Dave Shaw is a BSc (Hons) Lighting Design and Technology graduate who now works for Pharos Architectural Controls. He tells us about the projects he’s been involved in since graduating, including lighting up the London Eye at the 2015 London New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“I had been interested in lighting for five years prior to going to university and had been involved with lighting for drama at school, sixth form and a local theatre group. I chose to study the subject at university to get a good grounding in the subject and to learn about new areas within the lighting industry that I might not have explored otherwise.
“I went to see similar courses at other universities, but when I visited the University of South Wales, I just had a gut feeling that it was the right place to go, and I felt that the courses offered here were the best available.
“I enjoyed all the new opportunities that university provided, from both an academic and social perspective, especially the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in a safe environment. It was also useful being able to make full use of dedicated facilities, such as the lighting and live event computer labs to complete project work outside of lectures.
“I work for Pharos Architectural Controls and have been employed here for 18 months. I am a Technical Support Manager and oversee the technical support provision, along with working on live projects, and assisting with bringing new software to the market. A typical day involves taking on some of the customer support requests, working on the documentation for our new software and hardware, and working on projects with some of our customers (which mostly involves advanced scripting and web interface creation).
“The main project I’ve been involved in was the 2015 New Year’s Eve firework display in London, for which I programmed the lighting on the rim of the London Eye and the surrounding buildings, including County Hall, the Shell Building and the Golden Jubilee Footbridge. This was a fantastic project to work on, if a little stressful at times. Being able to spend New Year’s Eve in the middle of the fireworks was definitely a highlight!
“The BSc (Hons) Lighting Design and Technology prepared me for my career in various ways, from the opportunity to develop specific technical knowledge to learning good work habits and understanding business and project management. The course led me directly to this job as one of the projects was linked to the control systems sold by Pharos Architectural Controls.
“I am now looking forward to continuing with my progression at Pharos Architectural Controls and learning new skills.
“My advice to anyone considering studying a lighting and live event course at the University of South Wales would be to make the most of all opportunities available, as in this industry experience is the most important thing. Taking part in the practical events and experiences offered as part of the course will stand you in good stead for your future career.”