Varsity Blues and Reds: Where You Should Be Monitoring In Your University

Posted on: July 8th, 2015 by Dickson No Comments

Hall, Trinity College, Cambridge

A few months ago, we discussed a story that the Yale Daily News had reported on: a data server failure that brought down the entire university’s website and email accounts, during the wonderfully inopportune time of semester finals.
We’ve been working with universities for a long time. You can find Dickson data loggers spread across the educational frontier of America, and in colleges and universities abroad as well. But researching that Yale story, and writing about how server room temperature monitoring can prevent data loss, opened our eyes to the diverse challenges that face a university campus when it comes to temperature and humidity monitoring.

College campuses can sometimes seem like small, weird cities. These cities have food services, restaurants, libraries, parks, housing, municipalities, hospitals, and more: everything a normal city does. While they are run by 18-25 year olds, and the bar-to-human ratio may be a little higher than normal cities, college campuses function as mini-cities.

And they should be treated as mini-cities when it comes to temperature and humidity monitoring. It’s easy to associate college with the classroom, but for a long, long time now, they have been much more than rooms filled with a chalkboard and desks.

Where should data loggers be placed at in a university? We’ve outline a few of the spots below. This is in no way an exhaustive list. But it does highlight some of the areas that data loggers, chart recorders, and thermometers should appear in on a college campus.

University Hospitals and Clinics

The university hospital is becoming synonymous with ”hospital,” and so it’s worth mentioning here, especially for all of you large research universities. For the smaller colleges, it’s all about the student health care clinic.

Now, there are dozens of places a university hospital should place a temperature data logger (many of which are required by regulators). We’ve listed a few examples of places to monitor below:

Vaccine Storage

Blood Bank Storage


Organ Storage

Clean Rooms


HVAC Outputs

We should preface this list by acknowledging that ”HVAC Outputs” is a pretty general location. Consider this a hodgepodge of the the areas of your university that should be monitored if you feel that they could be trouble if your HVAC system stops working properly. Also, these areas are great locations to test or validate your HVAC system. These locations include:

Libraries and Book Stores

Dorms/University Housing

Recreational Areas

Warehouse Storage

Agricultural Research Areas

Food Services

The cafeteria(s) on your university’s campus have food, and a lot of it. With thousands of students eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday in dining halls, and with a large staff that includes everyone from experienced quality managers to naive part-time freshman, the food services of your university is a machine with a lot of parts. Some of those parts need to be kept cold or hot, and thus they need a data logger. Locations you should consider monitoring in university food services include:



High-temperature dishwashers

Large Ovens

Also, consider getting a thermometer with a piercing probe. These little devices can help you determine if red meat and poultry have cooked all the way through.

As you can see, there are a lot of places a university needs to worry about temperature. For more information on how Dickson can help keep your university from getting too hot or cold, visit



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