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Interview with Christina Howie

Christina Howie speaks about her experience on the Nursing course at Dundee College of Technology, the close friendships she developed with fellow students, the social life (including the rugby match with the engineers), her subsequent career as a nurse, how things have changed, including improved attitudes towards nurses in light of Covid.

0.00 Interview starts
0.10 Why she wanted to be a nurse – came from a medical family (could train in local hospital or get a degree)
1.10 Why they had a computer course on the degree (story about the computer room)
1.50 She picked Dundee because it was the closest to home
3.05 Course was new and intense; theory from September to May and practical work in the summer (paid)
3.50 Story about the year she didn’t want to be a nurse anymore (skin test an vaccine) (potential scene for stop motion animation)
5.00 Lecturers as former nurses vs lecturers with teaching experience
6.20 Her most treasured memory – the friendships (the first 2 girls she met and stayed with are still her friends)
7.35 Abertay building a mix of old and new, doesn’t miss the building but the nice memories created
8.57 The building was new and modern for its time vs the old hospital she could have practiced at
10.52 After finishing the degree she got a job as a nurse straight away, worked at most of Dundee’s hospitals
11.50 Horrible things nurses are exposed to; each nurse has her own thing (sputum)
12.32 Civil engineering and the nursing having fancy parties together
13.17 Having rugby matches with the rugby team and going to their games
13.10 Society of nurses and charities the science department was involved in
14.05 Career choices then were banking, teaching or nursing; there are more choices now but she probably would have still chosen nursing (medical family)
16.16 Nurses always required, especially now with COVID, some robots used – telling patients to sit down
18.02 Shows pictures (with uniforms and class), badge

Christina Howie

Interview with Ahmar Ghafoor

Ahmar Ghafoor speaks about his time studying Mechatronics at Dundee Institute of Technology / Abertay University. He speaks about the societies he was involved with - Dungeons and Dragons, Sci-Fi society; his project to design and build a computer; the changes that university status brought; how the university has changed since then; his subsequent career working in mobile technology.

0.00 Interview starts – Ahmar Ghafoor, former student at Abertay, student during the transition to University status
What did you study and why?
Went to do an HND in Electrical engineering because failed GCSEs
0.50 Abertay was the first place to do Mechatronics – MSc sponsored by NCR and so was a joint Abertay and Dundee Uni degree
2.00 Was there anything else you ever considered studying?
Wanted to go to Warwick but family moved to Dundee, really wanted to do Mechatronics
3.20 What groups were you involved with?
Dungeons and Dragons; some people imported episodes of Star Trek: Next Generation from America and they’d all watch them in the pub on the big screen
4.30 What’s your proudest moment/achievement?
Design a computer and it worked first time, completed his MSc project in 2 weeks
5.10 Did you notice anything change when Dundee Institute of Tech became Abertay University?
Yes, more investment in the labs, library was built, there was a joke that there were “more computers that books”
6.20 What do you think the experience at Abertay would be like for students now?
Don’t have to carry so many books now, everything is online
6.40 Are you still in touch with anyone you met at Uni?
Colin McLean who is a former lecturer of his, once a year say hi to some people, Camilla at NCR
7.20 Is there anything in everyday life that I would use that you have worked on?
Mobile phones, 10 years in Nokia, worked on the first GPS Bluetooth chips in mobile phones; very first contactless payment designs but was shelved as was ahead of its time
8.20 Would you prefer to go to University as it was then or with the improved technology there is now?
Prefer it with improved technology, in those days you couldn’t get online if your Mum was on the phone; don’t need to go into Uni now,
9.07 Do you have any funny or embarrassing stories?
Sixth Sense film had just come out, was in a lift with some girls who were talking about it and they gave away the whole plot including the twist at the end. He still watched it that night!
10.10 Are you still friends with anyone from university?
Not really friends with anyone from Uni, moved away and there were a lot of mature students
10.43 What did you do after you left University?
Now works with the robotics team with Dyson, working on the next generation of robotic vacuums, works on the wireless communication to connect it to internet;
Before that CMR Surgical who made robots to aid keyhole surgery; UPTOS – machine that scans your eye
12.35 When a graduate it’s difficult, but afterwards it’s about learning how to learn – filtering, knowing how to find the information;
Never be scared to say I don’t know, the team will help;
Reasons for going into engineering - all about problem solving, need interpersonal skills too
15.20 What was your favourite thing about University?
Dossing around; when they got high speed internet, some would bring in their home computers and download things
After Masters had a researcher post, which can be very lonely, it was nice to share problems with others,
Gave him access to a lab even after he left to work at NCR
16.20 Did you ever get in trouble at University for anything you and your friends were doing?
Didn’t get in trouble at Uni, because it’s different
16.48 Were you involved in any sports clubs at Uni?
No sports at Uni, but now run a cricket club, never into sports until had kids

Ahmar Ghafoor

Dundee Technical College and School of Art (formerly Dundee Technical Institute)

  • GB 3516 ABY-DTCSA
  • Fonds
  • 1881-1936

The collection consists of records relating to the administration and development of the Dundee Technical Institute, which later became the Dundee Technical College and School of Art.

The core of the collection is in the form of minutes of the main governing body (ABY-DTCSA-1) and committee of management (ABY-DTCSA-2), student enrolment registers recording academic achievements of students (ABY-DTCSA-3). These registers start at the end of 1902, and the gap in the student record before this is partially addressed by the prize lists that were published from 1892/3 onwards (ABY-DTCSA-7). These are amongst another core publicity record, syllabuses (prospectuses) advertising courses offered and describing their content (ABY-DTCSA-7).

A large part of the collection consists of correspondence relating to officials, such as the principal and treasurer (ABY-DTCSA-3-3, 4, 5, & 6). Amongst these are a number of letters from serving soldiers during the First World War giving accounts of what they are experiencing.

Other records dealing with development of the institution include the published Principal’s Reports starting in 1913/14 (ABY-DTCSA-6) and top level financial accounts (abstracts) within the financial records (ABY-DTCSA-4). Estates records also provide a detailed record of the project to construct a new building in Bell Street at the beginning of the twentieth century, including building plans (ABY-DTCSA-5).

Dundee Technical Institute

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