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Five minutes with: Graeme Fowler

24 May 2024

4 mins

What’s your job title and how long have you been at Loughborough?

I’m a Senior IT Specialist. I’ve been here forever! I was an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering 1990-93, and then returned 18 years ago to work here. As the old slogan goes ‘Loughborough is for life.’

Tell us what a typical day in your job looks like?

Each day starts with checking the overnight system notifications to make sure everything’s running smoothly and dealing with those things that need attention. I’ll then move on to a mix of project work – decommissioning old systems, upgrading current ones, and adding new developments never stops – and escalations of service requests from our Service Desk team. Add in a sprinkling of team meetings (I work across two separate teams), project meetings, requests for help from colleagues and keeping up with developments in technology and security makes some days a bit of an adventure.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on?

There have been many, but a couple stand out. Moving student email from Google to Microsoft 365 was a particularly good one, as we scheduled two weeks to migrate the mailbox data and were able to optimise the process so well it took just under three days! Also, the replacement of our storage platform in 2016 was a major challenge for ourselves, the supplier and the equipment manufacturer. We started out with a platform that couldn’t meet the tender requirements and pushed through the problems to end with one that vastly exceeded them.

What is your proudest moment at Loughborough?

I’d love to say something like “completing such-and-such-a-project” but… settling here, meeting my wife, getting married, raising two kids. When I came for an interview way back in 1988 I loved the campus and the bits of town I saw, and with a brief break living in Leicester I’ve been here ever since.

Tell us something you do outside of work that we might not know about?

I’m a motorsport volunteer. I started out as a trainee marshal in 2009 at Donington Park and it’s become a major part of my life. I’m now what’s termed a Grade 3 Marshal – a Post Chief – which means at most meetings I’ll be leading a team of other marshals from complete novices to those with similar or more experience than me, with responsibility for track, car and driver safety, signalling (flags and lights), observation and reporting back to race control. Marshalling has taken me all over the world, from Silverstone to Australia. I’ve been trackside at the Le Mans 24 Hour race three times, I’ve marshalled Supercars in Adelaide, been the Safety Car Observer for a variety of clubs and the British GT Championship, and I’ve been at nine British Formula 1 Grand Prix. The last time I was at the GP in 2022 I was the Post Chief on the first corner, where George Russell and Zhou Guanyu came together with the latter ending up trapped in his car between the barrier and debris fence. As a team, we simply knuckled down and got on with solving the problems in front of us – is he OK (yes), how do we get him out (carefully), and how on Earth do we lift a car out from the gap with no roll hoop (creatively!). In the 15 years I’ve been marshalling that was probably the incident I’m most proud of having been involved in; getting to lead that team of like-minded volunteers was an honour and a privilege. As a bonus, it wasn’t raining!

What is your favourite quote?

Russell: “Can we keep him, please?” – Carl: “No.” – Russell: “But it’s a TALKING DOG!”

If you would like to feature in ‘5 Minutes With’, or you work with someone who you think would be great to include, please email Sadie Gration at

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