Thursday, 24 March 2011


You’ll probably have noticed artwork beginning to be hung around campus. This work is part of a larger project to revamp our public, staff and student displays around the campus following the development of our notices and displays policy. This policy sets out the locations, audience and media available around the campus.

The initial work, in the LRC and level 0 of the main academic building will be supplemented by further artworks over the coming months which are currently being held in storage. We’re very pleased to have these on general view again!

Friday, 11 March 2011

QMU wins eGov award

You will know that we recently won a very prestigious eGovernment award, but do you know why? Here we set out what makes the green or sustainable ICT infrastructure here at QMU worthy of recognition at a national level.

Queen Margaret University has a holistic approach to achieving a lasting legacy of sustainable practice and thinking, not only in managing its immediate environment, but also in its pioneering approach to curriculum development and leadership training aimed at achieving far reaching positive impact for future generations.

A thin-client infrastructure was fundamental in delivering the exemplar energy and environmental performance ratings of the new development. Lower power consumption results in lower heat generation and therefore reduces the need for air-conditioning in areas of high concentrations of desktop computing. As a result, the building design requires minimal air conditioning and mechanical ventilation delivering direct energy savings of approximately £47,000 per annum compared to use of equivalent numbers of PCs - on top of £1 million in savings on the capital cost of the campus.

So integrated are the estate and ICT, that the institution has developed an integrated Estate and Information strategy to ensure both elements are recognised as inseparable.

The thin-client project was successfully shortlisted for the 2009 awards in the same category but we have not rested on our laurels. Instead we have pushed further our use of green IT in the following ways:

Remote access
An joined up approach to ICT has also greatly improved the flexibility of work practice across the university and supported distance learning. The ability to work on a fully-featured desktop from home or anywhere a broadband connection is available means that staff and students travel to campus only when necessary. It has also facilitated international collaborations.
We regularly accommodate around 100 simultaneous remote desktops from 80 countries around the world.

Lecture capture
Lecture capture has been implemented at QMU in every room on campus, allowing lecturers to record their lectures, seminars and tutorials and students to review at any point. This provides ultimate flexibility and efficiency in space usage as academic events can be recorded once and delivered many times.

Timetable software
Extremely efficient centralised scheduling software allows QMU to deliver class-leading room utilisation of over 40%. This in turn allows the building size and accommodation to be minimised.

Videoconference (VC)
VC is available in all our lecture theatres and board rooms maximising the benefit to staff and students and minimising our travel costs and emissions caused by travel. Recordings of the conference can be taken and delivered to any location.

Timetable screens
Timetable information screens remove the need to print room bookings or timetable information for staff and students and allows for the greatest flexibility in dynamic updating of room information. Staff and students always know which event is in which location across the academic building.

Data room infrastructure
The university has been gradually increasing the temperature of its data room from its initial design of 18C to its current 25C and will continue to increase this at least to 27C as older equipment is phased out. With approximately 4% energy savings per degree increase this substantially reduces data room energy consumption. Combined with a conscious procurement decision in 2004 to choose the most energy efficient server equipment this minimises the QMU data room energy footprint.

Power down
The university is automatically powering down its PCs and thin-client terminals when not needed with the resultant saving of nearly 100000kWh per year. As a result, the small number of PCs that remained after deployment of thin-client are only active on average 9% of the time.
QMU worked closely with the terminal manufacturers to write and deploy a power down module for our thin-clients as this was not available at the time.

The university has standardised its platform for all new servers on a virtual environment enabling us to minimise the costs and environmental impact on purchasing and running essential server equipment delivering a reduction ratio of 20:1. Since embodied energy constitutes the greatest component of a server energy consumption this has a even greater positive effect on our environmental performance.

Whilst by themselves the above initiatives are being undertaken by others in the sector, the holistic approach to green ICT at QMU ensures it supports and actively contributes to the university commitment to climate change.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Building Explorer available online

Staff can now find interactive floor plans for the Main Academic Building and the Sports and Student's Union Building (SSUB) online, in the form of the Building Explorer. The site has been designed for ease of use, and to allow users to find room locations and basic room information with a simple graphical interface that allows full text search. Also included are current workstation numbers, locations and assignments, linked to a database maintained by the Space Management team.

Printable PDFs of the drawings can be found in the Drawings section of the Space Management intranet site.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Request shelf now open

You are now able to collect your LRC requests 24/7. On Tuesday 1st March we inaugurated the new self-collection Request Shelf, located in the Academic Reserve room.

When an item you have requested is ready for collection you will receive an email notification saying:

“The following item which you requested is waiting to be picked up at the LRC Request Shelf (Academic Reserve room) within 6 days”

As shown in the picture above, you’ll find the Request Shelf nestling between the Short Loan and DVD collections in Academic Reserve. (The glassed off room just around the corner from the LRC Service Desk).

Items are arranged in alpha-numeric order using the first 4 letters of your family name and the last four digits of your staff ID or student matriculation number. For instance:

Mr A Jones, id no 10001899, would be labelled: “JONE1899

Just find your request on the shelf and borrow it using the self-issue machine by the window.

Please remember that these requests can only be borrowed by the person who has requested them!

Please ask a member of LRC staff if you need assistance with requests.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

2011 Travel Survey

2011 Travel Survey goes live on 28th February……..

Return your survey for a chance to win a IPod Nano.

The Survey will only be open until Friday 11th March.

Last day of Better Way to Work

We’re doing well with over 6% of QMU staff logging trips on the Better Way to Work website.

Current Standings below. Will our winners be QUE or will we have a last minute turnaround?
Get your colleagues together and register today to have your trips count!

New trains stopping at Musselburgh station soon

When First ScotRail introduced new services last May and December between Edinburgh and Dunbar, we were disappointed to find out that it would not increase the number of trains stopping at Musselburgh station.

However, we have now received the good news that all ScotRail trains to and from Dunbar will stop at Musselburgh when the new timetable is implemented on 22 May 2011. This will give staff and students at QMU the option to travel by rail from the east side of the country.