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Thornton Science Park benefits from multi-million pound investment

Thornton Science Park benefits from multi-million pound investment. Science & Technology World Website

New teaching laboratories mean business for Science and Engineering students at the University of Chester


A multi-million pound investment is paying dividends for the engineers and scientists of the future, with a suite of new facilities at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has invested almost £8 million towards the start-up of a new faculty of science and engineering at Thornton Science Park, which has included a £453,000 STEM Capital award to refurbish some of the teaching laboratories at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park as part of the ongoing development of the site.

The faculty is the first of its kind to be established in the UK for more than two decades and it is committed to addressing national skills shortages in the science and engineering sectors, by training and educating employment-ready graduates.

For the faculty’s chemical engineering and natural sciences departments, HEFCE funds were spent converting three formerly derelict lab areas into a 50-seat lecture and demonstration room, preparation area and chemical store.

The area also includes two large laboratories for experimental work.

This enables both departments to deliver programmes for its students in the new laboratory areas, with more planned for the next academic year, as well as several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach activities for local schools and colleges.


Thornton Science Park benefits from multi-million pound investment. Science & Technology World Website

New teaching laboratories mean business for Science and Engineering students at the University of Chester


For the department of electronic and electrical engineering, three former Shell petrochemical laboratories have been updated, to provide the latest practical teaching facilities for engineering students.

Subjects which can now be covered in the new lab include principles of electronics, robotics, power electronics and control engineering.

The faculty has also benefited from a complete refurbishment of the Kingsley Building on the Thornton site, to accommodate an engineering workshop.

This provides state of the art facilities for undergraduates to learn techniques in mechanical engineering and manufacturing.

It also hosts large-scale equipment for undergraduates studying chemical engineering, which gives students a series of model systems, based on plant found in industry.

Provost of Thornton Science Park and executive dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Professor Nick Avis, said: “The combination of financial support from HEFCE, the unique legacy from Shell at Thornton Science Park site and the excellent efforts of the university and its staff have been critical in developing outstanding new teaching laboratories and workshops for science and engineering.”

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