Photo of Matt Fulton on Albany Street

Faciltiies and Operations Administrator Matt Fulton walks Albany Street, where he oversees the operation, maintenance, renovation, infrastructure improvement, access control and safety of seven buildings.

Photo: Paul Rivenberg

Matt Fulton honored with MIT Excellence Award

Paul Rivenberg  |  PSFC News

Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) Facilities and Operations Administrator Matt Fulton is a recipient of a 2021 MIT Excellence Award. Among the highest honors awarded by MIT, the Excellence Award acknowledges the extraordinary efforts made by members of the community toward fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of the Institute. Fulton was recognized in the category of “Sustaining MIT.”

Fulton began his career at the PSFC in 1987, having worked the prior three years in the MIT Libraries mail room. His position requires him to oversee the operation, maintenance, renovation, infrastructure improvement, access control and safety of seven buildings on Albany Street, including multiple laboratory spaces. Over 35 years at the Center Fulton has managed numerous complicated infrastructure projects and emergencies. These include the $1.6M lower hybrid water cooling system for the Alcator C-Mod tokamak; the $10M replacement piling for NW21; SPARC cell improvements (oven exhaust, electrical and process water infrastructure upgrades, new LED lighting, aluminum floor plates and repair); the process water cooling system and helium recovery system in NW14; and the new $5M MIT Cryoplant, as well as many other experimental and office area renovations.

The news of Fulton’s award was shared during a PSFC Town Hall zoom meeting in March.

Dave Parker, who was becoming the PSFC’s new administrative officer just as MIT was shutting down in response to COVID-19, remarked that Fulton, with his comprehensive knowledge of building issues past and present, made his transition to life at MIT easier. He praised Fulton for being able to quickly secure highly-rated personal protection equipment (PPE) for the Center at a time when even state agencies were having problems finding the right items. He also commended Fulton for maintaining a safe environment for those who are able to work on campus, successfully enforcing rules mandated by MIT with regard to distancing and masks.

Fulton also received kudos for sharing his artistic side. A Berklee College of Music graduate, Fulton has given two end-of-week concerts, playing guitar and singing for an appreciative PSFC zoom community. With his well-known wry humor, Fulton indicated that he believed his liberal use of dominant 7 sus4 and sus2 chords during his performances “sealed the deal on the Sustaining MIT award.”

Fulton observed that he does not do this job alone, thanking his coworkers and members of the MIT community for their help in producing successful outcomes. He noted that after he landed at the PSFC in 1987 there were some years when funding was less certain, so he determined that he was going to try to make himself indispensable. “I’m happy to see that you feel that I am,” he said with a smile. 

The Excellence Awards will be presented at a community-wide video celebration on Wednesday, June 23 from 3-4pm.