Celebrations were held all round last week at the opening of the University of Portsmouth’s Future Technology Centre (FTC).
The facility was officially opened last week on July 2. The building began construction in September 2017 and was completed in January 2018 when it welcomed its first students.
Over 100 people attended the opening of the facility, with representatives from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses in attendance.
Vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith gave the opening speech.
He said: “The engineering profession is missing out on the talents of 50 per cent of the available pool of high quality people and needs to be more diverse. Women are significantly under-represented in the field, and that means a lost opportunity for both the profession and for able young people.
“As a forward-looking university, we want to be part of the solution, especially at a time when we need the highest quality professionals in engineering to create the innovative solutions that will secure our social and economic future.
“In changing how engineering is taught and experienced by students, the FTC is a central part of our strategy to help open up the excellent career opportunities that studying engineering provides.”
Dame Stephanie Shirley CH BSc FREng, a former child refugee who arrived in the UK as part of the Kindertransport and built her fortune creating an IT company for women, officially opened the building.
She said: “Every university that makes a difference in the world needs quality buildings and infrastructure as well as quality people.
“The Future Technology centre is an exciting new space for engineering students to explore today’s new and emerging technologies. Combining face-to-face traditional learning with hands-on experience of specialist technology, its spaces will introduce students to advanced techniques and provide a bespoke environment for the innovators of the future.”
The University of Portsmouth received a £5 million cash injection from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and £1.05 million from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which went towards equipping the facility to the highest standard.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive and Director for the Solent LEP said: “The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has provided £1.05 milllion towards this impressive facility which will train the innovative engineers of the future through hands-on experience to develop creative answers to global challenges.
“The Future Technology centre is an exciting new space for engineering students to explore today’s new and emerging technologies. Combining face-to-face traditional learning with hands-on experience of specialists technology, its spaces will introduce students to advanced techniques and provide a bespoke environment for the innovators of the future.”
“Not only will the centre be a hub for delivering the University’s unique higher level qualifications in innovation engineering, but the contribution from the LEP opens up the world-class facilities to assist regional companies to take advantage of new production technologies and translating innovation into business growth.”