Meet Rod Wolfe

Earlier this year, the Office of the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Information Services & Technology) received a record-breaking number of nominations for the 2020 IT Awards. We are excited to recognize the individuals who were nominated and the important contributions they make everyday at the University of Alberta.

Rod Wolfe works as an Application Specialist in Facilities and Operations where he supports the IWMS system, AiM, through problem solving, training, mentoring, project work, and ongoing communications with his colleagues. Starting his career at the UofA in the 80’s, his first responsibility was handling servers for the automated HVAC systems, after which he moved to taking over an ORACLE-based financial and work management system (FMIS) before ultimately migrating to AiM for IWMS of which he is a huge fan for it’s capability and scope.

We spoke with Rod to learn more about his role and what motivates him.

What does a day in the life look like in your position?

Checking the incoming tickets for support on our IWMS system, AiM, deciding which issues I can handle, and distributing other requests to the appropriate team member, and of course, email review. Then perhaps contact with clients to ensure recent issues have been resolved appropriately, and if any follow-up is needed. I would then pursue any one of a number major, or smaller projects, to determine priority and scheduling. A lot of my job involves communication, and understanding, and interpretation of the systemic issues our users are having. Needs analysis is a big portion of that, and I often find myself as a "translator" between management and the tech group, to ensure the needs of the former are met by the developments of the latter. 

What’s one thing you’re working on now, and why is it important?

Well, I have been on the COVID break for the last 3 months, but before that, and I expect on my return, I am very involved in setting up, and training others to be knowledgeable of, the Preventive Maintenance (PM) program and configuration of AiM to automate the generation of Work Orders on the appropriate schedule for the type of equipment being addressed. 

What have you worked on since joining the university that you are most proud of? 

Taking AiM to the people! I want to configure, develop, and implement our very capable IWMS software (AiM) to make our work order system more efficient, and realize considerable savings in all processes, especially data entry. The ability for the worker to receive Work Orders on an iDevice (phone or iPad), and interact with the software to obtain info from the field is a HUGE game changer in our work processes, and for our people.

Why did you pursue a career in IT?

By accident perhaps? I always have been the type of person to have "many irons in the fire" so to speak, and have always been open to new opportunities and challenges as they arrive. Engineering (B.Sc in Chemical Engineering) is an excellent foundation to teach you how to learn anything technical, so I was able to adapt to new situations and systems and learn them relatively quickly. I have always had a passion for mathematics, physics, science and technology in general, as well as music, and I have found that as music is mathematical in its basest form, so can computer systems, in their analysis and treatment, be art.

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

On the musical side - recording music to make it sound as good recorded as it does live!

On the technical side - even more knowledge of SQL, Database, and advanced Excel.

If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?

Reminders - sold me on the smart phone. Walking around the house dictating voice to text scheduled reminders for anything from work to play, grocery lists, maintenance, etc. Skype for cheap phone calls internationally, and of course iTunes! 

Anything else you'd like to share?

I love my job! It is so beautiful to be able to say that. I actually awaken excited about going to work. I honour and respect all the highly capable people I work with, and enjoy working and brainstorming with them. One of the favourite parts of my job is the extensive training I get to provide, and will sit down with anyone, anytime, to improve their work processes and make their job/life easier and more rewarding. I could imagine no job more fulfilling. Thx to UofA.

I have been actively involved in playing (as a bassist) with a number of bands throughout most of my career, some of which write, record and perform their own music, and some which are "cover bands" and play other artist's music - for corporate events, weddings, etc (The latter has less art, but pays considerably better, people like to hear what they know!)


I also manage a co-ed slo-pich softball team in the summer, and play ball hockey once or twice a week throughout the year. Tennis and badminton are also mixed in on occasion, and I love biking to work from spring to fall, before the snow and ice become a major factor.


Rod Wolfe was nominated for an IT Award earlier this year for support provided to Facilities and Operations over the course of a 37 year, and counting, career. In his work he’s witnessed significant technological change and assisted F&O through these by adhering to a solid methodology of communication, training, and mentorship.