IanDickinson-Story

Behind the Scenes: Design Manager

In the first of our behind the scenes interviews with the Digital Autopsy Team, our Design Manager Ian Dickinson offers an insight into his role and the continued development of Digital Autopsy’s UK network.

Can you give us an overview of your role as Design Manager?
As a fully qualified architect, I am responsible for overseeing the creation and
development of the iGene ‘ecosystem’ of Digital Autopsy Facilities.

What do your key duties consist of?
The UK appraisal of priority regions and localities for Digital Autopsy Facility
installation. The design and procurement of individual sites and overall building management. Also the Middle East sites when these come on line.

Which do you feel are your most considerable accomplishments at iGene?
Actually creating the concept of a Digital Autopsy Facility and being part of the team that have proven that the Digital Autopsy model works.

And which challenges have proved most demanding?
Changing the perception of the existing Coronial system and persuading local authorities and NHS trusts to accept the change that is undoubtedly coming.

What are the most imperative factors to consider when planning new sites
for Digital Autopsy Facilities?
1. A supportive coroner
2. Proximity to the mortuary
3. Adequate or affordable power supply
4. Large enough or workable site location

By spreading awareness of Digital Autopsy, we can educate people on our
new technologies and try to ensure that digital autopsies are offered as widely as possible. Working at iGene, why do you feel that this so important?
I have designed/built many different types of buildings throughout my career but
nothing has been as rewarding as completing the first Digital Autopsy Facility
in Sheffield. Whilst clearly not the most architecturally challenging or
expressive building, what it means is that now people have a choice when faced
with a post mortem. What is also important is completing the UK and global ecosystem so that everybody can choose!

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