It is a historic day today at Laurentian University as Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre joined community members and local partners as well as Laurentian University staff, faculty and students for the opening of the new Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building.
The new 60,000-square-foot facility located in Founders’ Square (between the Parker and Fraser buildings) on the Sudbury campus, houses all engineering labs, including mining, chemical and mechanical, with space to eventually add a full civil engineering program. “There was a critical need for the new building,” said Dr. Rizwan Haq, Interim Vice-President, Research. “Our engineering program has grown to 700 students in 10 years with no new space.”
The building is also home to a collaborative research hub for Laurentian research centres, an innovation and commercialization space, a state of the art analytical facility for industry and scholars alike. Each of these spaces have been identified in consultation with local industry in order to maximize interdisciplinary opportunities.
“This is a remarkable building and it’s a testament to our commitment to student success and the needs of our community,” said Laurentian Board of Governors Chair Jennifer Witty. “It’s more than a building. It represents Laurentian University’s commitment to leadership in research and innovation.”
The $30M project announced almost exactly two years ago on September 23, 2016, was designed by Sudbury-based Yallowega Bélanger Salach Architecture and built by M. Sullivan and Sons. The federal and provincial governments invested $27.4M into the project while private donors provided additional funding. A $3 million investment by Mrs. Lily Fielding and her family was recognized by the naming of the building. A $1 million investment by the Perdue family was recognized by the naming of the University’s new research and development centre housed within the facility.
“A number of individuals and key partners have been integral in realizing this critical expansion of research and innovation space,” said Dr. Pierre Zundel, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Laurentian University. “The Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation, and Engineering Building will not only benefit Laurentian students; it will have an immense impact on further driving economic activity and innovation in the City of Greater Sudbury, Northeastern Ontario and beyond.”