The centrepiece of the revitalisation of the former Mitsubishi Motors manufacturing site has been unveiled, with the official opening of Flinders University’s state-of-the-art $120 million teaching and research facility at Tonsley.
The six-storey 16,000 square metre Flinders at Tonsley building expands the University’s reach beyond its Bedford Park campus, bringing together education, innovation, business and commercial start-up ventures in one precinct, to stimulate economic growth in industries of the future.
At the official launch today, Flinders University’s new vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling was joined by Federal Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, and Premier Jay Weatherill.
The investment – the largest in the University’s near 50 year history – is part of a major capital works program over four years. And with increasing enrolments, Flinders is now the fastest growing university in SA.
Professor Stirling said Flinders was enjoying unprecedented growth and its flagship development at Tonsley represented a strong commitment to the economic and social vibrancy of southern Adelaide and beyond.
“Flinders University is undergoing the most rapid expansion in its history,’’ Professor Stirling said.
“Our investment in Tonsley reflects our commitment to stimulating jobs growth, bringing our students together with the very best academics, researchers and entrepreneurs in a state-of-the-art facility that encourages innovation and drives new industry.
“The sharpest minds, the boldest researchers and proven business leaders all collaborating under the one roof.”
The Flinders at Tonsley building centrally locates the University’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, with the Medical Device Research Institute and Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology, alongside some of Adelaide’s biggest businesses and industries.
Designed by award-winning international architects HASSELL (Adelaide Zoo, Darling Harbour Live, Flinders Street Station), it will house more than 150 staff and 2,000 students.
Everything from artificial joints to aircraft wings and entire vehicles can be tested here.
And specialised equipment in new network laboratories means new topics – such as Cyber Security – can be taught for the first time.
Flinders at Tonsley is also a hub for entrepreneurs, next generation start-ups and business incubation through the University’s New Venture Institute (NVI). The University’s Commercial arm, Flinders Partners, will also be based there.
“Flinders University shares the state government’s vision for Tonsley to become the focus of South Australia’s high-value manufacturing future and the place where innovation drives entrepreneurship,’’ Professor Stirling said.
Iconic South Australian-owned technology and communications company, Hills, has relocated its entire SA operations to the site, accelerating opportunities for collaboration, product development and jobs creation.
- 150 staff, 2000 students
- Six-storeys, 16,000 square metres
- Two lecture theatres, complemented by collaborative teaching spaces
- 28 specialist laboratories
- Disciplines include biomedical, civil, electrical, electronic, mechanical and software engineering, IT, network systems and mathematics
- Glass façade allows for uninterrupted 360 degree views from the upper levels, over the foothills, Flinders University’s Bedford campus, the sea and city skyline.
- Heavy engineering equipment (such as aircraft wings) to be housed in 2,000 square metre “pod’’ in Tonsley precinct for research.
- Flinders is South Australia’s fastest growing university.