David Street is an Electrical Engineer within the Estates and Facilities team at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).
David’s work directly supports the science of the LMB by making sure the environmental conditions of the workspaces conform to a tight specification. This is achieved by monitoring, maintaining and controlling the building ventilation, cooling, heating and lighting through a computerised building management system.
After leaving school and initially starting a career in horticulture I retrained at Cambridge Regional College to become an electrician. Starting with an electrical contracting company I worked at many Cambridge University sites and a large pharmaceutical company giving me valuable experience of scientific laboratories. When an opportunity came up to join the estates department of the brand new LMB building I couldn’t resist!
A lot of David’s work is behind the scenes in the buildings’ bespoke interstitial service voids, a complicated term for the spaces between floors, so is not visible to the laboratory staff. But this work is critical to the function of the science at LMB.
The estates team also runs a 24/7 ‘on call’ support service, so that they can quickly respond to any equipment or system failures before they disrupt ongoing research.
Recently, one of our larger jobs has included delivering a new scientific computing server room, which doubled the scientific computing capability at the LMB. For this we also installed cabling for a new uninterruptible power supply system and new fibre optic cabling to provide high-speed data transmission from the electron microscopy suite.
If you visited the LMB you would probably have no idea of the other side to the state-of-the-art laboratories. David says:
We occasionally run ‘behind the scenes’ tours for staff to gain an insight into what goes on to support their science.
David also finds time to organise an annual art show at the LMB. The popular LMB Arts and Crafts Show gives lab members the opportunity to share hidden talents with colleagues and fills the building’s atrium with a beautiful and diverse range of craftsmanship.
For me it’s the people and the culture of the LMB that make this such a special place to work.
Last updated: 21 January 2022