Ex-Microsoft chief immortalised as part of £17m school development in Hartlepool

A former Microsoft chief immortalised his name on a Hartlepool school’s £17million new building.

Dave Coplin travels the country giving inspirational talks on new ways of thinking about technology such as artificial intelligence.

Dave Coplin signs the concrete pile for the new buildings at the High Tunstall College of Science with students (left to right) Maddy Wilson, Joseph Liddell, Ankusa Gupta, Alex Dickson and Holly Bentham.

Dave Coplin signs the concrete pile for the new buildings at the High Tunstall College of Science with students (left to right) Maddy Wilson, Joseph Liddell, Ankusa Gupta, Alex Dickson and Holly Bentham.

He visited High Tunstall College of Science to see its new state-of-the-art building taking shape.

Dave, who was previously chief envisioning officer at computer giant Microsoft, signed his name and a message on a huge concrete foundation pile that will form part of High Tunstall’s new sports hall.

He wrote: “The rise of the humans starts here! Dave Coplin.”

Several students also wrote their names and messages on the pile.

Work on the new buildings at the High Tunstall College of Science

Work on the new buildings at the High Tunstall College of Science

Moments later it was hoisted into place and hammered into the ground where it is set to remain for generations to come.

Dave said of High Tunstall’s development, which is being designed around its growing focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning: “I think it’s incredible to see the work going on at High Tunstall college.

“It’s brilliant to see the development. It’s going to be an amazing facility. I can’t wait to see it.”

Work, started on site at the beginning of September, is due for completion in November of next year.

An artists impressions of the new High Tunstall College of Science. Courtesy of BAM Design

An artists impressions of the new High Tunstall College of Science. Courtesy of BAM Design

The work is being carried out by BAM Construction who were awarded the contract as part of High Tunstall’s inclusion in the nationwide Priority School Building Programme.

Headteacher Mark Tilling said: “It’s all about building a school for the future and making sure our school is fit for he 21st Century.

“What better person than Dave to sign the pile making sure we’re looking towards the future and not the past.”

Dave, who is founder of The Envisioners Ltd, later gave a lecture to around 1,000 students from all over Hartlepool and the Tees Valley at the Borough Hall.

Former Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK, Dave Coplin  at the High Tunstall College of Science and Technology, Hartlepool, with students l-r Maddy Wilson, Joseph Liddell, Ankusa Gupta, Alex Dickson and Holly Bentham.

Former Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK, Dave Coplin at the High Tunstall College of Science and Technology, Hartlepool, with students l-r Maddy Wilson, Joseph Liddell, Ankusa Gupta, Alex Dickson and Holly Bentham.

It was the fourth annual STEM lecture organised by High Tunstall.

Dave added: “I’ve spent the last three decades working with all four of the world’s leading technology companies, and the thing I’ve figured out recently is that you can have all the technology in the world but unless the humans change in how they use it you are never going to get the gift that it offers us.

“My job is to try to inspire people to see the really amazing things that they could do with technology if only we could give them the right kind of skills.”