University of Derby STEM Centre Gets Royal Reception

The University of Derby’s new £12m Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) centre was officially opened by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, on Wednesday September 27.

The 4,200m² centre, part funded by a £5 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), provides an extension of computer studios and specialist facilities for engineering, technology and computing students.

It has been specially designed to enhance applied practical teaching in mechanical, motorsport, manufacturing and civil engineering to support the University’s new programmes, while upgrading and extending facilities for electrical and electronics engineering and computer networking.

The centre, based at the University’s Markeaton Street site, opened its doors to students this month, allowing them to benefit from solutions-focused and industry-linked projects. It is also aimed to enable students to develop the technical and professional skills required for their careers after graduation.

The building, designed by architects CPMG and built by contractor Willmott Dixon, was constructed to meet Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) ‘Very Good’ standard, and the architectural design is aimed at complementing the landscape between the two buildings.

Prince Edward was given a tour of the building, and met with staff, students and representatives from the industry before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the opening.

“We are delighted that HRH The Earl of Wessex was able to open our new STEM Centre, which was built in response to the needs of industry in the region and is designed to provide our students with the best possible environment in which to study STEM subjects,” comments Professor Kathryn Mitchell, vice-chancellor of the University of Derby.

“Closing the skills gap is a key part of the Midlands Engine strategy and this is something we are committed to playing a major part in. This new Centre will equip our graduates with the knowledge and skills required to make a significant long-term contribution to industry.”

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