Written by Laura Dawson, Director Data and Technology Services
The Data and Technology Services Division and wider LSE community is shocked and saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague, Nicos Kyriacou. Nicos joined LSE in the Information Management and Technology Division (as it was called at the time) in 2012, as the Windows 7 Project Co-ordinator. As with so many people who join LSE, he started with a short-term contract but became a permanent employee very quickly due to not only his obvious talents and engaging style, but also because he loved working here.
There are so many things that made Nicos such a valued member of the team: his honest and empathetic approach to anyone in LSE who had a problem with technology, his humour and objectivity in dealing with ‘difficult’ customers and helping everyone get to the right answer, his support and leadership of our student helpers, his innate sense of fun, his ability to see the root cause of a problem and help everyone to fix it, and his booming voice and clear enunciation which came from his acting roots.
Early on in his career with LSE, Nicos took on a change role in the team, starting our journey in professionalising our services by improving our processes and increasing the capability of the teams. He then took on the management and leadership of the Service Desk, beginning the work to nurture the team to be the best it possibly could be and making the team feel valued and integral to both LSE and the Division.
His last role in DTS was to become one of our new Business Partners, a role that so suited his talents and one he sadly didn’t have the time to really get his teeth into. This showed how much of a full understanding of the Division he had and how he could benefit students and staff to make the most out of technology. It is gutting that we never got to see how much he would shine in this role.
Nicos was not only exceptionally good at his job, professional and engaging, he was also our social secretary. He organised our Christmas Parties and was instrumental in bringing other teams (Digital and the Business Improvement Unit) together to join in the fun, including games and tournaments, that kept the action going and had something for everyone in them. But what he will be most remembered for on the social side were the quizzes. Run with consummate efficiency and a rod of iron, they were stupendously difficult, must-attend events and his decisions were always final no matter how senior you were. Many late afternoons, as work was finishing, he and I would discuss how things could be better in the division and invariably our conversation turned to our mutual love of football, albeit diametrically opposite football teams. I hope he had joy in his beloved Liverpool winning the Premiership this year.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been overwhelmed by the warmth and depth of feelings from across the School, a few of which are below:
“Thank you, Nicos, for being your unique, sparkly, charasmatic self. We will always remember your fun-loving energy that made everyone in the room smile. Rest in Peace”
“Nicos was just fantastic. It’s very sad indeed.”
“I am very sorry to hear of the very sad news that Nicos passed away. I sat opposite him when we were in IMT, so I got to know him quite well, and I can indeed testify to his professionalism in customer service. It is a great loss to his family, DTS and LSE.”
“I’m so sorry to hear the bad news. Over the years we’ve worked together and it was a real pleasure to work with him.”
“Nicos was a wonderful colleague and great servant of LSE. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”
“Nicos was an absolutely lovely man and he will be sorely missed.”
“Nicos was a great colleague, always cheerful and helpful and often amused by some LSE foible or other. Very hard to imagine he’s gone.”
He has left behind DTS in a far better place than it was before he started. We have so many reasons to mourn his loss. Nicos was a colleague, someone we all saw everyday at work, that we all laughed with, argued with and got stuff done with. In these strange times, I know that when we do return to the office and things return to normal, we will feel his loss all over again: documents with his name as the author, deeply buried pages on the website and images on our help guides. I don’t really want to delete them or change them, he is a part of our story and he made us a better team.
Nicos passed away on Wednesday 8 July 2020 and leaves behind a loving wife and two beautiful young boys. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
DTS will be holding an online memorial service on the 30 July at 2pm for anyone in LSE who cares to join us to remember Nicos – please get in contact to let us know if you’d like to join. We will also be hosting a quiz in his honour and memory in the middle of August – do let us know if you would like to enter a team.