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A Software Approach to Timetabling and Minimising Capital Spend for Imperial College London

A Software Approach to Timetabling and Minimising Capital Spend for Imperial College London

A strategic facilities planning exercise to model the space requirements using a new software approach to timetabling and minimising capital spend on new facilities.

Imperial College London is a global top ten university with a world-class reputation in science, engineering, business and medicine. Imperial is the only university in the UK to focus exclusively on science, engineering, medicine and business.

Imperial is home to 17,000 students and 8,000 staff. Over 6,700 degrees are awarded by Imperial every year. An international community, it attracts undergraduates from more than 125 countries. Distinguished members of the College have included 14 Nobel laureates and three Fields Medallists. It was named 9th best university in the QS World University Rankings 2020 and number two in the UK for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2020.

The Challenge

As an inner London University, Imperial College had to respond to the very high cost of capital development, ensuring that any new construction or refurbishment project was both efficient and effective. Imperial College was planning to construct a new building to accommodate programs in the Faculty of Engineering. In order to minimize total space, the College was concerned to know how much teaching space was required, including the optimal level of shared spaces between a number of Departments. The challenge was to provide only space that is required and is appropriate to the ongoing needs of the university. EventMAP were asked to use our software to predict demand and give examples of opportunities to optimise space usage to achieve real cost benefits from the review of space requirements for Imperial College’s South East Quadrant.

The Solution

EventMAP provided space projections by breaking down teaching activities to their smallest element, including contact hours a student spends in actual delivery of learning. Our software tools responded to the projected number of students, projected cohort size, shape of the timetabled week and then applied an aggregate for all activities producing a total amount of space required to support the total teaching activities.

The Benefits

The analysis indicated that the amount of total space included in the provisional schedule of accommodation was in excess of what was required by Imperial College. Recommendations were made to the space profile, based on the analysis of the software, which significantly reduced the need for capital funds, and demonstrated the capital value tied up in underutilised teaching space. This saved the university significant funds from the projected budget. In addition, we were able to assure Imperial College that planned growth, particularly in post graduate areas, could be accommodated within the revised schedule of accommodation which provided future proofing of the operational activities of the university and the student and staff experience of the facilities. EventMAP then provided the software to allow the university to provide a new centralised timetabling methodology to ensure that the curriculum would always be deliverable within the available space

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Event has allowed Imperial College to deliver a much-improved flexible timetables while maximising the use of space. The intuitive interfaces and data manipulation features meant the time taken to construct departmental timetables were halved. The overall implementation process has represented significant cost savings.

Hannah White-Overton
Head of Timetabling Projects, Imperial College London

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