Recent Refurbishment Projects

The University Campus Messaging System has been undergoing an overhaul and upgrade during the last couple of months. Now that we are nearing the end of this project we thought it timely to give a more detailed update on what’s been done.

A proposal was taken to Digital Campus Steering Group (DCSG) in December 2013 to redevelop and upgrade the system expanding coverage across campus and beyond. Once we were given the green light from DCSG a project team was set up comprising staff from the IT Service and Press & PR and we set to work:

  • Meeting with potential stakeholders across the University who showed interest in providing content
  • Developing and testing a new software delivery system
  • Researching and procuring a new hardware solution
  • Working on improved service management and delivery processes

Together this ultimately would provide a more interesting, visible, resilient and higher quality system across most high-traffic student footfall areas on campus and beyond.

Mike Sales from NUIT Research and Collaborative Services developed the new content delivery system. He commented: “The system was developed based around the WordPress publishing platform, which offered greater control over individual displays and supporting multiple channels of prioritised content.

WordPress was selected as the basis due to its intuitive, uncomplicated interface, enabling users to post messages quickly and easily. Other notable features include a variety of external news tickers, Twitter support, a weather widget and the ability to post video and full-screen imagery.

Content customisation is a key feature of the new system which enables users to receive and display centrally provided content, such as news, events and high-priority messages, or define a mix of locally and centrally-sourced information. Content can be uploaded and made visible within minutes and users have the ability to customise their screens with their own brand identity”.

The brief in terms of a new hardware solution was that the screens had to be bright, high quality, durable and energy efficient; Lee Harrison from NUIT AV Services led on this element of the project.

Following substantial research and procurement tender we ultimately purchased a combination of 46” and 55” NEC screens which would be driven from OPS ‘slot-in’ PCs attached to each unit.

Working closely with colleagues in ESS, IT Service and the appointed AV contractor Roche Audio Visual we were able to collaborate effectively on the installation of infrastructure and hardware. Shout-outs specifically to Darren Fox, Dave Sharples and Steve Cuthill who were on hand to assist with infrastructure and system configuration elements when required!

The first phase installation was planned over a period of ten working days in June where we replaced hardware in 18 existing locations and installed new systems in another 25 locations on campus.

‌Despite the relatively tight timescale and having to do some running around the new systems on campus were up and running for the Universtiy Visit Days on 27th & 28th June!

Our second phase will see an additional 10 screens installed across campus and accommodation sites in coming weeks.

For those interested in the ‘green’ elements we will have increased the hardware provision by over 190% on completion however there will be actually be a marginal decrease in overall energy consumption due to the hardware we have deployed.

The ongoing management of the Campus Messaging Service has also been given an overhaul in that Press and PR have full ownership and management responsibility of content and the IT Service provide hardware and software support.

We will happily provide any further information if anyone has any questions and would be very interested to get any feedback on the screens or content.

BioMedical Sciences teaching lab refurbishment

Back in August 2013 we were approached by the Faculty of Medical Sciences and asked to provide some assistance and advice regarding the provision of audio visual facilities within an existing teaching lab that was due to be refurbished.


Our challenge was to provide AV facilities to allow the teaching lab to be used as one large space but also to allow the lab to be used as two smaller teaching labs. Although similar to some of the ISS teaching clusters, the ability to use the lab as two separate systems presented several difficulties, as did the demonstration nature of the Lab meaning we were quite restricted in terms of positioning equipment. We were also keen to future proof the installation as much as possible by providing full high definition facilities – as we will be doing in all centrally supported spaces from this Easter. 

Working closely with Malcolm Green, Sue Hodgson and Christina Murison from the FMS and Dave Pearson from ESS we started consultation with suppliers to provide suitable solutions during October of last year. The Lab refurbishment finished just before the Christmas vacation and the AV installation took place during week commencing 20th January with Michael Savage and Dave Robson overseeing and coordinating the AV install by linking the client (BioMedical Sciences) and the AV contractor (Saville AV).

This is the first time we have used Saville AV for a project of this size and complexity so we were very pleased with the final outcome.  
The teaching lab is now complete and provides the flexibility BioMedical Sciences require from the space.

 

 

 

Information on refurbsiments from previous years is available via the links below: 

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