UCL News


Spotlight on... Craig Dunant

10 December 2020

This week we meet Craig Dunant, who manages the delivery of new IT-enabled services as Project Manager in the Information Services Division (ISD). Here, he chats to us about his favourite book this year and being descended from Henri Dunant, who founded the Red Cross.

Craig Dunant

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m a Project Manager in the Information Services Division (ISD). I manage the delivery of new IT-enabled services. This involves coordinating the work of IT teams, suppliers and users to make sure the business and technical requirements are met and that the users are ready to adopt the new services as they’re delivered. 

What I like most about the role is having the chance to work with people across UCL, learn how their departments operate and what their challenges are, and then (hopefully!) delivering something that will help them. 

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I've been at UCL for seven years. I came from a similar role at the London School of Economics, and before that I worked for consulting organisations, starting way back as an engineer/programmer. One of my more exciting early projects was developing the first on-board computer for a F1 racing team. 

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

At UCL it’s implementing the new library management system across all our library sites. This project had many moving parts and challenges, and we had to do the cut-over from the old systems as a ‘big bang’, but thanks to brilliant teams from Library Services and ISD we were able to do this successfully in time for the start of the academic year. 

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list

That would be the Digital Accessibility Project. This project is about making sure we have an inclusive digital environment that is accessible by all our students, staff and members of the public – including those with a disability or health condition. This has become even more critical during the pandemic when we've been working and teaching/studying remotely. The scope is large, since we need to consider our websites, e-learning materials, online platforms, even the day-to-day documents that we all create. 

We've put in place accessibility auditing tools for our websites and Moodle content, and are providing guidance, training and support to enable everyone to make their content accessible. We’re also assessing our online platforms, publishing Accessibility Statements, developing policies, looking at procurement practice, raising awareness of accessibility, and introducing new services such as transcripts for recorded lectures. You can find out more via the Accessibility link at the bottom of UCL web pages. 

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Favourite album in 2020: On sunset, Paul Weller (quality dad-rock)
Film: Inception by Christopher Nolan, a UCL alumnus and one of the few making original non-franchise big-budget films
Favourite COVID reading: the Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel 

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

Why did the pirates have to go into lockdown? Because the “Arrrr!” rate had risen.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Jo Brand, Dr Hannah Fry, the Dalai Lama, and Tim Minchin.  

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to say no.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I’m descended from Henri Dunant who founded the Red Cross. He was on a business trip in 1859 when he came across the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino. Thousands of wounded soldiers were left untended on the battlefield, as was normal then. He mobilised the local people and set up temporary hospitals to treat the wounded regardless of which side they had fought on. He later conceived the idea of establishing neutral organisations to care for wounded soldiers, and got it started. In 1901, he was awarded the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize.

What is your favourite place?  

This year it’s been Brockwell Park in Herne Hill.