As a building coordinator for the School of Biological Sciences, Lyubomir “Lyubo” Lichev takes care of the facility, but more importantly, he takes care of people.
Every workday is different, he said, but each begins at 7 a.m. with a walk through the Cherry Emerson Building to ensure everything is in place from the previous night and ready for the new day.
“Building Coordinator 1 is a very diverse job,” Lichev said. “I handle small things like issuing keys to lab members and putting fuel into the vehicles, to bigger projects like taking inventory of equipment and handling the disposal of old equipment.”
He said he likes helping professors fill their day-to-day needs in the lab, and it’s a rewarding feeling to know that he made someone’s day brighter. He also likes interacting with new people as he does his work.
“The School of Biological Sciences is a big school, so I meet new faces every day,” said Lichev, who is also an industrial and systems engineering Tech student. “It makes an interesting conversation when I meet classmates outside the classroom while working.”
Lichev grew up in Bulgaria and earned a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering from the Technical University of Sofia in 2008. He moved to the United States 10 years ago at age 22, leaving his entire family in Bulgaria. Only three of his classes from Bulgaria were transferable to the U.S., so he effectively had to start college again. In 2017, he earned an associate’s degree in engineering from Georgia State University – Perimeter College. He’s currently a part-time Tech student in his third year.
“The industrial engineering degree I’m pursuing at Tech is a natural follow-up to the manufacturing degree I earned in Bulgaria,” he said. “To me, the industrial engineering degree here shows how a business runs and how we can make it run better. It is very versatile and is the right one for me. I want to see it through.”
Lichev said that after graduating he would like to keep working at Georgia Tech, perhaps as an in-house consultant who examines a unit and identifies ways to help it work more efficiently.
“I know I’m a few years from graduation, and things change,” he said, “but I can see myself retiring from the Institute.”
Lichev said he enjoys being an employee and a student, and he encourages others to do the same through the Tuition Assistance Program.
“I would like to see more of my colleagues take classes,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be at Georgia Tech. As long as the school is in the University System of Georgia, they can access the benefits.”
Away from Work
Lichev’s job, classes, and homework leave him with little time for hobbies.
“When I’m not working or doing schoolwork, the thing I enjoy best is sleep. I know a lot of Tech students can relate to that,” he said. “After graduation, I will develop some hobbies. For now, sleep is my best friend.”
He keeps in touch with his family in Bulgaria through weekly video chats. He said that because of the seven-hour time difference, finding a good time for everyone to talk can be tricky.
His most recent trip to Bulgaria was Christmas 2018. Before then, he hadn’t been there since 2014 when he made a surprise visit on his father’s 50th birthday.
“I’m not going to wait another four years before I go back,” he said. “If I can, I’ll go back this year.”
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