It’s a new era for University of Southern Queensland with a $5.8 million expansion of the engineering building in Springfield starting this week.
The building will include a second level and offer four times more space for teaching, learning and research, with construction scheduled to be finished early 2021.
It’s the biggest project to be undertaken at the Springfield campus since the $45 million second major building opened in 2015.
Head of Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Southern Queensland Professor Kevin McDougall said the expansion was a significant investment for the future and would give students more opportunities to develop their technical and practical engineering and surveying skills using the latest technology.
“We’re very excited to be able to further enhance the educational experience in engineering and research activity at Springfield,” Professor McDougall said.
“Engineers and surveyors play a pivotal role in shaping our world and will be critical in Australia’s economic recovery efforts post-COVID-19.
“We want to make sure our students have the best facilities and opportunities to learn, and ensure our graduates have the sought-after skills that industry needs, both now and into the future.
“It will also expand our capacity to conduct leading-edge research and work with industry to contribute to the development of new knowledge and solutions that address real-world problems.”
Once completed, the expanded building will feature multiple teaching and research laboratories, including a robotics and automation room, lab spaces for future materials development, power and energy testing and civil and structural engineering testing systems, technician offices, workshops, a student collaboration space and seminar room.
Professor McDougall said it would accommodate the teaching of the University’s comprehensive suite of engineering and surveying programs at Springfield.
“For more than 50 years, the University has been providing high-quality education in the fields of engineering and surveying in Toowoomba, and in 2007 we were excited to start offering degrees at Springfield,” Professor McDougall said.
“Since this time, we have introduced a number of new courses within the discipline areas of civil, electrical, electronic, mechanical, mechatronic, construction management and surveying.
“This expansion marks another important step in the growth of our Springfield campus and highlights our commitment to the region.
“It’s also a testament to our engineering programs ranked number one in the country for graduates in full-time employment and graduate starting salary*.”
Designed by dwp Architects and being built by Quadric, the building will also have multiple sensors embedded throughout to allow students to monitor its structural health performance in real-time for their studies.
“The health monitoring system will act as a ‘living lab’ to students and visitors, creating valuable opportunities for research and teaching collaboration across different engineering disciplines,” Professor McDougall said.
“One thing very special about this system is that it has been integrated sensor roving technology that has never been done before in Australia and possibly around the world.
“Our engineering specialist Dr Andy Nguyen has been at the forefront of this system development, which will allow us to measure critical static and dynamic characteristics, such as strain-stress, deflection, frequencies and mode shapes.”
Construction starts this week and due for completion early 2021.
For more information about USQ’s engineering programs, visit Sciences and Engineering.
Put USQ first on QTAC to qualify for the Early Offer program and the automatic Become Rewarded Scholarships of up to $29,000 for high achieving students.
*Good Universities Guide, 2020
Expanded building’s features
• Civil engineering laboratory with separate concrete mixing
• Curing and durability facility
• Heat treatment, fire testing and materials testing and metrology laboratories
• Mechanical engineering and fluid dynamics laboratory
• Electronics laboratory
• Communications laboratory
• Electrical power laboratory
• Robotics and automation laboratory with fabrication facilities
• Surveying preparation room
• Student collaboration space
• Seminar room
Artist’s impression of the expanded engineering building at the Springfield campus.