Interview with Trevor Wills

It’s time for our fourth interview of the month from our comms team. This month we’ve been chatting to Trevor Wills from Nottingham Trent University about his interests and achievements.

Who are you and what do you do? 

I’m Director of Estates at Nottingham Trent University as well as being a Trustee and Deputy Chair of HEDQF.  NTU has about 35,000 students across many of the academic disciplines and operates from 5 campuses.  I’m also Chair of the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) Professional Development Group.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Getting a lot from a little at the 3 universities where I have worked, including Plymouth and Westminster. Seeing opportunities and raising the bar as far as the built and external environment is concerned.  Knowing that I have made a difference.

What is your favourite thing about your career? 

Continuous learning and bridging the gap between professional work and academia.  All the institutions where I have worked have run degree programmes in relevant subjects such as architecture, surveying, engineering and construction.  Nurturing relationships with them that share the learning and best practice with students and lecturers has been particularly rewarding.  Also creating high-performing estates teams that can grow and reach their potential.

Describe HEDQF in a sentence 

I’d describe HEDQF as a collective which shares ideas, exchanges opinions, and enables discussion – all with the aim of promoting excellence in university design.

What is your contribution to HEDQF? 

During the 12 years that I have been involved I have contributed wherever I can, including organising events and reference visits and telling people about our work at every opportunity.

What does a good HE building mean to you – quote. 

A place to think, to learn, to work, to socialise – which lifts the spirits and can bring all people together.

One thing about you that will surprise people. 

I’m a historian of the railway environment, with a number of interests ranging from research at Oxford University on the Victorian seaside through to preservation of the only two surviving viaducts in the country built on wrought iron lattice piers.

Zero Carbon – 2035 or 2055?

It would have to be 2035, because the pace of the challenge is increasing and such a target needs to drive change.  NTU has adopted a roadmap to achieve complete net zero carbon by 2040.

Town or country?

Country. I escaped the suburbs at the first opportunity and, these days, have made my home in south Devon where there’s a lovely combination of the coastline and the moors. Working in a city still provides me with the best way to use my professional skills although my personal leanings are to the coast and the countryside.

Wine or Beer?

That’s a tough one. I’ll say good beer although the older I get the more I appreciate red wine too. All in moderation, of course!

And lastly, where was this photo taken?

In a London recording studio with my band, Little Red Wagon, doing Americana and new country music.