London Eye designer shares secrets at opening of world-class University facility

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  • £21 million revolutionary building offering state-of-the-art facilities to be officially opened
  • Graduates to attend whose work has had a major impact on the world of engineering
  • Building named after Pam Liversidge, the first female President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering
  • Explore the facilities available inside the new building using Google Streetview

University of Sheffield engineering graduate Dr John Roberts – the designer of the London Eye, one of the most iconic visitor attractions in the world, as well as white knuckle roller coaster rides such as the Pepsi Max Big One – will be sharing his design secrets when he speaks at the official opening of the University’s new Pam Liversidge Building on Monday (14 April 2014).

The £21 million Pam Liversidge Building on the corner of Newcastle Street and Broad Lane, named in recognition of the achievements of one of the UK's leading female engineers and industrial entrepreneurs, was completed earlier this year. It houses two lecture theatres, several flexible teaching and study spaces with drop-in IT facilities, many engineering postgraduate students and Insigneo, Scentro and CISTIB, three of the University's joint research ventures.

The building also includes a stunning atrium that has been named 'The Honourable Sir S.Y. Chung Atrium' in recognition of the graduate's generous contribution of one million US dollars to the Faculty of Engineering. Now aged 96, the distinguished Hong Kong business man and politician came to the University of Sheffield on a British Council scholarship in 1948, completing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. Although he is unable to attend the opening event in person, Sir S.Y. Chung will be represented by his son Gilbert Chung, accompanied by his wife Carol and their two sons.

Explore the interior of the new Pam Liversidge Building using Google Streetview

Miles Stevenson, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations at the University of Sheffield, said that Sir S.Y. Chung had been unstinting in his support for the institution.

"It's brilliant to be able to create a permanent and visible thank you to Sir S. Y. Chung who has made this significant donation in gratitude for the education he received here more than 60 years ago," he said.

Professor Mike Hounslow, Pam Liversidge and Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, Faculty Director of Women in EngineeringProfessor Mike Hounslow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engineering, said that he was looking forward to welcoming guests to the event and hearing from Dr Roberts about his design and construction work in creating some amazing landmarks.

"We're always delighted to welcome back our graduates, many of whom are making a major impact on the world of engineering and it will be fascinating to hear from John about his career in engineering and the challenges and rewards of being involved in such exciting, high profile projects.

"We're also enormously grateful to Pam Liversidge for her involvement in this building and the support she has always shown to the Faculty of Engineering and the University of Sheffield, and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to mark that contribution by naming the building in her honour. And of course, we also owe a huge thank you to Sir S.Y.Chung for his continued support for the Faculty and his very generous donation which has helped to make this building a reality.

"This is an extremely important event for the Faculty, and the wider University, marking the official opening of this vital new building, which is helping us to take our research activities to a new level at the same time as providing a first class teaching and research environment for our postgraduate students."

Gary Hughes, Regional Director at GRAHAM Construction, said: "At GRAHAM we strongly believe in collaboration and working in partnership with our clients and this has been key to the success of this project. The University of Sheffield is a historic and prestigious institution and we are very proud it recognised our quality, and trusted in our vision and ability to deliver."

Additional information

With almost 25,000 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 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 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 and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

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