Raul Munoz Takes a Hands-On Approach to Maintaining Mission Bay’s Buildings

Published on March 17, 2015


Raul Munoz knew early on that he liked working with his hands. He graduated early from high school and worked various jobs, including helping as a mechanic in his dad’s auto shop.

“I tried working in an administrative job once but it wasn’t for me,” said the 32-year-old San Francisco native. “I was going crazy. I need to have something to do with my hands.”

Three years ago, he was hired as a building maintenance worker for housing. “I was one of three BMWs taking care of approximately 400 housing units,” he said. “We fixed appliances, boilers, fans, replaced filters and repaired apartments prior to new tenants moving in. We worked directly with the housing staff to make sure their needs were met.”

While working as a BMW, Munoz began investigating the possibility of becoming a building engineer. “I would talk to other UCSF building engineers and ask them about the process. I wanted to know about their jobs and to see if that was the right career path for me.”

Munoz began studying for the test offered by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39 to become a stationary engineer. He passed it and began looking for a position at UCSF. He talked with Ronny Melo, the chief engineer for Mission Bay, and was hired as a stationary engineer.

“Raul is a good hard worker and gets the job done,” Melo said. “Before I hired him, he was the east side BMW working at MCB. He occasionally came over to Mission Bay to perform some work orders. I saw that he was motivated and wanted to learn so I decided to give him an opportunity.”

As a building engineer, Munoz is already looking forward to developing his skills and eventually becoming a journeyman engineer.

“I really enjoy my new job,” he said. “It’s a great working environment and our customers appreciate the work we do for them.”

Munoz said working on the building systems at Mission Bay present a different type of challenge than working on the older building at MCB. “While the buildings are newer, we still have to track down certain parts to make repairs and we’re constantly working to make the buildings more efficient.”

In his spare time, Munoz enjoys spending time with his family and working with his hands. “I have a 1971 Buick Skylark that I spend time restoring,” he said.