The last bricks have been laid for a new engineering research institute on the Swansea University Bay Campus. A special ceremony marked a final step in the near completion of the £35 million state-of-the-art facility.
The Institute for Innovative Materials, Processing and Numerical Technologies (IMPACT) is part of the University’s College of Engineering and will specialise in novel materials, processing and numerical technologies.
As a Centre of Excellence, IMPACT facilitates College’s further expansion and will support the local and global engineering industry with collaborative, fundamental research. It is part-funded by Swansea University, with £17.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government.
Following a welcome address from Andrew Rhodes, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, the last bricks were laid in the presence of College representatives, IMPACT staff, guests from the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) and pupils from Morriston Comprehensive School.
Continuing the College’s commitment to school engagement, pupils from Morriston Comprehensive School took part in a bricklaying activity on-site along with Professor Johann Sienz, Director of Innovation and Engagement in the College, and Director of IMPACT, and WEFO representatives.
As principal contractor, Kier Construction Western & Wales have an established school engagement programme and have utilised the site as a learning initiative to explore the varying roles within the construction industry.
IMPACT is set to officially launch later this year and will provide industry with opportunities for colocation in collaborative projects to develop novel materials, products and processes
that can be used across the engineering sector.
Andrew Rhodes, Swansea University Registrar, said:
“IMPACT is another example of Swansea University leading the way in engineering – this world class state-of-the-art facility will deliver a transformative research environment for future collaboration between academics and industry in the pursuit of new technology.
The laying of the last brick is an exciting moment as we move towards the opening of the building later this year.”
Howard Monsen, Kier Senior Project Manager, said:
“Today’s ceremony marks the completion of the construction fabric for the IMPACT building, purposely designed for Swansea University. Getting to this stage has involved the hard work and support of many people and also provided numerous work experience and placement opportunities.
Supporting apprenticeship programmes is essential for young people who are just starting their careers. We recognise the importance of on-the-site training and the experience and learning this provides. We work with our supply chain and site teams to provide such opportunities and have seen many young people progress in promising construction careers.
The last brick placed in today’s ceremony really does signify the building blocks of the future, for those involved in the building project to date, and for those who will enjoy these fabulous new facilities in the future.”
Professor Johann Sienz, Director of IMPACT, said:
“This key construction milestone marks the final stage to the official opening of what will be a world-class operation underpinning the College of Engineering’s world continued growth. IMPACT will deliver a high-impact transformative multidisciplinary environment for industry and academia to closely collaborate in advanced engineering and materials research and development.
We are excited to be one step closer in launching a facility that will attract world‐leading researchers, from across the globe, to work with the university and industry.”