Donald Roschelli, a retired commissioning agent for facilities engineering operations, has received the university’s 2018 Staff Career Achievement Award.

Roschelli retired from the university in 2017 after 48 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to individuals who retired the previous year and who distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have worked a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

During his career at Virginia Tech, Roschelli had a positive impact on the quality of Virginia Tech facilities for several generations. Roschelli is considered a legend among his colleagues in facilities and is respectfully referred to as “Dr. Roschelli” due to his plumbing and mechanical expertise, and history of Virginia Tech’s building systems.

Among his many contributions, some of Roschelli’s early welding work was helping to fabricate the system that feeds coal into the boilers at the power plant – a system that is still used to this day. When the university elected to design and construct a dry rendering facility to safely sterilize and dispose of animal carcasses during the mad cow disease scare, Roschelli’s dedication resulted in the project’s success. Work in the dry rendering facility was demanding; Roschelli still talks about the facility and his contributions to the project with pride.

“Don is an amazing troubleshooter and never hesitated to roll up his sleeves and get into the details of why a system wasn’t operational. He has an amazing wealth of detailed knowledge in mechanical building systems and associated controls, and he is very willing to share his experience with anyone who will listen,” wrote Sherwood Wilson, vice president for Operations, in a nomination letter.

Roschelli’s firsthand knowledge has helped inform a wide range of projects, including everything from assisting with landscape and façade studies to helping utility technicians try to locate an underground pipe installed 30 years ago.

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