The University of Birmingham has received the keys to its newly built School of Engineering, which will play a key part in educating the next generation of engineers, as well as boost collaboration between academia and industry.
The state-of-the-art, 12,000 sqm facility spans five floors and features a double-height atrium. It aims to bring together many of the university’s engineering disciplines, as well as provide opportunities for successful collaboration between academia and industry.
Procured through the Constructing West Midlands framework, the School of Engineering puts industry at the heart of the University’s campus, alongside the £16.4m UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems.
The university says the facility has been designed specifically to encourage agile and collaborative working between academics, researchers, students and staff. It offers open plan spaces and cellular facilities, including a dedicated student support hub, a new 179-capacity design centre, a 50-seat electronics and electrical focused projects space, 20 flexi-bays specifically allocated for staff and student interactions, three 50-seat seminar rooms and also features 160 drop-in study spaces throughout the building.
The basement also houses a full-size set of railway points, the University’s pantograph test rig and a test track for the scaled hydrogen-powered train – further expanding the university’s commitment to the integration of academia and industry.
‘Encouraging different and more flexible ways of working’
Head of the University of Birmingham’s School of Engineering, Professor Clive Roberts, said: “We are delighted to receive the keys to the newly built School of Engineering. We are committed to providing the best facilities for our staff, students and researchers, as well as enabling collaboration with our industry partners and encouraging different and more flexible ways of working.
“We are passionate about educating the next generation of engineers. Alongside accessing features such as the Design Centre and our expanded computer labs, our new building provides students with the opportunity to work with engineers across the disciplines. Their learning will mirror the workplace, encouraging and developing their understanding of industry and their role within it.
“The new building also sits alongside our new centre of excellence in railway innovation, the UK Railway Research Innovation Network (UKRRIN) Digital Systems Innovation Centre, placing industry at the heart of our campus. In the coming months, we are looking forward to opening its doors to welcome staff, students and industry partners.”
* All images courtesy of Willmott Dixon