State-of-the-art facilities for Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science now under construction
(5 November 2018)
Work has begun on the construction of a new building which will house the expanding departments of Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science. The development is taking place on the Upper Mountjoy site of the University campus.
Staff, students and external partners who have been involved in the development of the design and specification of the building gathered to celebrate the commencement of works on 5 November.
The £40 million project will provide state-of-the-art learning, teaching and study spaces for both departments which have been earmarked for growth within the University Strategy 2017-27 Estates Masterplan. The departments will double their undergraduate student numbers by 2026/27 and increase their numbers of postgraduate researchers, as well as academic and support staff.
The building has been designed to facilitate greater integration of students and staff, and to further develop synergies between Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science.
The scheme also includes an enterprise hub, a facility which will support student-led innovation – another key focus of the University Strategy.
A world-leading University
Professor Patrick Hussey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science) commented: “After a long time in the planning we are really looking forward to seeing this building start to take shape, and in the longer term, the incredible opportunities it will provide to develop our teaching and research capabilities.
“There is significant demand to study Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science at Durham. The building will allow both departments to double in size, welcoming more talented students and staff from across the world, and allowing both Mathematics and Computer Science to continue to thrive on an international playing field.
“We are confident that with these new cutting-edge facilities and the brightest minds, Durham will continue to grow its global reputation for research and teaching in both Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science.”
Attracting the brightest minds
As both departments seek to expand, they have been involved in the latest Academic Recruitment Campaign which has seen the appointment of high calibre research and teaching staff across the University.
Among new members of staff joining the University will be Professor Sue Black, Computer Scientist and Social Entrepreneur, and a considerable force in the tech industry. Sue has been recruited as a Professor in Computer Science and Technology Evangelist. The role will combine her research interests, with the opportunity to inspire and motivate others in the field.
Professor Gordon Love, Head of Computer Science, commented: “Sue is a champion for women in the tech industry, and is passionate about helping us achieve our vision of achieving a fully diverse, gender-balanced staff and student body.
“We are looking forward to welcoming all new recruits on board, and seeing both departments go from strength-to-strength.”
Development with Care
Located on the Upper Mountjoy site, in a discreet location adjacent to other University buildings, the building has been designed to have a minimal impact upon key views of the World Heritage Site and Durham City Conservation Area.
The project is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the University’s agreed standard for all new estates projects. The rating refers to the environmental, social and economic sustainability performance of the building.
Sir Robert McAlpine have been contracted to deliver the new building. Their previous notable projects include the Olympic Stadium, O2 Arena and the Eden Project.