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When did you work in IT support at the Department of Chemistry?

July 2006 to November 2008. Just short of two and a half years which was not planned, but a rare opportunity arose to take the job of IT Manager at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.


What were your main duties?

My job title was Network and UNIX Systems Manager / Senior Computer Officer.


What did you most enjoy when you worked in the IT team?

The support from team members was superb. Knowledge and skills were openly shared. For example, I remember a very productive project meeting with two of the other systems administrators. Within one hour we designed a new standard firewall for the department and used this design to replace all of them, including the really important perimeter firewall and central router.


What did you find the greatest challenge?

Completing larger and more complex projects such as replacing and improving all network firewalls and negotiating a Mathematica software licence for the whole University with over 12 Departments contributing.


What did you learn working in the IT team?

I learn a huge amount including new IT technologies, social team skills, project management, influencing people, IT security and leadership. The Department supported me in doing the University Leadership and Management training programme.


What are you up to now?

I am loving my current job as Head of IT at the Albert Einstein Institute (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics) in Germany. I am responsible for the work of 16 IT professionals working across two locations (Potsdam and Hannover). The institute is very active in worldwide research projects such as the LISA Mission (creating a gravitational wave detector in space) and needs a lot of high quality IT, developing technology for ground based detectors, furthering gravitational theory and computational modelling of cosmological events.

My successor when I left Chemistry was Frank Lee who then moved on to be my successor at the Faculty of Mathematics. Apart from me being utterly delighted to handover my duties to such a capable colleague, I think this is an excellent demonstration of how working in IT at the Department of Chemistry gives you the opportunity to develop yourself and further your career.


System status 

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