Lancaster University’s Department of Physics has been officially opened following a £14M refurbishment.
The eminent physicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell FRS was due to open the department but severe weather led to the cancellation of her visit; though there are plans for her to return later in the year.
The plaque was instead unveiled by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E.Smith after Dame Jocelyn’s speech was read out by Professor Isobel Hook who said:
“I congratulate the University on being University of the year 2018, and on its Teaching Excellence Framework GOLD award. Meanwhile the Physics Department is rated in the top 10 in the country overall, 3rd in the UK for its physics feedback, 3rd in the UK for its teaching quality, and was 2nd for world class research outputs in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
“And now following a major refurbishment, with a building so fit for purpose in so many ways, even more brilliant research and superb teaching will be enabled. It would seem that the sky is the limit. I wish the Department every success and delight in their newly refurbished building.”
The refurbishment has created a world class teaching and research environment, improving the learning and working environment for students and staff and supporting future growth.
The four large teaching labs have been modernised, with new equipment, bringing them up to the highest contemporary standards.
There is also a social learning hub in the two-storey new atrium in order to encourage group working.
There is even a 365mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope in the department’s own observatory on the roof to which students have access.
The Head of Department, Professor Roger Jones, said: “The refurbishment allows us to to provide an environment for students to match the excellent assessment students give of teaching in Physics. It will also mean that the building will reflect the cutting edge and vital activity within it, as well as providing modern working spaces for existing staff and students.”
The refurbishment achieved the BREEAM Excellent standard which is a measure of the building's environmental performance.