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NUI Galway enhances security for students and staff with wire-free access control from GSD

NUI Galway has implemented a wire-free access control system from Global Security Devices across its growing campus

Gerry Nolan, Security Manager, NUIG and Peter O’Connor, Managing Director, Global Security Devices(GSD)

The wireless access control system covers more than 300 doors across the campus, on 100 buildings across 243 acres. According to Gerry Nolan, security manager with NUI Galway, the project carried a considerable scale, since buildings vary in size from a shed to a science block and from houses to entire labs. What’s more, the campus is still expanding; a new engineering block has just been completed and another five buildings are currently being built. “The GSD wireless access control system is very high on spec and it means installation doesn’t disrupt the running of the university. There’s no drilling or cables to be installed so there’s far less of an impact,” explains Nolan. The largest building on the campus, the science block, has already been fitted with the GSD system. “Nobody even knew it was going on,” Nolan says.

All of the wireless access control points are managed from a single software application, and Nolan is especially impressed with reporting features in the software which can produce all desired reports as PDF files and export to spreadsheet format. GSD tailored the software to import student and staff details from department files on campus. “That’s a big plus. It’s saving nearly 100% on labour for us – we no longer have to populate this information by hand, so it has freed up manpower on the security team,” he says. Another advantage is the depth of GSD’s technical expertise; because GSD developed the technology itself, it has been able to respond to NUIG’s requests for modifications and to adapt the management software to meet the college’s needs. “They let us add features that are unique to us, so in effect we have a custom-built system,” says Nolan. When the project began Nolan said he was quickly won over by the ability of the GSD technology to integrate to the existing access control system. All of the campus access control doors are now managed through the GSD management software. “That was the big breakthrough we needed. The most important thing is it adopted our existing system, which had 12,000 people on it. It would have been impractical if we had to start again from scratch with a new system,” he says. An additional benefit is that the introduction of the GSD wireless access control system coincided with the launch of NUIG’s campus smart card system. GSD had the technology to work with the Mifare


DESFire campus card and worked closely with NUIG Information Solutions and Services to deliver the project. Said to be the first of its kind in Ireland, the campus smart card is being issued to around 18,500 students and 2,500 staff. According to Brendan O’Looney, project manager with NUIG’s ISS team, it’s planned that the card will have a range of applications such as cashless payments for university facilities, time & attendance and printing access. Access control features for the campus buildings will be integrated onto the existing campus card, removing the need for people to carry around multiple cards for different requirements. “GSD have been fantastic to deal with and its wireless access control technology is a fantastic system in terms of the flexibility it has. I’m delighted to see an Irish company at the forefront of this technology,” says O’Looney. “They have been very supportive and worked with our integration partner EMOS to deliver the solution. We have nothing but positive comments to make about the integration.” Surewatch CCTV, the Galway based specialist in digital security systems, carried out the installation for NUI Galway. Surewatch is a certified installer of Global Security Devices products and it purchased the equipment from National Automation Ltd., an authorised distribution partner of GSD.

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