Dame Glynis visits staff in Estates

The Vice-Chancellor recently met staff from the Department of Estates whose hard work and commitment help make our campus one of our greatest assets.

Director of Estates, Martyn Whalley, started the tour by showing Dame Glynis the newly installed Transformer Compound and High Voltage switch room.

Richard Hughes, Electrical Services Manager, explained that the transformers convert the 33kv electrical supply from the National Grid down to 11kv for our high voltage ring main; having infrastructure which can deal with a higher voltage means less distribution losses making the whole system more efficient. The Vice-Chancellor said that the project, which was very complex and planned over many years, had gone very well, receiving praise from both Senate and Council.

Dame Glynis with the Landscape Team.

Dame Glynis with the Landscape Team.

Liz Rhodes, Waste and Recycling Manager, and her team Nick Fowles-Sweet, Kevin Harding and Alan Williams gave Dame Glynis a tour of a very clean and tidy Waste Compound. The Compound serves the campus, including residences, and is split up into three areas - general waste, accommodation waste and a larger area for recycling.

The University recycles everything from electrical parts to mattresses, and is part of Warp It – an online redistribution network between universities and councils. On the day of the visit a pile of cable spools were ready to be collected by a Bristol Wood Recycling Project to be turned into tables and rocking chairs.

Dame Glynis was then introduced to the Landscape Team by Manager David Hunt.  Derek Edgell, Elaine Flemons, Shaun Thomas, Virgil Jones, Michael Pooley and Sarah Hope showcased some of the equipment they use and explained their operation. Four-wheel-drive vehicles, a JCB digger – which can be fitted with a snowplow in winter, tractors and ride-on mowers all help to keep the campus grounds looking as good as they do throughout the year. The team are also responsible for the playing fields and the Field Station where Dr Mark Greco is currently studying bees.

The Mechanical Workshop is run by skilled staff and fitters who service and repair machinery and equipment across campus – everything from lathing new parts for pumps to welding goalposts. Mark Arnold, Mechanical Services Supervisor, introduced John Payton who has 27 years’ experience in the job at the University.

Dame Glynis then visited the Boiler House where Peter Phelps, Energy and Environment Manager, talked through the benefits of the new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines, which provide heat via the new district heating system to the Chancellors’ Building and The Quads. The CHP is 80-90 per cent efficient, meaning an annual saving of 350 tonnes Co2 and £75k in fuel costs.

Peter and his team, which includes Philip Auger and Peter Jonik, are also monitoring energy usage across campus to look for new ways to work more efficiently. The recent introduction of automatic lighting is already having a positive impact, and they plan to build on the successful Switch Off campaign by giving students more information on their energy usage.

Dame Glynis said: “The Department of Estates has played an important role in our being voted best campus university and first for student satisfaction. The student experience is not just down to teaching, it is also about environment, and you all do a fantastic job in maintaining it.”

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