Interview with Julian Robinson

It’s time for our third interview of the month from our comms team.  This month we’ve been chatting to Julian Robinson, from the London School of Economics about his interests and achievements.

Who are you and what do you do? 

I’m Director of Estates and Service Leader for the London School of Economics (LSE)  Estates Division.  The LSE is a world class university in the heart of London, specialising in the social sciences.   I am also an HEDQF Trustee, a member of the HEDQF Executive Committee and immediate past Chair.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

At work – transforming the quality of the estates at Queen Mary University of London and London School of Economics, editing a book on the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and being made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA.

What is your favourite thing about your career? 

Shaping the future of the built environment and public realm and being able to see and experience the product of your endeavours.

Describe HEDQF in a sentence 

A collection of highly motivated and passionate people who appreciate and want to understand more, on how the quality of university buildings can positively impact on the host institution, their staff, students and visitors.

What is your contribution to HEDQF? 

During my time as Chair, I increased the gender balance on the board, formed a strategic alliance with the Association of University Directors of Estates, implemented a new website, significantly increased funding of HEDQF’s research arm and produced a 5-year Strategic Plan

What does a good HE building mean to you – quote. 

It is regarded as a long term asset, loved by those who experience it and is: inspirational, sociable, innovative, environmentally sustainable, democratic, beautiful, adaptable and makes a positive contribution to its local area and local community.

One thing about you that will surprise people. 

I have also been a School Governor/ MAT Trustee for over 33 years and in my time have been a governor of: a university, secondary school, primary school and nursery and a multi-academy trust.

Zero Carbon – 2035 or 2055?

Us boomers have to think of the world we are going to leave our grandchildren and there is a Climate Emergency now, so it has to be 2035!  LSE has set 2030 for it to be net zero in scopes 1 and 2 emissions.

Town or country?

Town – although I am from the country – Wiltshire, I came up to the big smoke aged eighteen to go to university and fell in love with London’s buildings, culture and opportunities.  Although I have a small town house garden, I am fortunate to have an allotment so I never lost my connection with the land completely.

Wine or Beer?

Tricky as I’m rather partial to both!  I’ve always liked real ale/craft beer but can’t cope with large volumes.  Wine gets more interesting the more you get to know it and of course it’s a great accompaniment for a good meal, so on balance wine.

And lastly, where was this photo taken?

Hanging out of the carriage on Indian Railways!