CEE Update Staff Retirement: Timothy Brock

Timothy Brock using a machine
Tim Brock working in the Machine Shop.

With nearly 31 years of dedicated service to Cornell and more than half of it with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tim Brock, CEE’s Shop Manager and Equipment Technician, took the early retirement incentive package offered by the University and retired on September 15, 2020.

Brock started at Cornell as a casual appointment in October 1989 and it was not long after that, January 4, 1990 to be exact, that he was hired full-time. He worked in the Advanced Design & Fabrication Facility in Upson Hall for more than 14 years prior to joining CEE’s Shop, where he had been for a little over 16.5 years.

Brock grew up in Spencer, NY with a strong work ethic, having begun working on his grandparent’s dairy farm at a young age. After marriage and moving to Owego, he began making the 60-mile round trip commute each day to contribute to the work of Cornell University and the School of CEE; and a great contributor he has been.

Brock’s long history as an excellent machinist has benefited CEE faculty, student research and student team projects. He is a man of precision and neatness in his work area, and he has taught many students how to use milling machines, drill presses, lathes, grinders and welding machines. He took pride in carefully training students to respect and confidently use the equipment and machinery in the shop. Watching students work with the machines and see their ideas and designs come together was rewarding for Brock. Additionally, he lent his expertise and experience to design concepts presented by faculty members and students, which helped to improve the end product. His skill level and knowledge coupled with his gentle personality and ability to think through a design, made the experience of working with him gratifying and productive.

In addition to shop projects, Brock drove the U-Haul truck that carried the concrete canoe and steel bridge components to ASCE regional competitions for several years. After all of the hard work and time students spent in the shop under his guidance and direction, watching the competitions and spending time with the students was just another part of the job that Brock so greatly enjoyed.

Since the very beginning of his time with CEE, Brock worked the School’s graduation ceremonies, giving of his time on a Sunday during Memorial weekend to assist in the setup of chairs, tables and stage platforms. Two weeks following graduation, Brock was our famous pancake maker and flipper for the alumni breakfast! He enjoyed these events to meet families of students and alumni he had mentored.

Brock enjoys spending time with his wife, Cecilia, their three daughters, son and grandson. Myrtle Beach is a favorite vacation spot for his family to visit. He is also an elder in the Waverly Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses and plans to utilize his retirement to become more active in the ministry.

The students, staff and faculty in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering will miss Tim. He has been a valued and reliable colleague, a loyal friend and an outstanding mentor to many students during his career.