Chris Brensinger steps up to meet the challenges of restoring the Marine Science Institute

UT Austin’s Marine Science Institute (MSI) in Port Aransas suffered severe devastation from Hurricane Harvey. Before the storm slammed into MSI on Aug. 26, Chris Brensinger was managing an HVAC upgrade project there. After the hurricane hit, Chris, a licensed mechanical engineer with Project Management and Construction Services (PMCS), volunteered to coordinate the program of work required to rebuild many of MSI’s damaged buildings.

Chris traveled to MSI within two days of the hurricane to check on the condition of the HVAC project. Upon arrival, he realized that not only was the HVAC project severely damaged, but other storm damage to MSI facilities was extensive. He took photos and met with the disaster relief firm that UT System sent to the site. Recognizing that rebuild projects had to follow the initial disaster response, Chris consulted with Associate Vice President for Campus Planning and Project Management David Rea, PMCS Director Mike Carmagnola, and PMCS Project Manager Aziz Hussaini, and shortly returned to MSI to be the point person for managing the program of restoration work.

In this role, Chris has met with MSI Director Bob Dickey, collaborated with UT Austin Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) on issues such as asbestos abatement, and, with approval from the UT System Office of Risk Management, met with insurance adjusters. He also connected with the Office of Senior Vice President and CFO Darrell Bazzell, Associate Vice President for Finance Mary Knight, and Assistant Vice President of Accounting and Financial Management Kristen Walker regarding funding for the restoration efforts.

Various PMCS project managers are managing roofing, electrical, boat basin, and pier projects. As the work moves forward, Chris is spending two or three days each week at MSI, not only managing his own projects there, but also coordinating the efforts of his colleagues. His service-minded response to the hurricane damage at MSI exemplifies our shared portfolio values of teamwork, integrity, and stewardship.