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A flying visit to Glasgow

My ongoing tour of British universities continues – this week it was a visit to the physics and engineering departments at Glasgow University. I’ve never been to Glasgow before, so I would have been quite keen to stay overnight and have a quick look around – there’s been a huge amount of investment in the city over the past decade or so, and apparently it now belies its somewhat fearsome reputation. However, it was not to be. I was accompanying one of our senior managers who was on a very tight schedule and was therefore squeezing the trip into a single day. Since he lives in Malvern and was able to give me a lift to and from Birmingham airport, I had no excuse to stay longer than him. So I was picked up at 06:00, had a full day of meetings at the University, and finally got back home, absolutely shattered, at 23:30 the same day. Talk about a flying visit!

All I got to see of Glasgow was the airport, the view from the taxi on the way into the city, and the immediate area around the main university campus. The latter was pretty impressive – the main hall has apparently been nicknamed “Hogwarts” by the students, and it’s certainly an imposing high-Victorian edifice. The engineering department was a very odd mixture of Victorian Grade I listed building with a hideously ugly 1960s extension – but the facilities inside were stunning. I was taken around a suite of state of the art clean rooms for semiconductor manufacturing, and they really have invested massively in capital equipment. I had to dress up in the full clean room paraphernalia to go in – moonboots, overalls, hood, gloves and face mask. The boots were particularly difficult to walk in if you’re not used to them, especially up and down the stairs! I don’t think I’ve seen a multi-storey clean room before, much less been inside one. It was very interesting, though I suspect the that once you’ve seen one “laminar flow cabinet” you’ve seen them all…..

I’m trying to set up a project with the university, and if we can get it all sorted out I will probably have to go back there to monitor progress. Next time I’ll try harder to stay overnight – it really is right at the limit of what can be achieved in a day trip.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. pauld | 17 August 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    First Glaswegian i ever met was drunk, another was drunk as well and having an argument with wall of a pub he was kicking. City quite nice though.