Topping out ceremony to mark The Diamond progress

  • £81 million building marks the University's largest ever investment in teaching and learning.
  • As well as specialist engineering teaching facilities, the six storey building will also house a range of lecture theatres, seminar rooms, open-plan learning spaces, library and IT services, and space for informal get-togethers.

Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield, was today (23 January 2015) joined by Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield on the roof of The Diamond building to perform an official topping out ceremony to mark progress on the £81 million development.

Scheduled to open for teaching this September, the University of Sheffield’s largest ever investment in teaching and learning will create a fantastic place for modern multidisciplinary teaching. As well as specialist engineering teaching facilities, the six storey building will also house a range of lecture theatres, seminar rooms, open-plan learning spaces, library and IT services, and plenty of space for informal get-togethers.

Building work began in autumn 2013 and the city has seen the remarkable transformation from groundwork preparation to the now completed framework of The Diamond at the heart of the University campus.

Over the next couple of months, The Diamond will acquire its dramatic external facade of anodised aluminium, and work is already well underway to complete the internal layout, which includes a chemical engineering pilot plant, a semi-conductor clean room, a flight simulator and control room and a virtual reality suite. The building will also include an extension of the University’s award-winning Information Commons, with around 1,000 innovative study spaces.

Speaking at the topping out event, Professor Mike Hounslow said that The Diamond would not only provide a wonderful space for students and staff, but was a vital part of the University’s wider commitment to see engineering and high value manufacturing at the heart of the City Region’s economic future.

“The research carried out within our Faculty of Engineering, much of it world-leading, is translated into practical applications at our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing. Investment of the kind we are seeing here is part of the reason there has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of students wishing to study engineering at the University of Sheffield this year. We are grateful to the support we have had locally and nationally that means we are in a position to give more students the opportunity to study here. ”

Paul Blomfield, MP said The Diamond represented a fantastic opportunity, not just for the University, but for the city as a whole.

“A building of this impact and quality demonstrates clearly to the rest of the UK and the international education community that we have a University with vision and drive. An independent study carried out in the initial planning stages for The Diamond demonstrated the significant impact it would have on the local and regional economy in terms of jobs and wider spending, and it’s great to see this major investment nearing completion.

"Along with its work at the AMRC, this development puts the University at the forefront of engineering teaching and research internationally, with huge benefits for the local economy and the creation of jobs.”

The topping out team were also accompanied by Allan Grantham, Project Director, Balfour Beatty, who won the contract to deliver this challenging building. Speaking at the event, Allan said: “This topping out event is a great opportunity to recognise a key milestone on The Diamond project. As we now progress towards completion, with the fit out phase of the project well under way, we look forward to this flagship project welcoming its first students.”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

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Hannah Postles
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University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046