Lancaster University opens new flagship engineering building
Lancaster University has opened its new flagship Engineering Building, promising to provide a beacon of excellence for research and recruitment for the UK engineering industry.The new Lancaster development replaces outmoded 1960s facilities and provides additional areas for future growth and recent new specialisms such as nuclear and chemical engineering.
The decision to invest in and build the new high profile centre is set against a backdrop of a thriving global engineering industry.The university’s long-established engineering department has grown in recent years with the recruitment of 25 academic staff in the last five years, most with international experience, to cater for the department’s 350 students.
The two-winged, contemporary development with its light and airy glazed central atrium houses mechanical workshops, 3D printing and materials preparation laboratories on the ground floor, chemical engineering on the first floor with levels three and four providing academic office space, study areas, electronics workshops, research laboratories and meeting zones.Large, well-equipped, project rooms ensure students have the space to work together on group assignments and design projects. Contemporary ‘live labs’, visible from the outside of the building, are a key feature of the new design.
The new Engineering Building is part of a £450m spend on campus in the last decade with a further £135m planned over the next three years which would allow Lancaster University to compete on the global stage.The new eco-building, officially opened by the new chancellor Alan Milburn, boasts a world-class environment with specially designed workshops, teaching laboratories and office areas.
Milburn said: “Universities are in prime position to inspire the next generation of engineers through their outreach work and by providing superb facilities like this one.” Lancashire-based Contractors Eric Wright Construction were the building contractors. The new building has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating to exceed current regulations and industry benchmarks and to raise the bar in terms of building efficiency in line with the university’s sustainability and carbon reduction targets.