Customer_bulletin_banner-Achievements Capital Projects Buildings & Space Environmental Sustainability Round-up People Achievements Coming up

Crisis Management Framework proves its value

The Crisis Management Framework (CMF) provides a structure for the University’s response to a range of emergencies. It describes how to respond to an incident during the first 24-48 hours, providing a management structure that complements existing local plans for disaster recovery and business continuity.

The first draft of the CMF was produced after the creation of the University Security Sub-Committee in 2013. The framework was extensively tested through facilitated table top exercises during 2016 and has already proved its value in helping structure the University’s response to situations including the evacuation of the Tinbergen building and the occupation of Osney Power Station.

Template documents have recently been made available on the Security Services website, which all departments and colleges can use to help them incorporate the CMF into their own crisis preparations.

IT Services courtyard transformed

University Parks staff have created a new outdoor area in a small, tightly-enclosed courtyard at the IT Services offices  on Banbury Road. What was a dingy, unattractive space has been reborn as a pleasant, airy place through additions such as wooden decking and container planting.

 Green award glory for University

The University performed strongly in the 2016 Green Gown Awards for environmental performance in higher education, winning one category and being highly commended in another. The £14.6m Carbon Reduction Programme – a ground-breaking initiative aimed at enabling the University to meet its challenging target of cutting carbon emissions by 33% by 2020 versus a 2005 baseline – won the Carbon Reduction category. Since the programme started in 2011, it has saved more than 4,767 tonnes of carbon and £1.1m in annual energy costs. Many more projects are now in the pipeline, to support the University’s continuous progress towards its target. The Green Gown awards also recognised Low Carbon Oxford Week (LCOW), an annual series of pop-up public-engagement events that the University runs in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and Oxford City Council, which was highly commended for the Community award.

Minister opens new Begbroke innovation hub

In March Nicola Blackwood MP, Minister for Public Health and Innovation, opened the University’s new science and enterprise hub, the Begbroke Innovation Accelerator.

Construction of the building at Begbroke Science Park was managed by the Estates Services Capital Projects team, with partial funding from the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal. As well as helping bridge the gap between a great idea and a profitable company, the Accelerator will also provide facilities for University researchers to develop innovative ideas and technologies. The main focus will be on advanced engineering in the fields of car-making, nuclear materials, advanced materials and robots, as well as in nano-medicine, pharmaceuticals, energy storage and supercomputing.

‘I was at Begbroke to hear the Chancellor formally award the funding for the Innovation Accelerator back in 2014, and so it’s fantastic to be here now to open the hub and celebrate this major achievement which will further cement our City’s status as an innovation powerhouse,’ Nicola Blackwood said. ‘Science and enterprise is at the heart of Oxfordshire’s economy and the Innovation Accelerator means we will be even better placed to meet the needs of emerging businesses and continue to thrive.’

Clarendon Institute works finished

Works on restoring the Clarendon Institute after the fire there last year have now been completed and the building’s users have moved back in. The fire, started by a toaster, damaged the building’s upper floor and part of its roof. Conservation & Buildings staff and contractors had to replace the roof and carry out limited remedial works on the building’s interior, including repairs to wiring and redecoration.

Weston Library Wins Civic Trust Award

The renovated Weston Library has won a Civic Trust Award for outstanding architecture, planning and design. It secured one of the awards for the South East region, taking its place alongside 16 other victorious projects. Most are in the UK, but a few are from further afield – Ireland, Qatar and Denmark. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Winchester on Friday 10 March.

Designed by architect WilkinsonEyre, the Weston renovation worked with the original 1930s design while bringing the building into the 21st century and creating modern, high-quality research facilities. This is just the latest of several awards for which the library has been nominated – for example, last year it was shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for best new building in the UK, alongside the Blavatnik School of Government. 

Lewis Aprea wins Apprentice Award

Lewis Aprea of the DLO has won the Freemen Apprentice Award in Maintenance Operations, under a scheme  organised by the Freemen of the City of Oxford, a historic craft guild organisation set up to promote and protect the role of apprenticeships. Lewis joined the DLO last year as a multi-trade apprentice; he is now finishing up his NVQ Level 2 in Building Maintenance and was put forward for the award by his college, ACE Training in Kidlington.

 ‘I’m proud to receive this award,’ he said. ‘It’s great to get this recognition for the work I’ve done.’ ‘It’s been really impressive watching how he’s progressed over the last couple of years,’ added Johnny O’Sullivan, Lewis’ supervisor at the DLO. ‘This is definitely well-deserved.’

After trying all the fields DLO operatives work in, Lewis will spend the last year of his apprenticeship working towards NVQ Level 3 in carpentry, the field he’s decided to make his speciality. The aim is that he’ll then be able to become a permanent DLO staff member.

Colleagues from other teams were also honoured in another set of awards at the end of 2016 – the annual University of Oxford Apprenticeship Awards, distributed at an event in the Sheldonian in December. Colin White, Patrol Team Supervisor in Security Services, won the Apprenticeship Supervisor Award after being nominated by Mason Malin, one of the apprentices he manages. Meanwhile the University Apprenticeship Manager’s award for an outstanding contribution to the Apprenticeship Scheme went to Lisa Hofen, John Weston and Stephen Woodward for their work with the FM apprentices.

WARPit passes £100k mark and opens up to collegesWARPit logo

WARPit, the University of Oxford’s re-use portal, has passed a major milestone – it has now saved the University an estimated £100,000, and is still growing strongly. The portal is designed to put staff with unwanted equipment in touch with others who need it, saving money and reducing waste. Previously confined to University departments, WARPit is now open to colleges too.

The achievement came after the Environmental Sustainability team launched Spring into Action, a campaign designed to raise awareness of WARPit and of issues around recycling and re-use more generally. Their efforts bore fruit; over the course of the campaign, more than 90 new staff signed up, £6,500 of new items were exchanged, over a tonne of waste was saved and nearly four tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided. More than 600 staff are now signed up to WARPit, and there are over 300 items listed, from desks and printer cartridges to lab furniture and wheelchair tyres. The platform has already kept some 11,000kg of items from landfill. Staff can set up wish lists of items they need and then get alerts when they become available – right now people are looking for everything from centrifuges and ice machines to birdhouses. WARPit can only be used to re-home work-related items, not personal ones. 

Big Data Institute completes

Earlier in the year, staff at the Big Data Institute were handed the keys to their new home. The building at Old Road Campus, designed by Make Architects, will house staff for the Big Data Institute and the Nuffield Department of Population Health. This interdisciplinary research centre will focus on the analysis of complex data sets for research into the causes and prevention of disease.

The building includes a café, seminar rooms, meeting rooms and break-out areas and covers more than 7400m² over four levels. As part of its sustainability strategy, it incorporates a “labyrinth” – a network of air intake tunnels below the building to cool incoming air in summer and help reduce heating in winter.  

Record start to the year for OxonBikeOxon Bike

The OxonBike bike-hire scheme has enjoyed a fine start to 2017 – January was a record month, with 640 bikes rented, a third of them electrically-assisted e-bikes. This total was 55% higher than that for the same month in 2016. The scheme performed even better in March, with 920 hires – 74% more than in March 2016. The number of annual subscriptions continues to grow, with the most popular hire stations at Old Road Campus, the Science Area, Oxford’s various hospitals and the railway station. New locations are also being considered – for instance, there is demand for a bike station at Osney Mead, where the Engineering department has a substantial presence.

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