19 Mar 2021

Event Outcomes: Data Centre Knowledge Exchange with IMechE: Addressing engineering challenges in critical environments

On Thursday 11th March, we held a joint webinar with IMechE.  The purpose was to provide a structured opportunity for knowledge exchange between IMechE members and those working in critical environments in the data centre sector. 

After a welcome from Murat Islam on behalf of the IMechE, Emma Fryer from techUK provided a very brief overview of data centres, how the sector has evolved and some current market characteristics.  The majority of the session was taken up with a panel discussion, moderated by Steven Wright of 4D Data Centres, where Billy McHallum, Dave Smith and Mark Acton explained what drew them from other sectors into data centres and discussed the engineering challenges they face in areas like facilities management, power and cooling. The session also explored how innovations in other engineering-rich disciplines and industries could be applied in data centre environments.  Murat Islam provided an IMechE perspective and there were plenty of questions to field from the chat, ranging from heat reuse to cooling technology. 

It was evident to the IMechE community that continuing sector growth presents multiple career opportunities, especially for engineers.  For our data centre operators it was clear that there was enormous scope for sharing knowledge and they were keen to hear more about the potential to apply external expertise to data centre environments, especially in areas like cooling.  We plan to hold follow up sessions dedicated to more specific topics so that we can cover them in more detail.

In the meantime..

The session recording is here.  

You can find the slides here.

The careers landing page is here.

 (this lists employers within the UK data centre sector – click on the logos to visit individual careers pages)

Emma Fryer

Emma Fryer

Associate Director, Data Centres, techUK

Emma Fryer is Associate Director at techUK, the trade association for the UK technology industry.

Emma has worked in and around the technology industry for the last 15 years in a range of non-technical roles that include research and report writing, policy work (from political liaison to detailed negotiations) and project management.

Her first degree was in English at the University of Durham, followed some years later by a second degree in Environmental Science at the University of London. She is now completing an MSc in Environmental Decision Making with the Open University.

She spent five years representing the technology sector in policy matters relating to climate change. Her focus was split between encouraging government to make their policy tools fit for purpose and explaining how the intelligent use of ICT can reduce net carbon emissions.

More recently she has focused on Data Centres. She manages the UK Council of Data Centre Operators and techUK’s Data Centres Technical Committee and, with their support, has achieved some major outcomes for the sector, the most significant of which was negotiating and implementing the Climate Change Agreement for Data Centres. This, after a four-year marathon of evidence gathering and policy dialogue, was confirmed in December 2013 and came into force on 1st July 2014. It is worth around £200M to the sector. In recognition of her work she won the DataCenterDynamics Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” in 2013. TechUK also won the “Effective Voice” category of the Association Network Awards in 2014 in recognition of way the CCA campaign had been managed.

She has also produced a significant body of work including formal and informal policy responses, white papers, overviews, briefings, high level thought leadership papers and illustrated infographics explaining complex technologies in laymans' terms - plus everything in between.

Emma is a judge for both the leading industry awards providers: BroadGroup and DataCenterDynamics. She is a regular speaker at industry events.

[email protected]
01609 772 137

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Lucas Banach

Lucas Banach

Programme Assistant, Data Centres, Climate, Environment & Sustainability, Market Access, techUK

Lucas Banach is Programme Assistant at techUK, he works on a range of programmes including Data Centres; Climate, Environment & Sustainability; Market Access and Smart Infrastructure and Systems.

Before that Lucas who joined in 2008, held various roles in our organisation, which included his role as Office Executive, Groups and Concept Viability Administrator, and most recently he worked as Programme Executive for Public Sector. He has a postgraduate degree in International Relations from the Andrzej Frycz-Modrzewski Cracow University.

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