The University of Melbourne School of Engineering has grown out of its Parkville campus. In response, it’s investing $1 billion in a new, state-of-the-art campus to bring industry and academia closer together.
The University of Melbourne is planning to build new engineering facilities on a seven-hectare campus within the former General Motors Holden site at Fishermans Bend. The new campus will allow the university to build large-scale research platform facilities that the Parkville campus cannot accommodate.
Dr Anne Hellstedt is leading the strategic execution of all the components of the infrastructure programme work related to the Melbourne School of Engineering (MSE). She said the university has a plan to double the MSE student numbers by 2025, but there is no real room to expand at Parkville.
“The idea of the new campus is to be a centre of world-class research with a thousand people down there,” she said.
“Of that you’ll have academic staff and research higher degree students such as PhD students and masters by research students. It will also provide an opportunity for our coursework masters students to spend time at the campus being focused on projects that have an industry focus. Being co-located around industry is a real attractor for us around Fishermans Bend.”
The university is investing $1 billion into the new campus, where it will build large-scale research platform facilities that the Parkville campus cannot accommodate, including wind and water tunnels, smart grid technologies, autonomous vehicle testing and prefabricated housing manufacturing.
Hellstedt said a key feature is designing spaces that can be transformed in the future to develop things they’re not even thinking about yet.
“For all our future spaces, the aspiration is that they are functional and flexible, as well as being connected and visible in the sense of showcasing what we do,” she said.
“In five years’ time, we might have a project or a research partnership with an industry partner and we can roll in the equipment and easily plug it into the power and the gases and exhaust; whatever you need.”
Dr Anne Hellstedt will be speaking at this year’s Australian Engineering Conference about the influence of engineers now and into the future. Learn more about the conference and view the full program here.