be goofy or odd ball, but it works and you really don’t get the opportunity to do something like that anywhere else.”
Forquer went to Meridian Technology Center for masonry during his junior and senior year of high school. After graduating from Stillwater High School in 2005, he worked in the masonry field before starting in the heating and air industry. He came to the university in February 2015.
“Every day here is not the same,” he said. “Every day is a challenge. There’s always something new and exciting to work on.”
Forquer said one of this favorite parts of working for the university is the passion and dedication of those around him.
“The people I work with have great attitudes,” he said. “They truly care about each other, what they do and this university. They are here to get the job done and aren’t afraid to think outside of the box. It’s truly a team effort.”
Forquer works with engineers who help him decide the best way to solve a potential problem with the limited resources that might be available to them.
“Sometimes we might have to order a part that will take three weeks to get here,” he said. “So in the meantime, we will try to come up with a way to solve the problem until the proper part gets here. This makes sure that we aren't shutting down buildings and operations on the campus.”
OSU is a family affair for Forquer. His wife, Heather, works as an assistant supervisor for operations and maintenance zone three. His two daughters, Addison, 7, and Payton, 5, are future OSU Cowgirls.