Work on university’s £46.5m engineering school completes

Building work has completed on the £46.5m School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

The 12,000 sq m facility spans five floors and features a double-height atrium.

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 development offers open plan spaces and facilities including a student support hub, a 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 houses a full-size set of railway points, the university’s pantograph test rig and a test track for the scaled hydrogen-powered train.

Nick Gibb, deputy managing director for the Midlands at Willmott Dixon, said: “We are delighted to have completed such a significant development, both regionally and within the sector – the facility is set to pioneer advancements within engineering and digital systems research.”

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 scheme was designed by Associated Architects.