Dan Schrokosch

Title: HVAC Mechanic.

Duties: To provide uninterrupted service for science, including upkeep of the cold rooms, vacuum lines, and plumbing. "Preventive maintenance is the main goal. We aim to catch problems before they become emergencies."

Background: 20-plus years in the field. Apprenticeship in plumbing, EPA certification on handling refrigerants.

Comments on the Job: "I love my job. There's a great atmosphere and great people. I don't know any better situation—other than being independently wealthy!"

Extracurriculars: "For me, it's pretty much work and cars," Schrokosch says. Schrokosch is a serious competitor in index drag racing, a legal sport where drivers endeavor to match as closely as possible a pre-assigned time, in this case 8.60 seconds, to complete a quarter-mile course.

"A lot of the race is on the starting line," explains Schrokosch. "You have to 'cut the light' [get off to a good start] and 'run the number' [come close to the assigned time] by reading the conditions of the track." Schrokosch, who competes in 25 to 30 meets a year, recently won the closely fought Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing Association West Coast Championship title by 0.001 seconds.


Dan Schrokosch at work as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning mechanic at TSRI. (Photo by Kevin Fung.)


Dan Schrokosch at play with his 700-horse-power front-engine dragster at a recent meet. (Photos courtesy of Robert Briggs.)