Lisa is the Technical Operations Manager for the Department of Electronic Engineering. She spends a lot of time in the labs looking after students and making sure equipment is working properly.
When you walk into the building, how do you feel?
I love this building. I spend a lot of time here – occasionally I have to ring home and say “I am coming home”. Coming in, I’m always checking it’s tidy. It has our name on the door and so we’re very protective of it.
What are your favourite spaces in the building?
My favourite room is the creative thinking room. The classes in there are fun because the students are all sitting on different types of furniture. There’s usually a scramble for the beanbags and the furniture is never in the same position two days in a row. They absolutely adore it in there.
And how are you finding the fabrication lab?
The ‘fab lab’ is great. This lab is as good as any we would get in industry; I worked for BP years ago so I have some comparison. The layout of the lab has enabled us to work in good space. The benches are set up nicely.
So does this building feel like an engineering building to you?
Not in the traditional sense. It’s got a slight industrial feel about it, but it’s inviting and warm because of the variety of colour. You have a wonderful feeling in each room. We said at the very beginning, we wanted the resister colour code. And our students picked up on it straight away. I love the academic floor – it’s purple to represent the back end of the spectrum. It’s brilliant, we feel very relaxed in there.
Do you feel there’s a community here?
Our current first years were the first people into the building and they just feel it’s their home. They know where they can find us; they drop into the office or they knock on the prep room door. We’re here for them and that’s very important for students; having access to the academics and technical staff at any time and not having to make an appointment to see someone.
The communal spaces seem to be very well used?
Our PhD students have got such a choice of space. They’ll come down into the creative thinking room and barricade themselves into work on the cushions. Or they choose different places around the building to curl up with their laptops. It’s lovely that they don’t feel they have to be in an open plan office with everybody – there are hiding spaces. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to find them if you want them!
How would you sum this building up?
It’s a modern environment for teaching which reflects the work environment students will eventually go into. The ethos of our whole programme is creativity and here you’ve got the play space as well as the workspace.