Flinders University

Flinders University’s new eight-floor City Campus in Adelaide CBD relies heavily on Sennheiser technology to enable its flexible and collaborative learning pedagogy.

The client
Festival Plaza Tower establishes a new identity for Flinders University in the heart of Adelaide. This modern and innovative vertical campus is set to foster collaboration and empower learning opportunities.
The challenge
Paradigm shifts are by nature disruptive. It’s always nice to be on, or ahead of, the curve. The nightmare is to be left with comparatively new systems that are stuck in an outdated generation of working or technology.
Surely, this is every university AV architect’s worst nightmare. Not only do you have to ride the wave of technology shifts but pedagogical shifts as well.
Prior to the design and fitout, the Flinders University AV team standardised on a number of platforms that would best dovetail with the prevailing teaching pedagogy. First up: lecture theatres are dead. Every space is flat floor. The rooms are flexible, with almost nothing nailed down. The lecturer has a station to plug in their laptop – HDMI for BYOD connectivity and USB/HDMI for the Room PC for conferencing capabilities.
Flinders University’s Senior IDS Technical Lead, Leigh Hoppenbrouwers: “All our rooms are designed to be collaborative and flexible, and we have one code base. Speciality rooms, such as the moot court or the boardroom, share the same code, only with aspects added or subtracted. The moot court, for example, has 12 extra channels of wireless and extra displays to simulate a courtroom experience. It means that teaching can happen in any location, and the lecturer will be confident of their ability to work within those spaces.”
The solution
In its lecture spaces, Flinders University installed a combination of TeamConnect Ceiling 2 microphones and SpeechLine Digital Wireless (SL DW) handheld and lapel microphones.
Daniel Rowe, Business Development Manager at Sennheiser said, “Sennheiser’s been at the forefront of transducer manufacture for approaching 80 years now, so we have a vast amount of experience capturing and reproducing the human voice, whether that be in the recording studio right through to a boardroom or lectern.”
Leigh Hoppenbrouwers and Oliver Taylor, the Service Delivery Manager from Diversified which won the tender as installer and systems integrator on the project, lay out the main design decisions and how it’s all working out.
Control Cockpit
“Control Cockpit is the ecosystem that comes behind SL DW and TCC2,” explains Paul Raphael, Sales Manager at Sennheiser. “This was a fairly big rollout and for them to be able to manage everything from a central location was key.”
Olie Taylor: “Sennheiser Cockpit gives us an overview of the status of the microphones in the space – ‘am I seeing level from the mic receiver?’. If those monitoring platforms don’t provide the answers then we’ll revert to the Biamp Tesira software. Between Crestron VC4, Dante Controller, Sennheiser Cockpit and the Tesira software most issues can be rectified without leaving the desk.
Sennheiser Cockpit assisted the team in the commissioning phase as well.
Olie Taylor: “TCC 2 was amazingly simple to install. And configuration is easy. After we installed all of the TCC 2s and performed the initial setup, we jumped onto Cockpit, selected them all, and put in our global settings (the gain and EQ settings have all largely been identical), and one click later it was all done.”
Daniel Rowe: “We try to ensure our systems are as intuitive to use and deploy as possible. While there’s a lot going on under the hood and we can really maximise on monitoring and managing vast deployments of technology in very demanding scenarios such as universities, for faculty or for students we want to make sure that interface is seamless and, in many instances, touch-less too.”
Paul Raphael: “To see it all come together is a really great feeling. It’s nice to hear the feedback that that our solutions were so seamless and simple to deploy. Now that the project is complete it doesn’t mean our journey is over. At the top of the list of our Culture Principles is our customers – everything starts and ends with them. The trust of our customers is the most important thing. They can pick up the phone and give us a call any time of day if they need help or want to know anything about the products.”