uOttawa celebrates World Facility Management Day

Core facilities
Campus view of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS)
Facility Management (FM) may not always make the news, yet it forms the essential backbone that keeps all uOttawa workplaces and public spaces operational, secure, and inviting. World FM Day is a global celebration that highlights the pivotal yet often overlooked role of facility management professionals. This year's theme, "Inspire, Integrate, Innovate: Ignite your career in FM," reflects the vibrant and continually evolving nature of this critical function.

Facility management plays a crucial part of our daily lives, though many may not realize it. From strategic oversight to the seamless operation of our physical environments, FM professionals keep systems running efficiently behind the scenes. At uOttawa, facility managers provide strategic and operational leadership in managing, planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining infrastructure and space. Their work ensures that resources are maximized, and the student experience is enhanced.

Marie-France English, Facilities Manager at the Faculty of Medicine, is one of 32 facility managers at the university overseeing 128 buildings. She has been maintaining the faculty’s space at Roger-Guidon Hall (RGN) and the Alta Vista campus for the past 11 years. RGN is a complex building housing a variety of spaces including auditoriums, classrooms, science laboratories, research facilities, and offices. She describes the facility management at RGN as a puzzle. Marie-France and her team of two Facility Officers oversee all interconnected systems within the building, a significant challenge that necessitates maintaining an extensive equipment database for the faculty. Their work is crucial in ensuring continuity of research activities by minimizing the impact of systems interruptions within an aging facility.


Today's FM professionals navigate a complex landscape marked by rising labor and supply costs, limited operational funds, necessitating innovative solutions. Marie-France explains that Roger Guidon's design is dated, and the layout of the space does not meet today's requirements. Her team, in collaboration with the planning team at Facilities, is looking at retrofitting the space to meet current needs and high-tech laboratory standards. This environment offers fertile ground for innovation and strategic thinking. Marie-France hopes to see futuristic materials with self-repairing properties integrated into uOttawa facilities, which will aid in keeping RGN looking its best with low maintenance and enhanced durability.

World FM Day provides an ideal opportunity to recognize and express gratitude for the dedicated work of facility managers. It's a moment for these experts to receive the acknowledgment they merit and to motivate a fresh cohort to engage, incorporate, and pioneer in the constantly changing realm of Facility Management. Take a moment to extend thanks to your Facility Manager—a small act of appreciation can carry significant weight and demonstrate recognition for their unwavering efforts.