PLANS for a new state of the art Engineering Graduate School at Sheffield University have taken a step forward with the award of a building contract worth £21 million.
Work by Graham Construction is to begin next month, with a scheduled completion date in September 2013.
The new building containing world class labs and teaching areas will be built at the corner of Broad Lane and Newcastle Street close to the city centre. It will become the Faculty of Engineering’s postgraduate research and teaching activities.
The graduate school is the first step in a 15-year development and refurbishment scheme aimed at ensuring the Faculty of Engineering can meet expected demand over the next decade and beyond.
With only Imperial College London and The University of Cambridge attracting more engineering research funding, The University of Sheffield has a reputation for world class engineering research and teaching, attracting students worldwide.
Director of Estates and Facilities Management Keith Lilley said the building would create vital new facilities.
“The Faculty of Engineering’s continuing successful growth means we urgently need both to improve our existing teaching and research facilities and to develop new ones,” he said.
“When completed, this development will be the first step in meeting the challenge of expanding and upgrading our estate to meet the needs of 21st century engineering teaching and research.
“The site for the new school is ideally located very close to the Mappin quadrangle, which houses much of the Faculty of Engineering, making it easy for students and staff to move quickly between locations, and we’ll be making the best possible use of the space available to ensure maximum benefit from the new development.”
The Engineering Graduate School will also create a further vital link between the research and teaching carried out within the city centre campus and the faculty’s expanding facilities at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Catcliffe, where research carried out at the university is translated into practical industrial applications.
More than 4,000 students study engineering at the university and the department employs 900 staff, making it one of the largest departments in the country.
It attracts over £50 million in research funding every year from government, industry and charity sources.
The faculty has a long tradition of working with top companies including Rolls-Royce, Network Rail and Siemens.