An education in datacentres from aql
Final year Mechanical Engineering students from University of Leeds visited Salem Church, the home of aql, on Friday 26 October to take part in a discussion on datacentres and take a tour of aql’s data storage facilities.
University of Leeds Datacentre management and cooling forms the basis of the students’ project, specifically the thermodynamic challenges of maintaining optimum operating temperature in two theoretical datacentres; one in a hot, dry environment and another in a cold and humid environment. The challenges of datacentre sustainability were also considered; areas in which Dr Adam Beaumont, aql’s founder and CEO, could offer valuable guidance as well as an insight into the systems in operation within aql’s datacentres.
aql’s latest sustainable datacentre project, DC4, which is to be built in Leeds and opened in 2014, was also discussed, and in particular the plans to re-use excess heat from the complex to warm surrounding buildings.
Dr Adam Beaumont has a special connection with the University of Leeds and was the institution’s youngest ever lecturer before establishing aql at the beginning of the Internet boom in 1998.
“aql employs some fantastic people, many of whom are graduates from the University of Leeds,’ said Dr Beaumont. “These students are the datacentre technicians of the future, and it’s a pleasure to help them in their development.
“Datacentres are the factories of tomorrow, and as our use of technology keeps growing so will the need for datacentre space. Partnerships such as this between education and businesses are vital for the future of the industry.”
None of the students visiting Salem Church had ever been in a datacentre before, so the occasion was an excellent opportunity for them to see the various environmental, fire suppression and security systems required to safeguard client data and equipment.
Dr Jon Summers, senior lecturer within the University of Leeds’ School of Mechanical Engineering and the project’s industrial mentor, Dr Ian Bitterlin from Ark Continuity, accompanied the students on their visit.
“Thank you so much to Adam and his team for being so accommodating to the students”, said Dr Summers. “It helped dispel the mysteries of datacentres and provided them with valuable input to their project”.
The visit was a successful precursor to aql’s forthcoming partnership with the University of Leeds, which will see students from the School of Mechanical Engineering visit Salem Church to attend lectures and seminars in the building’s conference hall led by Dr Beaumont. aql will also support students by donating a rack within DC3 to the university so students can gain practical experience of working within a datacentre.
Dr Adam Beaumont said of the partnership: “Our work with the University of Leeds is an example of aql’s commitment to not only the future of the Internet and the datacentre industry, but also our commitment to Leeds’ technological future.”