Why we love Sheffield – favourite places

To celebrate being listed in The Sunday Times 100 best companies 2017, Adam, Laura, Ana and Ralph tell us about their favourite places on and near campus.

Laura at Weston Park tennis courts

Laura on tennis courts

"I can't think of a better place where I could contribute to groundbreaking medical science projects within a one mile commute from my home. Coming to Weston Park of an afternoon, which is a five minute walk from my desk to play tennis for free is entirely typical of Sheffield. We have an excellent resource to user ratio for facilities in this city and a balanced life ethos at the University.”

Dr Laura Evans
Academic Assistant to Professor Pamela Shaw
Neuroscience, SITraN


Adam climbing in the Peak District

Adam Hodgson in Peaks before climb

Adam Hodgson climbing in Peaks

"Working for the University of Sheffield has been a real pleasure for me. I came to the University in 2002 as an undergraduate studying Genetics. By the time I graduated in 2005, I had already fallen in love with the city and Peak District National Park. I decided to stay in Sheffield as so many of our students do.

"A PhD, time as a clinical cytogeneticist working at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and a nanotechnology research contract gave me the experience I needed to move my career forward. I now have the privilege of teaching genetics to students in the the very department that ignited my interest for this field.

"The University of Sheffield provides me with exciting research opportunities and collaborations, all on the doorstep of one of the UK’s most beautiful national parks. Sheffield has a fantastic adventure sports community. As a keen climber I spend a lot of my spare time in the Peak District. This national park is world renowned for climbing and has a rich history with the sport. Many of the world’s hardest rock climbs were done right here on the doorstep of the city.

"The University of Sheffield has given me so much, an exciting and rewarding career where I am able to make a real difference in the world, and at the same time all the opportunities I need to pursue my passion for the outdoors."

Dr Adam Hodgson
Lecturer and MSc Human and Molecular Genetics course coordinator
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology


Ana at her green oasis near St George's Church

Ana outside St Georges and Diamond

Ana in front of St Georges Church

"St George's Church was my first reference point in Sheffield. It was also one of my first cultural shocks when I discovered that the Church was actually transformed into a lecture theatre. In my final year, it was my green oasis in the sun, in between the Diamond where I spent most of my dissertation writing hours and University of Sheffield Enterprise where I worked as an intern.

"Every time I pass by it and hear the multitude of languages spoken by our students, I am reminded that it is a symbol of the roots of Sheffield that have grown into accepting a diverse international population. And it makes me happy, because Sheffield is a beautiful place committed to global citizenship and I guess that makes my work as an international student officer easier in some areas. Being one of the only three international student officers in the country, my work can be hard at times (and seemingly hopeless with Trump and Brexit), but it is all worthwhile for it means that international students have a voice at Sheffield and their interests are important, because #WeAreInternational."

Ana-Gabriela Popa
International Students' Officer 2016-17


Ralph in the iconic Arts Tower

Ralph in the Arts Tower

"As a member of staff in the School of Architecture, I’m lucky to call the iconic Arts Tower my home, where our school has been based for decades. The heart of the school is our double height Well, a flexible, light and open space that acts as a meeting place, social space and events venue for our staff and students. It has great views out on Sheffield that re-enforce our sense of place in the city. It brings our school together, and it also has a bar!

"The sense of space you get in The Well is perfect for taking a few minutes away, to take stock and absorb some of the school’s energy. Because of its open layout it's easy to get a sense of what's going on in the school at any time, and it's a great place to be visible, an important part of my role.

"And my role is constantly changing – no two days are the same, and as the higher education sector changes, so must our ways of working. Taking opportunities that present rapid change is a key to a career in the university sector. I feel trusted to work independently and develop ideas, even when there’s a risk of failure. I have the flexibility to work beyond my immediate role, and with others across the institution, and I feel that our shared values as an institution create a sense of pride for the people that work here.

"It's easy to get up and go to work when you share these values, and it's no small thing to feel pride when you tell people where you work."

Ralph Mackinder
Media Unit Manager
The Sheffield School of Architecture