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Orion building is next as development rolls on

03 March 2015 @TeessideUni


The next phase of Teesside University’s Campus Heart development is getting underway with a significant refurbishment of the School of Science & Engineering’s Orion building.

£6m is being invested in the Orion building with all the work due to be completed before the start of the new academic year. From September 2015, new and continuing students will have access to the new facilities and the latest state-of-the-art equipment, enhancing their learning experience and employability prospects.

The development will see the integration of a flight simulation laboratory, a full size aircraft to be used for physical and load testing and a power system simulator laboratory.

It forms part of the overall £30m Campus Heart development, set for completion in the summer, which will completely transform the look and feel of the University and enhance the student experience.

Teesside University has invested a quarter of a billion pound in its estate in recent years and earlier this year purchased the former Teesside Central Building on Borough Road to provide new, modern student accommodation opposite the Middlesbrough campus.

Due to be completed in September, the enlarged Orion building will include a three storey glass extension enabling passers-by to see the latest technologies, along with extensive refurbishment of its laboratories and workshops, and significant additional state of the art equipment.

Malcolm Page, Chief Operating Officer at Teesside University, said: 'This is the next exciting phase of a major programme of investment to enhance the campus and provide the best possible student experience.'

Professor Simon Hodgson, Dean of the University’s School of Science & Engineering, added: 'This development will benefit our students across our whole range of professionally accredited courses and help us to maintain our position as a university committed to producing graduates with outstanding skills in technical problem solving and innovation, destined to become the next generation of leaders of our science and engineering industries.'

Work on the Orion building is concentrated on four main areas:

Twenty first century process and manufacturing industry This will comprise a flexible and multi-functional facility which will include industry standard SCADA and DCS systems linked to a range of process plant including distillation and separation columns, a pyrolysis plant for the reprocessing of waste into chemicals, a bioreactor and steam autoclave/pasteurisation plant. There will also be further investment in the University’s recently developed digital manufacturing laboratories, including 3D printing and laser processing facilities.

Power engineering The heart of this facility will be a power system simulator laboratory, allowing students to explore the practical aspects of power generation and distribution, including renewable and sustainable energy sources and their interaction with the distribution grid.This facility will replicate characteristics of major power stations and wind generation facilities operating in Teesside and allow students to learn about the most relevant current techniques and how these would be implemented within an industrial environment.

Aerospace engineering The third area will see the School develop an integrated flight simulation laboratory. This, together with a full size aircraft used for physical and load testing, will complement the facilities available at our partner college in Hartlepool and enable aerospace engineering students to experience realistic flights and work on aircraft design projects.

A new centre for testing and characterisation This part of the investment involves the development of a physical testing and characterisation centre building on the University’s existing facilities in electron microscopy, x-ray, spectroscopic and thermal analysis. There will be updated facilities for mechanical testing, the latest hyperspectral imaging technologies and techniques for analysis of powders and particulates in dry and suspension form.