t’s been brilliant to see the steady increase of students and staff returning to campus over this last year. We’ve been working hard to continue developing and investing in our world-class facilities and have some exciting developments to share: • The topping-out ceremony for the new Faculty of Social Sciences building was held last summer, overseen by Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Due to be completed by the end of this year, the building will be transformational for our University, not just in the educational and social spaces it will provide, but also thanks to its significant green credentials. The building has been designed with sustainability at its core. This includes the BREEAM Outstanding Building Accreditation standards we’re working to; the first installation in the education sector of deep (200m) geothermal ground source heat pumps, which will maximise the opportunity created by thermal warmth and provide cooling in the summer; and the new planting and green spaces, which will improve local biodiversity and will be open to the public as well as students and staff. Once operational, it will be the University’s first net-zero carbon building. • A ground-breaking ceremony was held in October for our Gene Therapy and Innovation Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) at the University’s Innovation District (USID), attended by South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis MP. The GTIMC is one of three pioneering hubs in a new £18 million network funded by LifeArc and the Medical Research Council, with support from the Biotechnology Sciences Research Council, which is set to advance scientific discoveries and promising treatment options for many lifethreatening diseases.
10 YOUR UNIVERSITY | 2022/2023
• Our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre North West (AMRC NW) is a new £20 million applied research and development centre situated to the east of Preston, Lancashire, which was officially opened in March 2022. It will foster progress in the UK’s advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, digital manufacturing, clean energy technologies and additive manufacturing.
Left: GITMC. Right: Engineering Heartspace. The Centre is based on a model for academic and industry collaboration pioneered by our Advanced Manufacturing Group, which has been hugely successful in driving innovation and attracting investment into the South Yorkshire region.
Awards recognition The redeveloped Concourse that’s proven extremely popular with students, staff and public alike has won the FX Design Outside Space Award 2021, beating off stiff international competition from projects in China and the USA. The award judges described it as a “thoughtful upgrade of the public realm with an inventive atmospheric use of coloured lighting”. This award joins the ever-growing number of tributes in recognition of the hugely successful project, taking its tally to six.
The Engineering Heartspace has also added to its existing awards collection, winning both the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire award and the Yorkshire Client of the Year award. The judges noted, “The purpose was to make use of a redundant space between two existing buildings to inspire collaboration between the staff and students in each faculty. This has been delivered with a stunning new building which staff, students and visitors clearly enjoy and is commendable for cleverly bringing the two existing buildings back into use.”