World-leading Science and Engineering Building now open

| 01 Apr 2019

After three-and-a-half years of consultation, design and construction, the Science and Engineering Building (SEB) is finally complete.

UNSW Science and Engineering building

This new building has been designed to foster learning and research breakthroughs at UNSW through contemporary teaching and research spaces for students and staff.

“This world-leading facility will push UNSW further as one of the top universities in engineering and technology for students and researchers,” said Professor Mark Hoffman, Dean of UNSW Engineering.

The Science and Engineering Building will bring together the Schools of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Arts and Media, Learning Environments and the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre (MWAC) for the first time in UNSW’s history.

“Science is understanding the world around us; engineering is creating what has never been before. Bringing together multi-disciplinary teams across science and engineering into one building will enable new synergies for the translation of fundamental research into technologies which I am sure will have real social and economic impact,” said Professor Hoffman.

The SEB is made up of nine levels of University accommodation. Levels 1-7 are arranged with two laboratory blocks in the centre and a service corridor running through the middle, providing access and equipment space between the two blocks. This setup allows for design and operational flexibility, meaning future changes in use are possible with minimal disruption to the operation of individual labs.

“Science is discovery. To work together, at the very edge of the unknown, requires transformative and enabling infrastructure. This new building allows for flexibility in our research and teaching,” said Professor Emma Johnston, Dean of UNSW Science.

As UNSW’s dynamic research needs change and develop over time, SEB will adapt, ensuring the building remains relevant.

The ground and basement levels are centred around teaching and study facilities but are also home to the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. The Centre now houses tools for electron microscopy and advanced tools to research the biological processes that control disease and metabolism.

In the surrounding student spaces, high ceilings and glass windows line three inviting lecture theatres, undergraduate teaching laboratories and contemporary classrooms with interactive audio-visual facilities. The basement level will also house the Creative Practice Labs, including the Io Myers Studio and Studio One teaching and performance theatres. These facilities will be delivered at a later stage of the works in mid-2019.

“The reimagined Io Myers Studio and Studio One will offer world-class environments and state-of-the-art facilities for the study, practise and research of performance, music and media,” said Professor Susan Dodds, Dean of UNSW Arts and Social Sciences.

The SEB will also accommodate UNSW’s current leading researchers and attract outstanding researchers from Australia and around the world. Inside these walls some of the brightest minds in the world will work on exciting projects, like exploring the unique properties of liquid metals or harnessing the power of molecular machines, which are approximately 300,000 times thinner than the diameter of a strand of hair.

This project demonstrates UNSW’s commitment to creating world-class environments and the benefits of successful collaboration between Estate Management and the Faculties of Engineering, Science and Arts & Social Sciences to deliver a space that will enable incredible minds, research projects and teaching programs to flourish for decades to come.