Debby Carr

Senior Planner, Capital Renewal Project Planning
Department of Facilities
Innovative Solutions
Award presented by
Tony Sharon

I’m excited today to be able to honor Debby Carr with the Innovative Solutions award. Debby has been singled out for introducing innovative solutions to a community that sets a pretty high bar for innovation. 

A senior planner in Campus Construction and Planning, Debby joined the Institute in 2014 to execute MIT’s accelerated capital renewal program. She immediately set about on a listening tour, engaging with colleagues to better understand MIT’s infrastructure, critical needs, plans for addressing deferred maintenance. And she embraced the full significance of her role—to provide the MIT community with spaces that support critical research and enhance the MIT experience.

Debby brought to her position a highly sophisticated set of analytical skills and the ingenuity to use those skills in inventive ways to reveal the true state of the campus. She developed a collaborative approach that stretched across the Institute, involving teams from Environmental, Health, and Safety, Engineering, Repair and Maintenance, and Business Operations, for example. Her goal: make sure the health of key systems like elevators and HVAC systems are always being monitored and scheduled for improvement.

As one colleague shared, “Debby’s in-depth data analysis of past and projected spending is providing MIT with windows into the past, present, and future to help us plan capital renewal activities for the next 100 years.”

So much of Debby’s work flies under the radar of this bustling campus, where everyone is involved in her or his own consequential work. But the ramifications of Debby’s efforts are of paramount significance to this community. Without her innovations, your own work could not continue without interruption. If you can make strides in your lab on a 95-degree day with 100 percent humidity—you can thank Debby Carr.