Heathrow Aviation Engineering UTC, in North West London, offers an exciting opportunity for students, with a curriculum that has been planned with its globally renowned employer partners. Courses combine academic and technical excellence with motivational, work-related learning experiences to improve students’ employability within the aviation engineering sector.
Following award of the ICT contract, the builders (BAM) informed all parties that the UTC’s new building would not be ready on time. At short notice the Principal, Bryan Berry, had to find temporary accommodation and plan for the UTC to open in temporary accommodation for 3 months. The result was the UTC operating from two temporary sites, neither of which had full server room capacity.
Gaia designed and delivered an interim, remotely hosted solution to the two temporary sites to allow the UTC to open. Construction work continued at the new build site ready for full occupation in January 2015. During this period Gaia worked with BAM to ensure that all three buildings had integrated ICT. Once the server room was ready and broadband had been installed, we migrated the core systems from the hosted environment and installed them into the new UTC building. The College then moved into its permanent accommodation in January 2015.
The final ICT solution includes a high performance reliable Cisco backbone, multiple HP Servers with virtualisation software. Also, Thecus SAN for on-site data storage and backup and Impero internet filtering. Combined they provide a platform for operation of a wide range of industry class software and systems. The project also includes extensive Cloud computing facilities including Microsoft Office 365, made available to all students and teachers. The results enable students to work in a wide variety of remote and work place environments as well as within the College campus.
User devices were chosen following a series of detailed design workshops and include Acer standard and enhanced devices and high specification HP devices capable of running 3D. NEC interactive projectors are used in all learning spaces and 21 of these are 3D capable, enabling students and staff to interact with complex models and simulations. Print facilities are delivered using Sharp MX4112 MFDs and PaperCut and students and guests are kept informed by the Samsung 55” LCD display screens with MagicInfo digital signage.
The experience that we have developed with Heathrow UTC demonstrates Gaia’s ability to supply innovative solutions and be responsive to unplanned project changes. The resulting service that we provide to the UTC:
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