Strathclyde awarded £750,000 grant for Biomedical Engineering

Wolfson in winter sunshine.

A UK-leading department at the University of Strathclyde is being transformed with the help of a £750,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation.

The Wolfson Building, in which Strathclyde’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is based, is being refurbished in a £15 million project.

The redevelopment will create 10 state-of-the art laboratories, through a combination of new-build and refurbishment, future-proofing the University’s competiveness in healthcare technologies and biomedical engineering research. It will deliver a transformative effect on teaching, with the creation of three new undergraduate teaching laboratories and three clinical teaching laboratories, including new consultation and changing facilities.

It will also produce increased office accommodation for staff and students and new social and engagement spaces for students.

Ranked number one in the Complete University Guide League Tables 2018 for Medical Technology, Biomedical Engineering at Strathclyde excels in the fields of medical devices, rehabilitation engineering and cell and tissue engineering.

The Grade-B listed Wolfson Building was constructed in 1974 with support from the Wolfson Foundation at that time. Its refurbishment forms part of a £650 million investment in Strathclyde’s campus over the current decade, which is creating a first-class learning and working environment for staff, students and visitors.

Strathclyde Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “The Wolfson Building is the site of some of our most important, high impact research and teaching. Our Department of Biomedical Engineering develops technology which makes positive and transformational   differences to the lives of people around the world with debilitating medical and physical conditions.

“It is essential that we have the best-in-class facilities and the most modern equipment for this sector-leading work. Our investment in this building, and throughout our campus, will see a return many times over in the outstanding research we pursue and the high-quality graduates we produce.”

Professor Terry Gourlay, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, said: “The support from the Wolfson Foundation will enhance our world-leading research and teaching with new facilities, as well as engage the Centre in new research streams in response to the needs of patients, healthcare professionals and industry. Thanks to this support we can fulfil our mission of engineering solutions to global healthcare challenges.”

Healthcare innovations

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “The University of Strathclyde plays a vital role in developing healthcare innovations, and the Wolfson Foundation has supported bioengineering at the University since its earliest days. We are delighted to support this ambitious redevelopment, reinforcing the University’s leading reputation in biomedical engineering research and teaching.”

To date, Strathclyde has committed over £12 million to the Wolfson Building, raising the remaining £2.25 million through fundraising.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014, the comprehensive rating of UK universities’ research, ranked Strathclyde’s Biomedical Engineering research in the UK top five, with 90% of output assessed as world leading or internationally excellent.

The Wolfson Centre Building redevelopment is scheduled for completion in 2019.

The £650 million investment in the Strathclyde campus also includes:

•   a £31 million sport, health and wellbeing centre

•   a £60 million teaching and learning hub

•   a £23.2 million refurbishment of the award-winning Strathclyde Business School

•   a £20 million combined heat and power system which will cut the University’s carbon emissions by half 

•   a £12 million refurbishment of the John Anderson Building, home to the University’s UK-leading Department of Physics.