Generous donation means a bright future for UNSW’s engineers

The opening of the redeveloped Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering complex marks the beginning of another exciting era at UNSW Engineering.

The redevelopment began six years ago when prominent Sydney businessman, Dr Len Ainsworth, made a substantial philanthropic donation to UNSW Engineering. “Engineers are the salt of the earth, in my view – everything has a background in engineering,” said Dr Ainsworth. ”My gift has helped UNSW educate our next generation of engineers.”

The funds from Dr Ainsworth, who was awarded a Honoris Causa from UNSW for this philanthropic work, allowed for the creation of the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Design Studio. In early 2014, Dr Ainsworth made another significant gift towards the construction of the new Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering precinct.

The overhaul, which covers 1.36 hectares of the precinct’s total floor space, began in November 2013. Little remains of the old Mechanical School building, except for the 1960s white façade that matches the Electrical Engineering Building across the mall. The middle wing which stood in front of the John Lions Garden was demolished and rebuilt with twice the foot print and an extra floor.

The opening of the precinct marks a new identity and visibility for the School, with the newly named Ainsworth Building looking onto the University Mall. The Head of School, Professor Anne Simmons, was involved in every step of the renovation process and cites her favourite feature as the glass-sided staircase that connects the remodelled section with the new building. “It’s just beautiful,” she says, “and in keeping with Dr Ainsworth’s passion for design.”

The Dean of Engineering, Professor Mark Hoffman, says the new precinct pushes the School forward as an industry leader. “The facilities enhance students’ experiences, increase industry interaction, help us attract the best researchers and academics and, of course, pave the way for significant research advancement.”

Dr Ainsworth’s generosity allows the School to cater for its 1600 mechanical engineering undergraduates, 200 postgraduate coursework students and 130 postgraduate research students. “There is much ahead for the School” Professor Hoffman says. “In these buildings we will educate the next generation of top mechanical and manufacturing engineers and lead pioneering research”. 

For more information about this story, or other news from UNSW Engineering, please contact Victoria Miller:

Email: v.miller[at][dot]au

Phone: 9385 5364




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