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Carlos Gonzalo

Interview with Carlos Gonzalo

This interview was with Carlos Gonzalo, a Senior Lecturer in Civil and Building Services Engineering in the School of Built Environment and Architecture. Carlos would be jointly presenting a paper at the first event, on the impact of lift use on energy in high-rise buildings and would be undertaking a research project looking into the sustainability of the use of lifts in the Keyworth Centre.

Carlos, thank you for taking the time to take part in the interview and for agreeing to deliver a presentation at a session of the conference. To begin, can you let us know what you do and why you are involved in the event series?

It is my pleasure to collaborate with you, thanks to the organising team. Briefly, my educational background allows me to collaborate on projects in both Civil and Building Services Engineering. Moreover, I am very fully committed to sustainability. I take a holistic view, always trying to cover the main themes of the subject. To cite some examples, I am Deputy Director of CEREB, an energy centre; I lecture on Sustainable Construction to cohorts of Civil Engineering students, and I used to lecture on Renewable Energy Technologies to Building Services Engineering students; and all the student projects I supervise are based on matters of sustainability.

Can you tell us a bit more about the project you were hoping to work on before the campus closed, and what we can expect from it when it takes place?

The project, which is ready to go, with most of the technology in place, will look at the misuse of the lifts on campus on a daily basis. We will try to demonstrate that, through the use of other alternative means of vertical transportation in buildings, we will be able to save energy; save money by conserving energy and undertaking maintenance; and, more importantly, to educate people to adopt healthier habits with regard to lift use that are also more cost and time effective.

Tell us about how you came to work in your field?

Well, I should not say this, but it is quite likely that many of my colleagues would say that I have quite an active “persona”. This is one of the many “battles” I am involved in. I tend to get involved in many different fields of engineering, not just lifts.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

As a natural link with the previous question, and focusing on my three years at LSBU, the first is the delivery (hopefully successful) of a filing under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, leading a team involving two other academics working on fire safety, very much connected with the sad events of Grenfell Tower. Secondly, the design, development and implementation of the apprenticeship strategy and programme for the Division of Civil and Building Services Engineering where we currently have 400 apprentices, and this number is growing.

What message would you give to our staff and students who are trying to adopt more sustainable habits and behaviours?

The COVID-19 times are a sad and unfortunate situation after a century with no major pandemics. However, it is important to look at some of the positive impacts that have come from it – to realise that it may be the time for real and actual change. My political opinions aside, it feels like this may be the time to make change happen and within all the three themes: environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Finally, what are your hopes for the conference and more importantly, for the future?

I hope it will be good fun, with very interesting sessions, combined with a great audience of academics, practitioners, alumni and current students (we will be using material from projects that some of our students have collaborated with us on!)

Carlos’s session was on the conference day devoted to ‘Energy’, on 24th June 2020.

For more information on this event, visit the event page.