The University of Bedfordshire will officially open its new £40m STEM building at its Luton campus today (Tuesday, September 17).
The new STEM building, which will be opened by Lord Robert Winston, will be home to hundreds of new students studying in 6000m2 of teaching space set out over four floors.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, including Pharmaceutical and Chemical Science, Nutrition, Biochemistry, and Mechanical Engineering will be taught in the building along with 30 new STEM courses which have been developed since 2016.
Its facilities provide four computer laboratories and workshops for subjects such as automotive engineering, cyber-security and robotics, along with three large teaching labs, and four specialist containment labs.
The building also hosts a Science and Engineering Outreach Centre to promote the value of science and engineering to local schools and the wider Bedfordshire community.
Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “Today marks the start of a new focus on STEM for the University of Bedfordshire as we scale up our STEM offer with state-of-the art science facilities.
“Our priority at this University is to inspire our scientists and engineers, and seek to diversify our STEM professions, to inspire men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds to learn, imagine and discover.
“The STEM building will also serve as an icon for the town, symbolising our commitment to skills, scientific discovery and an unimaginable future.
“It incorporates a public outreach facility, enabling us to promote careers in science and engage with business and the local community to match regional skills needs, drive aspiration and build scientific knowledge.”
The four-floor building, which produces 60,000 kwh of zero carbon energy each year through its solar panels, was built by construction company R G Carter and designed by MCW Architects.
Angus Barnard, at MCW Architects, said: “The new STEM building forms the next step in our long term relationship with the University on their campus-wide programme of redevelopment.
“The design meets not only the current needs of the University but also offers opportunities for future development in both the current subjects offered but more dramatically within the completely new curriculum and departments that the facilities will serve.
“The building continues the University’s track record in procuring high quality, innovative, sustainable and adaptable facilities, whilst providing a welcoming arrival experience and strong identity on Park Street.”
The STEM building forms part of a five year investment to re-generate the University’s estates totalling £180m.
This included its Postgraduate and CPD centre on the Luton campus, the teaching and learning Gateway building at its Bedford campus, and a seven-floor library in Luton, which opened in 2016.
Douglas Stephen, Project Manager for R G Carter, said: “It has been a privilege to partner with The University of Bedfordshire on this quality teaching facility and community hub that has been designed to encourage collaboration between students from different disciplines.
“We are delighted to have contributed to this building, which will serve the next generation of engineers and scientists for many years to come.”