20th August 2019

Welcome back to our series #TechTuesday. We are continuing to find out what is going on inside the Hi Tech & Digital Centre and how students of South Devon College are having a direct impact on how future students will learn here.

To go through what some of the setup has involved, we spoke to former student, Joel Stoddard Turvey. Having studied the Level 3 Computing BTEC Diploma, Joel progressed to studying Computer Networks at Bournemouth University and is due to return for his second year in September. He also won the ‘Young Innovator Award’ in The South West Digital Awards 2018. But over the holidays, he works here at South Devon College, alongside Liam Bottomley, who we interviewed last week, as a Computing Technician. He is one of the key people in setting up what will form a huge part of future computing student’s experiences in the Hi Tech & Digital Centre.

Joel went through some of the things he’s learnt from his studies and how he is applying it all now by working on the new Centre:

“There are areas of computing that are so different. Knowing software is very different to knowing networking so the ability to switch mindsets is a really important skill when working in different areas.”

Joel continued:

It’s less about what you learn and more about how you learn. You’re taught to teach yourself in the right way rather than follow a guide on YouTube. It’s about figuring things out for yourself.

We asked Joel what his favourite feature of the Hi Tech & Digital Centre is and the prospects of the system being put in place is impressive.

“What’s really exciting is that the computers can share processing resources from the rack we are setting up. So, if a student came in and needed to get an animation or 3D model rendered off, we can draw from the rack and focus its resources on the computer that requires it whilst the less demanding tasks on other machines are left unaffected.

“Also, the flexibility we have to grow our rack is huge. We may have only 40 computers now but we can load a lot more and are connecting 120 computers between three classrooms on the ground floor. We can have a GPU cluster enabled, huge amounts of virtual machines running at the same time, all students can have 1TB of storage each, loads of JBODs. There’s so much space to expand, lots of options and lots to play with to find what’s best for the students.”

Joel said how much he is enjoying working on this project alongside university:

“It’s nice to keep my mind on computing while on holiday from my degree. If I wasn’t here doing this, I would lose my momentum.

“It’s really nice to say, when I was a student I would have loved having this, then I’ll get to look back at this work we’ve done and see I’ve given that to other students.”

It’s inspiring to see such raw passion for delivering the latest and greatest for future students when Joel was only recently a student himself. Having a student perspective so fresh in his mindset as well, he knows exactly what will be best for those studying Computing here at South Devon College.


The Hi Tech & Digital Centre is due to open in September 2019. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information about the Hi Tech & Digital Centre and what courses will be delivered there, email [email protected] or call 08000 380 123.


The Hi Tech & Digital Centre (HTDC) combines £8.3m from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Growth Deal funding from the Heart of the South West LEP, as well as funding support from European Regional Development Fund, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Garfield Weston Foundation, Torbay Council, South Devon College and private sector investment. It will be a flagship facility, alongside other Institutes of Technology developments in the country.

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