#IAmScience Lahcen AmorBy Sarah Kiefer

The ocean is a current throughout Lahcen Amor’s childhood memories.

Growing up one block away from the Atlantic Ocean in Rabat-Salé- Morocco, Amor and his friends ventured into the water in search of a good time and some extra spending money.

They would dive down to catch fish, seaweed and mussels, which they each dug out from the ocean floor. When they called it a day, they sold the mussels and seaweed to freezer trucks parked close by. The next stop was the movies or other fun activities to use their hard-earned cash. The experience was not just about the money burning a hole in Amor’s pocket, but about navigating social interaction.

“My childhood helped create my strong and resilient personality and taught me how to act and deal with my peers,” said Amor, a research lab service supervisor at Bond LSC.

While living in Morocco, Amor would often assist his brother with his custom wood turning business. His brother helped instill in him a sense of commitment and action that served Amor later in life.

“When I was growing up, he taught me how to use the equipment, but also how to be responsible,” Amor said.

Lahcen has worked for MU campus facilities for 15 years in various positions. In recent years, his primary responsibility has been focused on heating and cooling systems, maintaining airflow and re-certifying room pressurization systems.

“I feel like I’ve been working here for years because this building was part of my maintenance, and I have been familiar with it for awhile, which makes me comfortable with it,” Amor said.

His present position combines his childhood talents with his knack for ambition he picked up from his brother.

“I have to integrate and enjoy what I am doing. I make it my goal to focus on one task at a time and make sure I learn from it,” Amor said.

He makes the rounds at Bond LSC to check equipment and the overall facility and fields calls from occupants in Bond LSC. Whether it be a researcher with a broken freezer or a staff member with a machine that isn’t working properly, he’s ready to tackle whatever task may come his way.

“I like to learn something new every day and make sure I always grow,” Amor said. “There are a lot of resources on campus that you can use to do so and if you have a goal, you’re going to reach it if you focus on it.”

Lahcen Amor works to repair a centrifuge – a device used to apply a sustained force to a specimen – at Bond LSC as a research lab service supervisor. | Photo by Sarah Kiefer, Bond LSC

Amor also updates the Bond LSC equipment inventory list and currently is developing a preventative care plan to maintain equipment. He gains more knowledge about laboratory equipment every day.

The ebb and flow of Amor’s daily work at Bond LSC gives him the tools he needs to work towards his goals. Although he has experienced several career changes, maintenance combines several of his nautical and tactical abilities all under one roof.

“I didn’t decide to do maintenance, but life just took me in that direction,” Amor said. “You set up objectives in your life that you want to achieve and then you take the opportunity when it’s presented to you to go after them.”