09 August 2021

Milestone moment for University of Southampton Science Park Engineering Centre

The development of the University of Southampton Science Park Engineering Centre has celebrated a milestone moment, with Midas Construction marking the high point of its new steel frame in time-honoured fashion.

Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, joined the Midas team on site for a topping out ceremony for the building with Michael Queen, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP, and representatives from the Southampton Science Park and the University of Southampton.

Midas started building works on the Engineering Centre in November 2020 and the project is due to complete in early 2022.

The Engineering Centre will enhance collaboration opportunities for the University of Southampton Science Park and local business within the Enterprise M3 LEP area of influence. It will house the Future Towns Innovation Hub (FTIH), which will deliver a joint industry-academic centre of excellence by bringing together cutting edge ideas, commercial expertise and state-of-the-art research laboratories to facilitate happy, healthy and prosperous towns in the Enterprise M3 area and beyond.

The state-of-the-art building will provide specialist laboratory facilities and a ‘collaboration zone’ that will support a range of sectors such as eco-hydraulics, electronics, transport research, aerospace, energy, unmanned systems and a number of hydraulic flumes.

Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton said: "I am so pleased to be here today to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our brand new Engineering Centre. This is a very important investment from the University that will help further our commitment to become a fully civic university. The centre will help to grow and retain local talent and maximise the impact of our research related to the environmental and sustainability challenges faced by local towns and their businesses. I look forward to the collaborative work we will complete with businesses throughout our community. I am very grateful for the support for this project from the Enterprise M3 LEP."

Steve Lee, Divisional Director for the Southern Division of Midas Construction, said: “We are immensely pleased to have been able to gather with project partners to celebrate this milestone moment for what is a truly exciting development. Marking the topping-out of a new building is a fine tradition and we look forward to completing the construction phase of the Engineering Centre and playing a modest part in the important role it is going to play driving technological innovation across a number of really exciting sectors, supporting skills development and creating opportunities for the local economy.

“In fact, we are delighted to be able to confirm that some of that good work is already underway.  Midas has worked with staff, trainees and supply chain partners to create a number of skills development opportunities, including the creation of roles for a trainee quantity surveyor and an employment skills co-ordinator, the provision of a two-week work experience placement for a Test Valley resident currently not in employment, who wants to pursue a career in quantity surveying, alongside our participation in careers events providing information about the construction industry to local schools and colleges.”

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