I have often written about the future of the Faculty – our plans for the Engineering estate and our plans as a world leading centre for engineering excellence and learning. This month, I can tell you about some real, tangible changes across the Faculty that are bringing those goals closer than ever.
I am delighted to say that the Pam Liversidge Building was officially opened this month by Dr John Roberts, designer of the London Eye, at an event attended by Pam herself. A host of alumni and delegates all came to see our new high quality, cutting edge facility for research groups and post-graduate students. Also in attendance was the family of the Hon. Sir S.Y. Chung, who donated US $1million to the building’s construction. You can read more about the building’s opening in this issue here
As we move on to the next stage of our estate development, we can look forward to the completion of what we used to call the New Engineering Building. That could only ever have been a working title for the building – since it won’t be new forever – On May 2nd we announced that its permanent name is to be The Diamond. The Diamond will be at the centre of our teaching plans for the Faculty and will be composed of truly world leading lecture theatres, labs and teaching space for our students. The space provided by The Diamond allows us to grow as a Faculty, and also to ensure that the standard of teaching delivered in this new space is as modern and as excellent as the building itself.
Progress is also being made in our commitment to the Women in Engineering Initiative.We already know that women are disproportionately under represented in UK engineering when compared to other countries in the EU and beyond. Addressing this imbalance, and accessing that great untapped potential for growth, is now a major political issue: this month George Osborne MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, launched a government initiative to increase STEM recruitment in schools, especially amongst girls, by 50% over three years.
In this changing climate we want to be the number one university for women to study and work in engineering in the UK. Becoming that number one choice just became that bit more tangible as Chemical and Biological Engineering, along with Electronic and Electrical Engineering have achieved an Athena SWAN silver and bronze award, respectively, for their commitment to gender equality. You can read more about their fantastic achievements (along with several excellent departments from across the University!) in this issue here
Prof. Mike Hounslow