Bay Campus update

Inside the new Bay campus, soon to open its doors

Bay Campus - Great Hall

By Professor Iwan Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor

The countdown is on to the opening of our new Bay campus, which will be welcoming its first students in September 2015, and which is set to provide an enormous boost to our research.  

From its inception, the new campus has had research and the building of major new scientific facilities at its very heart.  Now, with external building work nearing completion, the focus is on installing the state-of-the-art facilities which will be based on the campus.  

Here is just a brief survey of the facilities supporting research which will be at our disposal. 

In the Engineering Quarter we have the Central building, which focuses on innovation in advanced engineering and conceptual design, looking for example at new technologies and devices.   It is also home to nanotechnology, computational engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Engineering East will house a Manufacturing Facility, supporting research and development in the advanced manufacturing sector, along with a cutting-edge Scanning Electron Microscope suite.

It will also be home to the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, the SPECIFIC project, and to research groups studying polymers and composites, materials, civil engineering, electronics and sport and exercise science. The building will also contain workshop facilities for the whole of the College of Engineering.

In addition, we are particularly proud to have been chosen as recipients of a £200,000 award from the Wolfson Foundation to equip a state-of-the-art laboratory at Engineering East. This is a particularly prestigious award which reflects high-quality research and expectations.   The equipment will enable ground-breaking energy-related research through the new Wolfson Power Electronics and Power Systems (PEPS) Laboratory.  

Institute of Structural Materials (ISM) will house a mix of academic research and commercial activities.  One research group is the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Materials, supporting research staff and postgraduate students.  Mechanical test laboratories within ISM will be managed by Swansea Materials Research & Testing Ltd (SMaRT), which is an exemplar of the academia-industry collaboration which is a core strategic priority for this science and innovation campus development.

The Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) concentrates the College of Engineering’s strength in the energy sector, focusing on safety issues surrounding existing and new energy technologies.  It will cover marine energy, nuclear, tidal, advanced water treatment ('fracking' post-treatment and separation), materials, crisis management and areas such as photovoltaic (PV) and nanotechnology.  The Marine Lab will include a 30m flume to test products such as wave-powered electricity generators.

School of Management building will be home to students and staff from Accounting, Business Management and Economics.  The building aims to foster engagement, collaboration and innovation, and our students will benefit from work placements, skills development, and an atmosphere of enterprise and entrepreneurship.   It will include an extensive Trading and Simulation Suite supported by a global trading company.

No university campus, even in today’s digital world, is complete without a library.  The Bay Library offers learning, research and academic spaces and provides access to our full range of online journals, e-books, datasets and also to our 850,000 print items.

The Great Hall, one of the most striking and prominent buildings on the campus, will also enhance our research profile, for example by serving as a conference centre and exhibition space where we can showcase our latest research.  

In their different ways then, each of these buildings helps to sustain and enhance our research, equipping Swansea to compete with the best in class in world terms.

Overall, the new campus enshrines our commitment to carrying out research in partnership with business and industry, in keeping with our founding principles a century ago.   Nothing could be further from the notion of academics in their ivory tower.

The campus also encourages interdisciplinary research, housing the School of Management alongside the College of Engineering.   The outcomes from our engineering and scientific research are not always foreseeable, and it will therefore be useful to have experts in areas such as innovation, entrepreneurship, manufacturing processes and commercialisation, located together, exchanging ideas, and producing joint research. 

All of this is only the beginning:  we are already looking ahead to Phase 2 of our campus development programme.  In everything we are doing our mission remains the same: to ensure Swansea grows as a centre for world-leading research which makes a real impact.

Professor Iwan Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor

Find out more about the key buildings:

Learn about the overall campus development programme, including the Singleton Park campus