The new 10 West building was officially opened on Wednesday 20 July by eminent psychologist Dame Vicki Bruce, an expert on human face perception and person memory. It provides space for the expansion of the Department of Psychology, including the new Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR), a new home for the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and a dedicated postgraduate study space on its upper floors.
The event also hosted Professor Uta Frith, who has conducted ground-breaking research into developmental conditions. Professor Frith received an honorary degree and also opened our new Centre for Applied Autism Research.
Speaking at the event, Dame Vicki Bruce emphasised how the facilities would inspire students in the department: "It is fantastic to see such wonderful facilities for PhD students, too. They are the future of our discipline."
Head of Department for the Department for Psychology, Bas Verplanken, said of the opening: “It is wonderful to have moved into the building to enjoy the fantastic space it provides. We are looking forward to the Department of Psychology expanding its research facilities now that we are in situ.”
The facilities will help accelerate research to tackle a range of pressing global challenges of today, varying from dismantling the barriers of autism, helping blind people develop ways to map their world, applying technology to health behaviours, dealing with mental health problems, to promoting more healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Our Institute for Policy Research will inform the future policies of local, national and supranational governments.
The Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR) was established in 2016 by Drs Ashwin, Brosnan, Maras and Russell from the Department of Psychology, who research the social-cognitive challenges faced by autistic people, to facilitate full and active involvement within society. This requires the active participation of the autistic and broader autism communities, including ‘the autistic researcher’. CAAR aims to understand autism through world-class research; to translate theory into practical applications; to fully include the community within research; and to offer an educational and research resource for autism.
Dr Mark Brosnan, CAAR Director and the Director of Research for Psychology said: “I’m delighted to open the Centre for Applied Autism Research at the University’s new psychology building. This will give us a fantastic opportunity to explore our work on autism and understand our applied research into this condition.”
As the University celebrates its 50th anniversary, the buildings are part of our investment in state of the art facilities to match the quality of learning and teaching rated as among the best in the UK.