Keeping Kemper Cool: Motor Replacement Project

Kemper Hall received a new motor on the morning of Sunday, April 14th. This vital motor is the only motor that vents all cleanroom operations in Kemper Hall and urgently needed replacement. The Kemper Motor Crew consisted of Paul Good (BMS Machinist), Jorge Suarez (BMS Ventilation), Kevin Eubanks (Electrician), and two crane operators. Sunday morning was the only available time for this project as Kemper is usually filled with students and faculty six days a week.


The original project call was due to loud noise, possible coming from bad belts. However, when the technicians arrived, they realized the whole motor would need to be replaced because the motor was simply heading out of service and replacing just the bearing was not an option.

After researching several options, the safest solution to replace the motor would be to remove the old motor and install the new one with a crane. Although the crane was the best solution, this was still difficult to accomplish. The motor weighs 700 pounds and in order to inch the motor in place, Good communicated with the crane operators through a cell phone. The motor itself was threaded through the rooftop as there were many vent stacks and wires to maneuver around. The crane needed to put two extensions or jibs in and with satellite imaging of Kemper’s roof the crane operators estimated they would need to travel 175 feet to replace the motor. Eubanks was responsible for locking the electrical power source, removing the motor leads, and reinstalling the new motor. Overall the job was done safely and smoothly due to everyone’s experience.