HRH The Earl of Wessex officially opens University of Derby STEM Centre

“We are delighted that HRH The Earl of Wessex was able to open our new STEM Centre." - Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby

Date posted: 27 September 2017

The University of Derby’s new £12m STEM centre was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex today.

The new 4,200m² STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Centre, part funded by a £5 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), provides an extension of computer studios and specialist facilities for engineering, technology and computing students.

It has been specially designed to enhance applied practical teaching in mechanical, motorsport, manufacturing and civil engineering to support the University’s new programmes, while upgrading and extending facilities for electrical and electronics engineering and computer networking.

The Centre, based at the University’s Markeaton Street site, opened its doors to students this month, allowing them to benefit from solutions-focussed and industry-linked projects, and enabling them to develop the technical and professional skills required for their careers after graduation.

The building, designed by architects CPMG and built by contractor Willmott Dixon, was constructed to meet Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) ‘Very Good’ standard, and the architectural design enhances and complements the landscape between the two buildings.

His Royal Highness was given a tour of the building, and met with staff, students and representatives from industry before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the opening. Catering for the event was provided by culinary arts and hospitality students from the University. 

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted that HRH The Earl of Wessex was able to open our new STEM Centre, which was built in response to the needs of industry in the region and is designed to provide our students with the best possible environment in which to study STEM subjects. Closing the skills gap is a key part of the Midlands Engine strategy and this is something we are committed to playing a major part in. This new Centre will equip our graduates with the knowledge and skills required to make a significant long-term contribution to industry.”

For further press information please contact Alice Oliver, University of Derby Head of News, on 01332 592032 or email