The University of Melbourne will build a new, seven-hectare campus at Fishermans Bend as part of its almost $1 billion commitment to create a world-class engineering school for the 21st century.
The new campus – just five kilometres from the city and within the old General Motors Holden site – is set to open in the early 2020s and will be the centrepiece of Australia’s leading precinct for advanced manufacturing, design, engineering and technology excellence.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis said the University bought the site from the Victorian Government to expand the Melbourne School of Engineering.
“The University will be a catalyst for new collaborations and investments, connecting industry and research in the precinct,” Professor Davis said.
“We have a proud history of innovation in this country. The new campus will give our researchers and students opportunities to work alongside industry, and pursue rich careers right here in Australia.
“When surrounded by start-up accelerators, business incubators, cutting-edge research, development and manufacturing facilities, and test sites, our students can immediately put ideas into action.”
The new campus will allow the University to build large-scale research platform facilities that the Parkville campus cannot accommodate. This will include wind and water tunnels, smart grid technologies, autonomous vehicle testing and pre-fabricated housing manufacturing.
University of Melbourne School of Engineering Dean Iven Mareels said that the new campus will help create the entrepreneurial leaders and transformative technologies of the future.
“The Fishermans Bend campus will initially enable 1000 engineering and IT students and academics to collaborate with world-leading local and international companies across industrial sectors as diverse as transport, energy, food, mining, infrastructure and water,” Professor Mareels said.
“The almost $1 billion investment includes the purchase, design and construction of this new campus, upgrade to our Parkville campus engineering facilities, our presence at the innovation precinct being built on the former Royal Women’s Hospital site and additional staff to support research, teaching and engagement.”
Economic modelling has shown that the University’s 2025 engineering strategy, of which the new campus is an integral part, will provide an $8 billion boost to Victoria’s economy and generate over 15 000 new jobs by 2035.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said that by increasing partnerships between education and business, we will be able to keep the brightest minds in Victoria – already home to one-third of the country’s engineering graduates – and attract the best talent from around the world.