The University of Queensland builds for a sustainable future

An innovative new building at The University of Queensland is more than just smart architecture – it has the potential to unlock ways for Australia to transition to a sustainable, zero-emissions economy.

The Andrew N. Liveris building, officially opened this week, houses UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering and is equipped with labs and technology that will spearhead research capabilities most universities have not seen before.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry AO said the building further reinforced the University as a leader in chemical engineering.

“As shown in the recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, UQ is in the top three chemical engineering schools within Australia and this building will greatly enhance our capabilities to find solutions to global challenges,” Professor Terry said.

“This building also further cements the vital work happening across the University to help lead Australia towards a more sustainable future, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The 11-storey building features 500 square metres of teaching space and 2000 square metres of laboratory space.

It also has glass-walled research laboratories, allowing visitors to watch research as it happens, and fit-for-purpose equipment to allow researchers to safely test reactors, x-ray machines and lasers.

Thousands of students from across the university will use the building, including the 600 undergraduate and masters students and 200 research higher degree students in the School of Chemical Engineering.

Head of School of Chemical Engineering, Professor Justin Cooper-White, said large-scale energy, resource and manufacturing industries contributed substantially to carbon emissions around the world, but the work of chemical engineers could change this.

“We can use our expertise and these fantastic world-class facilities to try and reduce the impact of these industries,” Professor Cooper-White said.

“Our research teams are currently working on dozens of projects that will help transform our economy into one that is sustainable and will serve the community for generations to come.”

Named after distinguished chemical engineering alumnus (1975) and global business leader Andrew Liveris AO, the building is a fitting acknowledgment of one of UQ’s most accomplished graduates, who has provided generous support alongside his wife, Paula.

Mr Liveris said he was delighted that the Liveris Building would provide a place for research and learning that will help address the major challenges facing society today.

“I spent four years at University of Queensland studying chemical engineering and I feel very strongly about the impact that had on me,” Mr Liveris said.

“I consider UQ as the place where I learned how to learn.”

Mr and Mrs Liveris generously donated $13.5 million to establish the Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, which is also housed in the new building and gives life to the family’s passion for supporting future generations of leaders.

The Academy is a hub for high-achieving students and now incorporates 80 Scholars from across Australia, including seven PhD candidates.

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