Nobel Laureate praises 'awesome' new laboratory facility

Professor Stoddart is shown an experiment by a student at the laboratory.

The University of Birmingham’s flagship Collaborative Teaching Laboratory was opened at a special event on Monday by 2016 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 at the University of Birmingham between 1993 and 1997. In 2016 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ground-breaking work he carried out with a group of academic colleagues.

Professor Stoddart was given a tour of the facilities and given an opportunity to meet undergraduate and postgraduate students, along with Year 12 pupils from Bishop Challoner and Swanshurst Schools as part of an outreach activity.

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.”

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome back Sir Fraser, a champion not only of scientific research, but also of teaching and learning. This CTL is allowing students to benefit from transformational teaching in a space designed to encourage and facilitate collaborative and inter-disciplinary working. At the forefront of learning, the CTL exemplifies our commitment to excellence in academic education.”

The CTL’s layout marks a move away from discipline-specific laboratories, with the aim of supporting a convergence of science and engineering based subjects, and fostering co-innovation.

The CTL was built by construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall and designed by architect Sheppard Robson.

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact Head of Communications and Engagement (Infrastructure) Sally Xerri-Brooks on  +44 (0)121 414 3984.