Projects and initiatives
The Project Delivery and Development team provide comprehensive end-to-end support for College initiatives to integrate information technology into teaching, research and support services.
The team includes:
- Business Analysts who carry out analysis of requirements and processes, structure information and design efficient information systems.
- Developers to build or customise information systems to the required specifications.
- Project, Portfolio and Programme Managers to manage reliable delivery of projects for Education, Research, Business Support and Infrastructure Service Lines with involvement of College representatives, staff and students.
- The Project Support Office (PSO) who provide day to day support and assist with the implementation of agreed standards for running projects.
These are some of the key projects being managed by ICT at Imperial College London.
Smart Working project
The Smart Working programme aims to transform the space on L4 Sherfield currently used by ICT, Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Health and Safety (H&S) and the HR Hub. The programme will change the physical space, standardised the technology across the floor and introduce a Smart Working culture, allowing for more flexible and collaborative working.
Construction phase A – the first of five construction phases started on Friday 15 July 2019 and is due to close in early September 2019. The programme is currently projected to end in late November 2019.
Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 10 (staff) project
Microsoft will be withdrawing support for its Windows 7 Operating System from January 14, 2020. To ensure the College remains secure with the latest technology, ICT is working to deliver Window 10 across the remaining Windows 7 estate.
Upgrading to Windows 10 and Office 365 will give the College access to greater file sharing and collaboration features within Office 365 which is a core enabling factor for remote and smart working initiatives.
Upgrading all machines to Windows 10 will bring all users onto the same Operating System platform and more importantly onto Microsoft Office 365 which will enable them to have the ability to utilise the enhanced Office 365 file sharing and collaboration features between and across teams and functional areas. To ensure staff have a seamless transition, the Project Team has created a detailed upgrade process that aims to provide the least disruption coupled with a targeted communications program to aid the Windows 10 migrations.
Once scheduled, the Windows 10 Upgrade Team will be conducting the preparation activities to ensure everything is in place before a faculty upgrade is scheduled.
REF analysis and preparation project
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a peer review assessment of the quality of research taking place at eligible UK Higher Education Institution’s (HEIs).
The REF2021 submission is a mandatory requirement for all UK Higher Education research institutions. The assessment of REF is a competitive exercise across institutions, and the quality of the submission has a significant impact on the reputational esteem of the institution and to the future funding allocations from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
ICT is providing system support to the Strategic Planning Department and Faculties to manage the College’s interpretation and submission for REF 2021. ICT has established a programme of works within which systems related changes and development related to REF will be managed.
This includes the development and update of a bespoke staff data checking application – ‘JEFF 2’. ICT will also work with other existing applications (Symplectic & Spiral) to ensure the functions and modules are appropriately configured or developed to support the submission and review of Research outputs.
For more information about this project, please contact Naresh Maharaj– Project Manager.
Janet 200 project
Imperial College has always had excellent network connection to the outside world through Janet, the Joint Academic Network. This has enabled and supported much world-leading research.
Pressure on this connectivity has been increasing as inter-institutional collaboration involves the processing of ever-larger datasets, datasets which must be accessed and shared widely.
With the increasing future requirements around High Energy Physics and other areas, Imperial ICT approached JANET to discuss increasing our network bandwidth. Given our track record with supporting research data exchange, Janet were keen to work with us to deliver and best use this increased capacity.
We therefore commenced the JANET 200 project to transform the College’s ability to support high speed data transfers and exchanges with external institutions in the academic community. Over the past two months, new devices have been purchased and have been connected into the network in our datacentres, one at Slough and the other in South Kensington. These have four times the capacity of the old ones and the power to implement a range of next-generation inspection and protection facilities. But as well as simply replacing the hardware the whole firewall structure has been redesigned to accommodate a more secure and flexible architecture that will enable both cloud and data integration. The new devices are online and already taking up load.
The project is also working on a Proof of Concept to enhance the ability of remote scientists to carry out ‘real-time’ research activities such as remote experiment control at national and international experimental facilities such as the Diamond Light Source and remote telescopes and observatories such as SKA.
For more information about this project, please contact Rotimi Nelson– Project Manager.
Occupancy insights project
The College Space Sharing Programme is looking at a range of ways to use our campus space more efficiently and appropriately, whilst supporting the best possible teaching and learning experience for students and staff. Part of this work is to build a picture of the extent to which our shared spaces are currently used.
We have rolled out software which uses our wifi technology to gather real time anonymised data in 15 buildings on our South Kensington Campus. This occupancy data will be available via licence for members of our College community to develop insights which can inform resolutions to space constraints.
Why are you doing this? Once the system is in place, collecting this data will have many uses for the College such as:
Space Availability – Providing real-time information to help students find free spaces to study
Space Utilisation – Helping timetablers understand the utilisation of spaces for teaching
Room Usage – Providing Insights for academics as they evolve pedagogy
Longer term, it should help us make best use of our current spaces and enable us to identify opportunities for re-planning so that we can use our shared spaces more effectively and support planned growth in our student numbers.
How can I get involved? We’d like your help to make sure we get the data generated to the people who could use it most, so we are setting up a Space Data Insights Group to analyse the data from this and other data sources, and we are looking for volunteers for both academic and support services to get involved. If you’re interested, please contact The Space Sharing Programme firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information can be found via the following dedicated web pages:
For any direct queries you can contact Michael Maloney – Project Manager
Pre-Award Research Management System (PARMS) Replacement
Research Office and ICT are working on replacing the current pre-award system, InfoEd, as it is a legacy system reliant on old platforms and is becoming increasingly difficult to support. This application currently facilitates over £1.6 billion worth of grant and contract applications so ensuring this service is available in its best form going forward is essential. We are moving to a Software as a Service option provided by Worktribe which should provide the College with a future- proofed module to build the future of our research management applications. For more information about this project please contact Karuna Andrews, Project Manager.