Professor Sir Mark Walport opens University of Bath’s 4 East South

The Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Professor Sir Mark Walport has officially opened the University of Bath’s most recent academic building, 4 East South.

As part of his visit to campus, Sir Mark received a tour of campus, led by President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell.

Sir Mark was also accompanied on his tour by Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research),and visited a number of the University’s research Institutes and Centres including:

  • The Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) and EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics (SAMBa), welcomed by IMI Director Professor Jonathan Dawes and Dr Susie Douglas, Centre Manager (SAMBa);
  • The Institute for Policy Research (IPR), welcomed by IPR Director Professor Nick Pearce;
  • The Powertrain Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC); welcomed by Professor of Automotive Propulsion and Deputy Director of the PVRC, Chris Brace;
  • BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM), welcomed by Professor Peter Walker, BRE CICM Director;
  • The Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA), welcomed by Centre Director Dr Darren Cosker;
  • The CREATE Laboratory, welcomed by Professor Danae Stanton Fraser.

Following his tour, Sir Mark viewed a number of poster presentations introduced by Professor Davide Mattia, Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Engineering & Design.

With over 65 guests in attendance, the official opening of the £23m 4 East South academic building for the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering was led by the Vice-Chancellor who welcomed colleagues before Head of Architecture Professor Alex Wright provided a brief overview of the building and the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering.

Sir Mark then addressed the room and gave a short speech on the importance of university research before unveiling the plaque, marking the official opening of the building.

The 6,076m2 building features inspiring new double height studio spaces and cutting-edge workshop and exhibition areas. It also houses academic offices and bespoke zones for staff and students.

President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Sir Mark to Bath and provide him with a taste of some of the world-leading research we conduct here at the University.

“We were delighted that Sir Mark agreed to open our newest academic building. The University is committed to investing in the infrastructure required to ensure that our staff and students succeed. Our excellent Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering already has an enviable reputation for both its teaching and its research, and 4 East South provides the high-quality facilities to ensure that the Department continues to flourish.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said: “It has been a privilege to talk to students and researchers and see the excellent research at the University of Bath. The Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering shows what can be achieved by bringing together creative researchers and practitioners from different disciplines to design the beautiful, functional and sustainable buildings that will be needed for the future.

“Researchers at the University of Bath are working with innovators in business in areas as diverse as automotive powertrains, sustainable insulation for buildings, and applied mathematics for business development. Research at the University on the three dimensional analysis of human motion has the potential to help the severely disabled, the elite athlete and the depiction of human motion by the creative industries. An important aspiration for UK Research and Innovation will be to catalyse these types of interdisciplinary working and innovation.”

Head of Architecture, Professor Alex Wright, added: “We’re delighted that after many years of planning we’re able to offer our staff and students a huge improvement in their working environment. The building is a pleasure to use.”

Following the formalities, there was an opportunity to meet Sir Mark and view the exhibition of student work over drinks.

In February, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson, announced that Professor Sir Mark Walport will be the Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), leading on the establishment of UKRI and ensuring it plays a central role at the heart of the Industrial Strategy.

UKRI will incorporate the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and the research funding and knowledge exchange parts of HEFCE. UKRI will be formed in April 2018.

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