July 12, 2024

Topping out ceremony for multi-million-pound development at the University of Hertfordshire


The new building for the School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire reached a major milestone with a ‘topping out’ ceremony on 30th March.  

The new five-storey building will be the largest single building at the University, housing all of the School’s specialist space in one place for the first time. The development is being delivered under the Southern Construction Framework (SCF), a quality-managed collaborative construction framework for public bodies to procure major building works using a two stage open book process to deliver best value. 

Scheduled to open in September 2024, the new development will equip the University’s researchers and future experts with highly sophisticated equipment and facilities. Enhancing teaching and learning, the facilities include robotics labs, cybersecurity facilities, a structural testing facility and an experiential learning zone, allowing projects to be taken all the way from idea to testing under one roof.  

The topping out ceremony for the new building took place on Thursday 30 March, marking the project reaching its maximum point of construction. The ceremony was attended by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Governors and staff, and representatives from the contracting partner, Morgan Sindall Construction.  

As well as advancing the teaching and research facilities for university staff and students, the new building also boosts the potential for partnerships with the commercial sector. It will drive the institution’s already renowned research and commercial capabilities, power the economy and boost local businesses, filling the STEM skills gap by producing highly skilled graduates who are in high demand, and facilitating successful industry partnerships. 

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Hertfordshire said: “This is an exciting time for the University and we are delighted to be marking this major milestone for the School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science, ahead of schedule. We make a vital contribution in boosting the Hertfordshire economy. This new development will allow us to continue to support that growth by enhancing our research facilities for use by our commercial partners, and, through our teaching and learning we can continue to develop talented students for the challenges of the changing world.” 

David Rowsell, Northern Home Counties Area Director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “This ceremony marks an exciting moment in the development of the School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science, as when complete this building will boost much needed STEM skills while providing a vital hub for advanced research and academic innovation.  

“During the design and construction of this new building, we’ve utilised our Intelligent Solutions approach to deliver innovative engineering solutions to help ensure we create a high-end facility tailored to the University of Hertfordshire’s requirements.” 

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