EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Akansha Murarka
student Akansha Murarka is getting a first-hand look at what
goes on behind the scenes in Facilities Management (FM). As the
student business analyst for the waste management and recycling
program for UH, her job has taken her straight to the source
where she has had to spend several days riding in the waste and
recycling trucks to monitor the routes.
Murarka was hired in January 2012 to help analyze the solid
waste and recycling programs in order to make them more
efficient and cost effective. She reports directly to Michael
Burriello, Assistant Director of Central Plants and Mechanical
Equipment for Facilities Management.
Burriello said Murarka has block-diagrammed the operations for
solid waste and recycling and has projected revenue flows from
both processes. He said she is utilizing currently available
information from the FM staff as well as solid waste and
recycling vendors to generate these baselines.
“Akansha’s knowledge of business processes has given the
Facility Maintenance Sustainability Team valuable insight into
the current state, or baseline, of our solid waste and recycling
operations,” Burriello said. “In order to gather some of the
information Akansha had to get ‘down and dirty,’ traveling with
the dumpster crews for several days to gather route and loading
data, but has not had to resort to ‘dumpster diving.’ Yet!
Akansha is enjoyable to work with and provides us with new
insights into our old operations. I look forward to working with
Akansha as our Sustainability efforts move forward.”
Murarka said she has actually enjoyed riding in the trucks and
asking lots of questions to get her analysis.
“It’s a new hands-on experience for me because this is how you
get the practical experience seeing how people actually work in
the field. It’s been really challenging,” she said.
Murarka said they are in the initial phase of their assessment
but are coming up with a plan on what they can achieve in a
short period of time in order to make recycling on campus a
“Akansha has been a great asset to the sustainability
committee,” said Paul Brokhin, Utility and Sustainability
Coordinator for Facilities Management. “Her research in the
field of recycling allowed for the university to set goals for
improvement of not only the diversion rate, but financially as
well. She successfully was able to identify key elements that
must be addressed. While the recycling program still needs
improvement, big steps have been taken thanks to Akansha’s
contribution and insight.”
Murarka is currently studying energy investment and supply chain
at Bauer College of Business and will receive her master’s
degree in May 2012. She received her bachelor’s degree in
electronics engineering at Pune University in India and decided
to return to school in order to learn the business aspect of her
“I always wanted to be an engineer since I was 6 or 7. There was
just no other option for me,” Murarka said.
Murarka said she likes taking on challenges and working hard and
currently balances 20 hours of work with four courses. While in
India after graduation, she worked for Infosys Technologies Ltd
as a software engineer. Then before her current position, she
was working as the Instructional Assistant for an Operation
Management course in supply chain at Bauer where she managed
about 800 students.
She moved to Houston after marrying her husband, Mayanak Murarka.
The couple had an arranged marriage where they only spoke three
times before the wedding and have now been happily married for 3
years. She said she loves living in Houston because of the warm
Akansha also enjoys sports and said she played badminton, table
tennis and cricket in high school. She continued on with cricket
in college where she was the team captain for her engineering
team. She said she still loves keeping up with the sport on
television whenever possible.
“I love watching cricket, it’s awesome. It is a long game, about
seven hours, and I sit up all night and still watch it,” she
Murarka said she wants to work in the energy sector after
graduation and hopes to have a chance of working in waste
management and sustainability. She has become a valuable asset
to the University of Houston team and is sure to have a very
promising future ahead of her.