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Interview with Sumant Mathure

Sumant Mathure speaks about his time as a research student in Mechanical Engineering at Dundee College of Technology, his journey from India to Dundee in January 1987, the work he did on continuous casting with precious metals, and meeting Prince Philip during the College’s centenary celebrations in 1988.

[0.00] Interview Preliminaries
[03:22] Interview starts
[04:20] Name & connection to University - Jan 1987-May 1991 at DIT
[04:44] Research into continuous casting with gold, silver copper; Working with Birmingham Mint & Rautomead; Student project working on unique relationship with manufacture & institution
[06:00] Already had a Bsc in chemistry (?) from India; Dr Robert W Johnson was his supervisor
[07:00] Degree in metallurgy (mentioned in Herald newspaper)
[08:00] Dr R W Johnson presented a paper on continuous casting in Mumbai at the Hotel Taj. This attracted him to studying in Dundee.
[10:00] Lots of profound memories from his “golden years”. Born in 1966 and arrived in Dundee 5th Jan 1987, only 20 years old, no internet, only letters and telephone to communicate. His Dad was in Dubai when he and his mother received the letter of acceptance from R W Johnson to attend at DIT. Courses started on 7th Jan
[11:53] First time travelling alone internationally. Arrived to the worst winter in the UK
[12:45] Not happy with the snow, weather or food.
[13:53] Met friends, started to feel Scottish
[14:50] Food – first 3 months were in halls of residence. He had to prove he was able to do his studies and so was often working on projects into the later hours. Meaning he’d miss his high tea at the halls and would be given cold salad to eat!
[15:50] Difficult to understand the Scottish accent
[16:15] Student council international food fest. Sumant insisted on 4 tables to represent India
[18:50] Had international housemates, from China, Egypt and Zambia.
[19:20] Duke of Edinburgh visit in 1989 to look at the gold project
[22:00] Gold project. Only a few people were able to enter the mechanical engineering room where the gold project was taking place. Needed a pass to get in. Felt very proud that he was one of the students who had access
[23:30] Sumant ran the demo for Duke of Edinburgh. Metal heated to 1100 degrees C – needed to be very careful and was his responsibility to make sure the demo ran smoothly!
[24:20] Duke of Edinburgh comments on India and how pleased he was with the presence of international students
[25:10] Felt honored as a student to be there
[26:36] Becoming a university in 1992-1994. Had to scrap the mechanical engineering degree.
[28:50] He also did consultancies under R W Johnson and 2 scholarships
[29:20] Joined his father in India after graduating in 1991. 1994 – got married. 1995 – made director of his Dad's company.
[31:00] Over 400 clients, very popular and well-reputed company in India.
[31:40] Still maintained contact with R W Johnson and others.
[31:46] Interview Recording ends

Sumant Mathure

Memories Re-animated Interviews

Interviews conducted as part of the Abertay 25 Memories Re-Animated Phase. Interview subjects were former staff and students who talked about a range of subjects concerning their connections with the University and its predecessor organisations.

Subjects included their experiences of teaching or being taught by the institution, technological developments there in relation to computers, degree courses (especially Nursing), social life, and student association activities.

Abertay University

Interview with William Mohieddeen

William Moheiddeen speaks about his journey into university; his reasons for standing for Student Association President; the successful campaigns against the proposed merger of the higher educational institutions in Dundee; the benefits of university education to him in that campaign and his future career. His opinion on the benefits of university education and the need for widening access.

