The UK’s largest private contractor will fund the Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology at Cambridge as part of a multi-million pound collaboration with the famous college.
A deal was struck today by Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Alison Richard, and Laing O’Rourke Chairman and Chief Executive Ray O’Rourke.
The Centre will be a focus for innovative research and teaching to help shape the built environment of the future focused on sustainable construction.
A new two-year part-time Masters degree in Construction Engineering will be launched in September 2011 by the Centre in the University’s Department of Engineering, working with Judge Business School.
The course will breed a new breed of construction professionals with the aim of producing “engineers and managers who will lead the process of breaking down the traditional barriers between construction, consulting engineering and the client, pushing forward an agenda of innovation and technological advancement.”
The course will cover the full spectrum of the industry from the high-level financing requirements of major projects through to the latest innovations in analysis, design and materials technology, with a focus on sustainability and whole-life performance.
The programme will be multidisciplinary aiming to embrace a broad range of sectors such as housing, buildings, transport, energy, water and waste.
The Centre, led by the new Laing O’Rourke Professor of Construction Engineering, will also deliver undergraduate education, PhD and post-doctoral research and Executive Education.
Ray O’Rourke said: “I believe the engineering and construction profession has reached a critical crossroads in its development – it has for too long relied on traditional skills and approaches, often failing to keep pace with the political, social and economic demands of modern society.
“It must once again attract the very best talent, apply radical thinking, embrace new technologies and innovate in a way that removes waste and inefficiency and creates the greatest value for the world’s communities.
“Today’s announcement is tangible evidence of the role Laing O’Rourke is committed to playing in this regard, and we are excited by the prospect of sharing our vision and forging an enduring relationship with Cambridge University, in line with our other educational partnerships.”