Construction milestone for new hub for science and technology research

A topping-out ceremony marked a crucial milestone in the construction of a new building on the Swansea University Bay campus, which will be a hub for research in science and technology.

The building, which will be called Engineering North, will house the Institute for Innovative Materials, Processing and Numerical Technologies Project, known as IMPACT. 

IMPACT will focus on science and technology development, with over 65 Swansea University researchers working alongside 150 others in the very latest facilities.

The distinct ethos of IMPACT is that it brings together world-leading expertise from across the College of Engineering, creating teams from different subjects who can attract funding and other experts to take forward research.

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Picture: Representatives from Swansea University and Kier Construction on top of the Impact building at Swansea University Bay Campus

Research at IMPACT will cover:

  • Future manufacturing technologies
  • Next generation materials property measurement
  • Advanced structural mechanics
  • Vapour deposition cluster
  • Metals technology centre

The new building will also house Wales’ Solar Photovoltaic Academic Research Consortium (SPARC II), which conducts research into photovoltaic technologies needed to develop solar energy.

IMPACT has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and Swansea University.

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Picture: aerial shot of the Impact building at Swansea University Bay campus, during the topping out ceremony

Ruth Bunting, Associate Head of College (Operations), College of Engineering, Swansea University said:

“This significant milestone in the development of this state-of-the-art research facility marks one year to the official opening of what will be a world-leading operation. 

These highly specialised laboratories will bring industry and academia closer together and the funding received from the European Regional Development Fund has greatly contributed to our growth as a leader in our field in the UK and beyond.”

Andrew Rhodes, Swansea University Registrar, said:

“It's another milestone for Swansea University - not only being a leader in engineering research and teaching in the UK but the world.”

Jason Taylor, Operations Director, Kier Construction, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure hosting the Topping Out ceremony for one of Kier’s flagship sites in South Wales, Swansea University’s IMPACT building.

It has been great to use the IMPACT site as a live learning environment, working closely with the lecturers from the College of Engineering and the Civil Engineering students.

Our relationship with the University continues to strengthen and we are proud to be delivering this fantastic research facility.”

Designed to BREEAM* excellent standards, the building is set to open in summer 2019 and will provide opportunities for local supply chain businesses and employment throughout the construction phase. This state-of-the-art institute is anticipated to generate over £2.2 billion of direct and indirect benefit to the region over its operational lifespan.

BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.

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Picture: Andrew Rhodes, Swansea University Registrar, shovels the last bit of concrete to complete the topping out of the Impact building at Swansea University