PASADENA—The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Irwin as director of Physical Plant. He assumed his new duties as director of that department on December 1. He replaces Bob Fort, who retired last August.
A member of the Caltech staff for 12 years, serving first as assistant and then as deputy director of Physical Plant, Irwin says the transition in leadership has been a smooth one.
"We have a very talented, hardworking group of men and women here and I look forward to working with them," says Irwin.
Irwin came to Caltech in September 1985 after retiring from 20 years in the Navy. Holding the rank of commander when he left, Irwin's last assignment had been as design superintendent for ship overhaul in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. While ship design and construction is quite different from building construction, Irwin has found that many of the skills he learned there are transferable to rehabs of Caltech's labs and offices.
Physical Plant consists of administrative services, central engineering services, the central utility plant, custodial services, engineering and estimating, landscaping and grounds, physical plant shops, the safety office, security, transportation and motor pool, and a service center. The department employs almost 300 people.
Caltech is a small, independent university that carries on instruction in science and engineering for a student body of approximately 900 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students. With an outstanding faculty, including three Nobel laureates, and such off-campus facilities as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Palomar Observatory, and the W. M. Keck Observatory, Caltech is one of the world's major research centers, focusing on those areas in which it has the faculty and facilities to excel.