£35 million engineering research institute takes shape at Swansea University’s Bay Campus

Swansea University engineering student Paul Church won the opportunity to sign one of the last piles to be driven into the ground as piling work was completed on the University’s IMPACT building at the Bay Campus yesterday.

IMPACT sign-a-pileBacked by £17.4m of EU funds, the state-of-the-art £35 million IMPACT research institute is part of the University’s College of Engineering and will deliver a high-impact transformative multidisciplinary environment for industry and academia to collaborate in advanced engineering and materials research and development. 

Kier Construction Western & Wales were awarded the design & build contract for the project.
Kier Operations Director Jason Taylor said: “Kier are delighted to be delivering this ‘flagship’ research building on the Bay Campus for Swansea University.

Throughout our appointment as Principle Contractor we will be engaging with students through various events and utilising the site as a learning initiative for those who wish to work in the industry.

During the construction of the IMPACT building we will also be engaging with relative agencies in the area to provide local employment and work experience opportunities. We will also communicate with our adjacent neighbours on Elba Crescent whilst operating an ‘open-door ‘policy.”

Paul Church’s signing of the last pile represents the support of the student body for the College of Engineering’s aims to drive forward research in advanced engineering and attract additional leading academic talent to Swansea University.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve P Wilks said: “Swansea University’s ambitious growth in its research and development portfolio is reflected in its growing international recognition and its ability to attract world-leading researchers with significantly increased funding. The new IMPACT research institute drives this continued exceptional growth for the College of Engineering.”

Professor Johann Sienz, Deputy Head of College and Director of IMPACT, said: “the College enjoyed unprecedented growth over the last decade delivering high quality engineering education and world-class research generating regional and national economic impact. Working in close collaboration with stakeholders, IMPACT enables the College of Engineering to attract significantly more research funding in order to research and develop solutions for societal challenges such as generation of renewable energy, as well as delivering the fourth industrial revolution in manufacturing.

The IMPACT research institute is set to open in summer 2019 and will provide opportunities for local supply chain businesses and employment throughout the construction phase. It is anticipated to generate over £2.2 billion of direct and indirect benefit to the region over its operational lifespan.

IMPACT is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and Swansea University.  

Image:(from left to right):

Owen Rees (Senior Project Officer, Estates), Kate Williams (IMPACT Operation Administrator), Professor Hans Sienz (IMPACT Director, Deputy Head of College or Engineering and Director of Innovation and Engagement), Paul Church (Chemical Engineering student), Estela Hardisty (Medical Engineering student), Professor Steve Wilks (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience), Dr Anke Heuberger (IMPACT Operation Manager) and Professor Steve Brown (Head of College of Engineering)