Our Capital and Development team deliver the strategic building and refurbishment programme at our Colchester Campus. We spoke to Project Manager Matt Brown to find out more about the team and their work.
How many members are there in your team? There are seven members of the team, including the Space Management Team and Secretarial support.
How long have you held this position at the University? I was appointed as Project Manager in November 2016.
What are the main responsibilities of your role? I form part of the Capital and Development Team. My role involves managing the University’s construction projects across the Colchester Campus. This consists of talking with departments and staff to understand their requirements and then looking after the construction process from start to finish. I am also involved in ordering furniture and other fittings to ensure the building is usable.
What is the main purpose of your team? The main purpose of the Capital and Development Team is to facilitate and deliver the University’s major building and refurbishment projects. From their inception and design, through tender and construction, to handover and fit out. The team are also involved in space management requests, where we look at existing department space, and now we can best reallocate and repurpose the available space. This happens at our Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses.
Tell me something funny or unusual about yourself I can spend up to a day cleaning my car.
What about the rest of your team? One of the team is an avid Scuba Diver and has been diving with Great White sharks and another once looked out their window to find a monkey sitting on the fence in their back garden. It showed its teeth and looked a bit angry, so they left for work by the front door! The monkey had escaped from its owner’s house and was reunited with them later that day.
What big projects do you have coming up? We are very busy. We currently have the new STEM centre, sports facilities and Innovation Centre being constructed on site. Coming up the team are working on Parkside phase 3, the Innovation Centre phase 2, and Health and Human Sciences lab refurbishment and relocations. There’s also the library and teaching centre refurbishments and the annual Space Management programme for relocation and reconciling departments.
What projects are you most proud of? I have been involved in many projects during my time at the University, and I am proud of all of them. The ones that stand out the most are North Teaching Centre and Parkside Office Village.
North Teaching Centre was probably the toughest due to its close proximity to our accommodation and the tight timescales we were working to, to make sure the building was operational in time. The building is not as complex or aesthetically pleasing as the Essex Business School or Silberrad Student Centre, but has provided functional space that meets the growing needs of the University.
Parkside Office Village has provided office space for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and was the first commercial office space on the Knowledge Gateway. It was a new experience for me to provide offices for external tenants, as previously I’d delivered projects that were very much geared towards teaching, learning and life on campus.
The most unusual project I have been involved in is was the No. 64 routemaster bus. When I started at the University I never thought I would be accepting delivery of a bright red bus!
How did you get involved in this sort of role? I was employed by the University as a trainee and over the last nine years I have completed my degree and qualifications and have progressed to become a Project Manager thanks to this training and experience.
What is your one tip for others working at the University? The best time to travel around the University is usually 10 minutes past the hour as all students (should have) gone into their lectures by then!