0.00 Interview starts
0.13 At first wanted to be a civil engineer (family expectations) but he enjoyed doing PE and ended up studying coaching and development
2.16 Getting experience at his old school, making students enjoy PE; got the opportunity to enrol at Abertay and started University in 2006
2.48 Why he became the president of the students association, to make the University better, to have an impact, provide better student experience; the story about the union building and the nice football atmosphere and how to improve it (potential scene for stop motion animation)
4.51 Set up the society, joined the union and found out what the SA did
6.28 Possibility of providing more services for what students wanted, after getting a degree giving something back to the University and the students
6.40 Nice experiences of meeting people from all around the world and wanted to do something for them
7.07 Why he protested the merger, it was a collective reaction of executives and others to the idea of a forceful merger
8.58 Why Abertay was so important, distinct university with certain resources (its size, the community, the relationships between staff etc.)
10.37 Abertay as great at accommodating students from working class backgrounds and the need to celebrate and defend the university’s qualities
11.40 Keeping in touch with people he meet through Abertay (friends, work colleagues), social media very helpful as he moved all over Scotland
13.29 He was the captain of the Gaelic football club, very important experience
13.42 Lecturers who stood out for him, especially his dissertation supervisor (Andrea Cameron), emphatic, supportive and understanding
15.29 Skills developed in university not just as part of the degree, lecturers played an important role in his development as a person
16.13 How being the president of the SA helped him after university, still working with SAs, supporting others to change the society and the environment (students have a voice, make degree and the experience as a student better, get the needed support)
18.23 Why he began his speech in Gaelic, emphasize Abertay as a place for Gaelic speakers (not “othered” by other Scottish people) and for internationals to show the role of Gaelic (not just one way of being Scottish)
20.41 Abertay as helping him decide what he wants to do in life, story about his job as a butcher, wanting to be a bricklayer (potential scene for stop motion animation)
22.58 Lecture about British political system in his first year, learning about politics as their future jobs will be funded by the government
24.58 Efforts put into defending the Abertay from merging (posters, good relationship with journalists, petitions); their petition getting international signatures (Australia, Indonesia) + story about the prime minister saying there won’t be a forced merger for Abertay, then moving towards building support for the university (new campaign) (potential scenes for stop motion animation)
29.40 March and rally with banner through Dundee, invited students and politicians (potential scene for stop motion animation)

William Moheiddeen

Interview with Rebecca Wade

Rebecca Wade, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science at Abertay, speaks about her career and achievements at Abertay University in Environmental Science. She also talks about her work as a STEM Ambassador, and her experiences so far on the Homeward Bound leadership initiative.

Rebecca Wade

Interview with Jenny McNeill

Jenny McNeill speaks about her experiences as one of the first nursing degree students at Dundee College of Technology in 1975, and her subsequent career.

Jenny McNeill

Interview with Louise Giblin

Louise Giblin speaks about her experiences as a Biotechnology student at Dundee Institute of Technology, experiences in student societies and activism, including her first parachute jump, and the transition to university status. She also spoke about her subsequent career working for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Louise Giblin

Interview with David Ross

David Ross talks about his time in senior management and about being the Dean of the Faculty of Science and the things that he taught (chemistry). He speaks about students and lecturers that he remembers, the courses, how things have changed since he was at the University, and the role that he played in the Dundee Institute of Technology gaining its University status in 1994.
He speaks about celebrations that took place when the university gained its status. and the reasons that the Dundee Institute of Technology wanted to gain university status.

[00:37] Responsibilities as Head of the department
[2:10] Students who stood out
[2:31] Other staff members
[4:00] Developments around 1990’s – course expansion, building expansion, equipment in labs
[5:50] Differences in campus
[7:20] University gaining status (keeping courses successful while getting more students)
[8:23] + title for the university
[9:06] Claverhouse as a potential name
[9:36] Abertay name explained
[10:00] Competing with Dundee University
[12:21] New students from different areas (Ireland, India, China)
[12:47] +advertising for students
[14:30] Why the DIT wanted to get university status (prestige etc)
[16:00] New courses to be brought in and the development plans
[18:00] Courses that still exist and unsuccessful ones (Chemistry and management) due to changing perceptions etc
[20:42] Courses with big numbers of students vs smaller courses
[21:15] Lab developments easier through university status
[22:28] Staff parties and celebrations for getting university status + law hill and banner
[23:12] Staff close together and having parties
[25:10] Staff experience story – getting high profile biologists
[26:30] Getting more staff to match student number
[27:20] International staff (England, India , Belgium)
[28:35] Learning to split time between teaching and researching
[31:39] Recording Ends

David Ross

Memories Re-animated Stop-Motion Videos

The videos were created using mobile phone technology and simple crafting techniques. They focus on small anecdotes told by the interview subjects that lend themselves to visual representation.

The videos and reference numbers are as follows:

AY25-MR-2-1 Craigie High School - William Moheiddeen
AY25-MR-2-2 Craigie High School - Nick Hamilton
AY25-MR-2-3 Craigie High School - Ahmar Ghafoor
AY25-MR-2-4 Dundee Young Carers - Louise Giblin
AY25-MR-2-5 Larisa Olaru-Peter - Jenny McNeill
AY25-MR-2-6 Hope Busák - Sumant Mathure

Abertay 25 Young Ambassadors

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