Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre gets go ahead

The University of Brighton’s new Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) has been given the green light by Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee.

According to the university, the £14m AEC will generate 30-35 research posts and 15 additional academic/technical engineering posts to support teaching. It will also deliver an additional 60 engineering graduates each year into the local employment market.

Design concepts for the AEC

“We are delighted the city council has approved the project which will complement the university’s ongoing investment to support the expansion of engineering at the University of Brighton,” said Prof Andrew Lloyd, dean of the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences.

“This will allow us to establish world-class specialist teaching facilities alongside…research laboratories with our long term partner Ricardo.”

The existing facilities used by engineering firm Ricardo and the university are divided between Shoreham and Brighton, where there are limited opportunities for expansion. According to Lloyd, the AEC will provide a hub that will facilitate the use of new technology, as well as the space for cross pollination of ideas and knowledge to occur.

“A central facility is required which will further enhance joint working, allow the installation of…equipment, provide flexibility for future expansion and create opportunities for the cross transfer of knowledge, ideas and practices between Ricardo and the university and support the integration of teaching and research in engineering,” he said.

Concept image of the AEC

“The region has a high concentration of high value advanced engineering companies which need to respond to rapid changes in technology and intensive international competition to maintain their global competitiveness. This intervention will also support advanced research in these companies and meet the increasing demand for specialist engineers required by such companies in the region.”

The university says that SMEs and other local engineering companies will have access to the facilities and expertise at the AEC, while training and support will be available to local companies to increase skill levels.

Construction on the multimillion-pound building is expected to start at Moulsecoomb within the next two months. The facility, designed by architects HASSELL, is due to be completed in 2016.