The newspaper of Imperial College London
 Issue 125, 15 January 2003
The future starts here«
Knighthood for head of surgery«
Proud Ravinder knighted«
Sparks across the park«
Taking LEAD with seven point plan«
Advanced Civil Engineering Education Initiative«
Britain's earliest TB victim«
Professor Peter Hills«
Academic training courses«
Optimising performance«
Shining a new light on the eye«
Imperial College Volunteer Centre«
New look gym at Wye«
In brief«
Media spotlight«
What's onů«

Sparks across the park

by Tanya Reed

PART of a £9 million project designed to revitalise the South Kensington campus will be celebrated in the near future in Hyde Park as rector, Sir Richard Sykes, turns on new, energy efficient lighting in South Carriage Drive which runs between Exhibition Road and Park Lane - an area used daily by The Queen's horse guards.

The 36 lights were supplied by the Col-lege in return for the Park allowing Imperial to take a 2km spur across its land and install improved electrical power supplies on the campus in order to meet demands made by greatly expanded research activity at the College.

Estates engineering manager Roy Dickerson explained: "The Royal Parks don't often allow their land to be dug up. This a very, very rare occasion; perhaps it's the first time it's ever been done on this scale.

"The work is now virtually complete. We've put new columns and cabling in and have started resurfacing the parks' paths. We are one of the first organisations in the London area to run our own cables in from a regional electricity company sub station, in this case in Duke Street, Mayfair. Previously, only regional electricity companies have been allowed to carry out the work."

The project, first initiated in 2001 and due to be completed by May, involves bringing the new supply to campus via four cables, each operating at 11,000 volts, which will cross Park Lane from Mayfair before taking the shortest practical route across Hyde Park.

Previously, the College's power supply was in desperate need of a boost.

"We'd reached crisis point and had to carry out load-shedding - switching off electrical loads such as air conditioning and other equipment - in order to protect the supply and not resort to switching off entire buildings."

A major upgrade of the South Kensington campus primary distribution network has also been in progress, enabling the additional capacity to be distributed to major load centres. A large proportion of existing equipment and cabling has been upgraded and replaced, and the network reconfigured to operate at higher voltage and power levels. A key component is the construction of a major new sub-station on Dalby Court.

"The challenge has been to replace a large proportion of the current campus network while keeping the College up and running during a continuing complex process of liaison with departments and contractors. At the end of the day, this latest supply, together with a greater focus on energy conservation measures, will help ensure that future research is safeguarded."

For more details, contact Roy Dickerson on 020 7594 9038, or email on

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