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Wayne Davies

Wayne Davies is the IT & Facilities Manager for the Department of Psychiatry. He manages the department’s facilities including mechanical, electrical (PAT testing, emergency lighting), plumbing, emergency firefighting equipment, building infrastructure and the regular maintenance and servicing schedules with Estates Services.  With the support of MSD IT Services Wayne assists with the department’s information technology and the management of the Chorus system, as well as the website, SharePoint intranet, audio visual systems, computer purchases and the upkeep of the IT Asset Register.  Wayne also supports the 5th Year Medical Student course staff.  

Tell us a little about yourself and what attracted you to studying/working at the University of Oxford?  

After retiring from the Army in 2007, translating a full military trade to a civilian environment was always going to be a challenge.  Fortunately, I already had a management background so I decided to use this and resettle in IT Project Management. I took qualifications to become a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCSA) and Computer Technician (CompTIA A+). After a few years working with English Heritage and other smaller companies to gain some much needed work experience I got my job in the department, which encompasses the challenging, productive and interactive world of both IT and Facilities. 

What is your vision for the team/project/research you study/work with?

I have always been a person who likes to get things done and I strive to ensure those who need help, get help, which is a basic requirement for ensuring the department remains operationally effective.  My vision is to improve and streamline Facilities and IT reporting systems in order to ensure those arriving in and leaving the department do so with minimum disruption.  It is also important for current team members and collaborators to have the right environment to work in for productivity. The department’s future challenges, changing needs and improvements will no doubt open up many opportunities for the IT and Facilities role. 

What is currently at the top of your to-do list?

Health and safety, accessibility and the migration of the SharePoint Intranet – I have been striving for several years to make the department’s buildings more friendly and accessible for wheelchair users, people with mobility needs and for those moving stores.  This includes the installation of automatic doors, handrails, auto-door release mechanisms and so on.  With support from the University SharePoint team, I am also planning a migration strategy for the department’s SharePoint site to move online (in the cloud), which should significantly change the way we collaborate  This change will allow apps that form part of the Nexus365 platform, such as MS Teams, OneDrive and MS Office to work more productively together. 

How did you get to where you are today?

After leaving the comfort of my little welsh fishing town, I joined the Army at 18 years of age. I retired from the Army after 22 years of service.  I served 3 years in Northern Ireland, I lived and worked in Germany for 12 years, I spent 2 years in Cyprus, deploying on operations to Canada and the Oman desert, and I was on active duty in Kuwait and Iraq at the start of the war (on Op Telic) in 2003.  On retirement, I figured a complete change in trade was essential.  I was naturally drawn towards more hands on and challenging job roles after having lived in many wonderful, diverse and demanding environments. I worked with many different cultures and fantastic people from all over the world. I’ve been on a long journey to get to where I am today, from my experience of working in war and conflict zones to now working in the University of Oxford, alongside some of the best minds in the world. 

Who or what inspires you?

My amazing wife of 33 years has always been my rock and inspiration. Having spent several years away from her and my children in various conflicts and operations around the world (often for several months at a time), with her not knowing where I was or if I was safe, she managed her own career with the MoD, whilst looking after our children and our home.  She wrote to me almost every day without fail to ensure I knew they were thinking of me.  She is my best friend and continues to nurture and guide me through the best and the worst of times!

Additionally, since working for the Department of Psychiatry I have a profound sense of gratitude for the incredibly talented people who research, develop, teach and constantly strive to help those who suffer from mental illness. 

If you were not in Your study programme/job currently, what would you like to be doing?

I would love to upgrade my garage to a double garage/workshop with all the tools and DIY level machinery I could muster for my woodwork hobby, taking me into and beyond my retirement years.