Georgina Ferry interviews Pete Stroud.
Pete Stroud is Mechanical Facilities Manager at the Dunn School, where he runs the maintenance and construction workshop. He has literally worked at the department ‘man and boy’, as his father ran the workshop before him, and as a teenager he used to help out in the holidays; since coming to work at the department he has lived on the site, in the flat formerly occupied by Howard Florey’s animal technician Jim Kent. Having originally intended to become an automotive engineer at the Cowley Works, Stroud found that he enjoyed the variety of work in the Dunn School workshops, and joined his father there as soon as he finished school. He pursued a succession of technical qualifications on day release, while designing and building equipment for scientific analysis, such as electrophoresis tanks and radiation screens. Stroud has seen demands on the workshop change as more equipment became available off the shelf, and computers became central to the control of many laboratory processes. But while maintenance has become a significant part of the work, innovative experiments still require some equipment to be designed and built on site.