What else happens in the CTL?

We are committed to use of the CTL in extracurricular activities, such as University Open Days and Applicant Days/Offer-Holder Days, scientific conferences and Outreach activities.

Students in the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

Here's a taster of what goes on in the CTL

CTL Wins Teaching Innovation Award

Our Education Technology developer Edd Kyi, along with various members of staff from Schools that use the CTL’s facilities have won the Learning Science Teaching Innovation Award. The award is for the personalisation of the in-lab experience beyond the traditional use of audio-visual technology using Labcasting equipment, initially derived so that teaching could continue during the pandemic.  Please see the LearningSci webite for more information.

Zeiss Digital Classroom

The University of Birmingham cemented its position as a pioneer of cutting-edge education in 2018 with the creation of the largest digital microscope classroom in Europe.  The ZEISS Digital Classroom suite is part of the University’s Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) and boasts a networked set of 176 ZEISS microscopes.  You can read more about how the microscopes have transformed the student experience and their preparation for industry here

Education Minister visits CTL

Michelle Donelan MP, Minister for Universities, visited the University on 20th May to see our recent new investments in STEM education, such as the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory, and to learn how the University is supporting students through its COVID-secure activities.  Further information can be found on our Education Minister visit page.

Teaching in the CTL During COVID

Laboratory practical experience is an essential part of STEM degrees, and a strong motivator for students taking these subjects. The new Collaborative Teaching Laboratory and other COVID-19 safe labs, have allowed students to continue to take part in practical labs in-person by making significant changes to guard against virus transmission, and maintaining existing safety precautions.

More information can be found in the University Alumni Magazine.

CTL win EPS College Team Award

The CTL won the Team Award at the EPS College Awards 2020.  This recognised the hard work that the team has put in to make sure that we can run Laboratory Classes safely this year.  College staff noted that they have received excellent feedback from academics and students, and how amazing it was that we could offer students such an impressive in-lab experience while still maintaining a COVID-safe environment.

Birmingham researchers produce 3D printed visors to shield against Coronavirus

The CTL is being used as a base by staff from across campus, lead by the School of Chemical Engineering, to 3D print face masks for use by frontline medical staff at Birmingham's Childrens Hospital.  There are 15 3D printers based in the CTL's Dry Lab along with others distrubuted at various locations.  More details can be found on the Universities News Page


University makes hand sanitiser to support Birmingham City Council frontline staff

The CTL’s Wet Lab is being used to make hand sanitiser during the Coronavirus pandemic.  This is being manufactured to a World Health Organisation formula by staff from the CTL and the School of Chemical Engineering.  It is being used by a variety of organisations, including Birmingham City Council frontline staff and the Universities essential maintenance and cleaning staff.  More details can be found on the Universities News Page.

Top of the Bench Regional Final 2020

We hosted the regional preliminary event for the Royal Society of Chemistry's Top of the Bench competition. This is a national competition for KS3 and KS4 students designed to encourage and reward high achievement in school chemistry students. Details, including photographs, of the day can be found on the Chemistry outreach website.

Laboratory cleans up at RIBA West Midlands awards

Alongside praise from Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, the CTL has also been awarded four prestigious national RIBA awards for its design and architecture.

The University won RIBA’s West Midlands Award 2019, the RIBA West Midlands Sustainability Award 2019, RIBA West Midlands Project Architect of the Year Award 2019 (Awarded to Alex Smith) and the RIBA West Midlands Building of the Year Award 2019. These awards are recognition of the team commitment to delivering a high quality final product that will support University students during their HE journey.

The CTL has been transformational to the way STEM subjects can be taught in such environments. This is a university building where the architecture not only supports and improves the delivery of research and science courses, but also facilitates collaboration between departments that have previously had operated independently of each other. 

More details can be found on the Universities News Page.

Nobel Laureate praises ‘awesome’ new laboratory facility

The University’s flagship Collaborative Teaching Laboratory was opened at a special event by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart.

Bringing together practical teaching activities across a broad range of science and engineering disciplines, the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) incorporates a wet lab, dry lab and e-lab. It allows students to experience the environments they are likely to encounter in industry.

Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart was Head of the School of Chemistry between 1993 and 1997. In 2016 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ground-breaking work he carried out here with a group of academic colleagues.

Professor Stoddart said: “The CTL is an undergraduate training centre with the support of postgraduates and skilled academic staff which is second to none in comparison to all the sites I have visited. The CTL offers opportunities for all kinds of research – especially curiosity-led research. My mind has been blown by the tour of this awesome facility.” 

Details, including photographs can be found on the Universities News Page.

S-lab Birmingham Conference - April 2-3 2019

This Conference is jointly organised by S-Lab and the UK Science Park Association. The last such event, in May 2017, attracted over 500 key stakeholders in the design, financing, managing and operation of science research, incubation and innovation facilities. 75% of attendees rated the event as excellent or very good due to the quality and range of content, and the ‘buzz’ and unexpected interactions of diverse audiences coming together. 

Engineering Education Scheme

We host the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) which runs the residential experience project in December for year 12 students. They undertake a project mentored by professional engineering companies and produce an original piece of engineering.

Top of the Bench Regional final 2019

We hosted the regional final of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Top of the Bench competition. This is a national competition for KS3 and KS4 students designed to encourage and reward high achievement in school chemistry students. Details, including photographs, of the day can be found on the Chemistry outreach website.