A major sculpture has been installed on the side of the new Sir William Henry Bragg Building an engineering and physical sciences development at the University of Leeds.
The artwork, measuring seven metres by just over six metres, appears to levitate more than four metres above the ground.
By artist Sara Barker, the installation is made from light-weight welded aluminium and a variety of shapes, motifs and colours convey ideas linked to science and engineering – and make connections with Leeds as a former centre of the textile industry and as a creative city.
She has used iridescent paints inspired by research at the University, which allows parts of the structure to take on a different colour depending on the angle it is viewed from.
Ms Barker said: “It felt it was like a real opportunity to try something different in my work, a curve ball that might activate or completely transform the work in different lighting, while representing in some sense the powerful and creative crossovers between specialisms that happen all the time amongst academics and scientists in the building.
“I want the work to sit between the qualities of drawing, collage, textile, painting and sculpture, and its meaning and derivation to be correspondingly subjective and open to our interpretation.”
The installation is on the side of the new building that will house the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences from next year. The building is named after Sir William Henry Bragg whose pioneering research at the University in the early 1900s won a Nobel prize and unlocked some of the biggest discoveries in modern science.
As people walk around the sculpture, the symbols that represent that research are gradually revealed – the Bragg equation: nλ = 2 d sin θ.
The artwork is titled The Worlds of If – a reference to the possibilities that open up when scientists and engineers work together and share ideas. That philosophy of collaboration will underpin research in the new building, on topics such as the development of new materials, more energy-efficient computing devices and drug discovery. It will also house laboratories and teaching spaces.
Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor, said: “Sara Barker’s striking artwork is a vibrant reminder of the Nobel Prize winning contribution of the Braggs in ‘the analysis of crystal structures by means of X-rays’ and the power of science in shaping modern society.
“The Sir William Henry Bragg Building will provide state of the art facilities to support ground-breaking interdisciplinary research, spanning engineering, physical sciences and computing, and linking with colleagues in medicine and biology. The Bragg Centre for Materials Research will discover, create and design new materials which will translate to a wide range of industrial settings.
“Critically, this new complex will also provide creative spaces for students, ensuring that their research-based education is enriched by having access to cutting edge laboratories, workshops and digital facilities.”
The contribution of the Braggs to scientific research
Sir William Henry Bragg was the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University from 1909 to 1915. He conducted research with his son, William Lawrence Bragg.
The Braggs had discovered that a beam of X-rays is diffracted or bends as it passes through crystals including large biological molecules. That research not only led to the Bragg equation but also a technique to investigate atomic and molecular structure known as X-ray crystallography.
Nearly 40 years after the Braggs received the Nobel prize, X-ray crystallography became part of the scientific investigations that revealed the double-helix shape of DNA and revolutionised the understanding of molecular biology.
Artist Sara Barker said: “I wanted to make a connection to Bragg from the outset, given the historical and continued importance of his crystallographic research.”
Significance of the Braggs’ research
Dr Kersten Hall, a Visiting Fellow at the University, is both a scientist and historian of science.
He said: “The work that the Braggs did here was massively significant. To date, 28 Nobel prizes have been won using that technique that they developed – X-ray crystallography. Thanks to that method, scientists have been able to work out the shape of medically important compounds such as the antibiotic Penicillin and the hormone insulin.
“But perhaps most famously at all, their method of X-ray crystallography helped scientists to unravel the structure of DNA, the genetic molecule and its helical structure which explains how it passes on genetic information from one generation to the next.”
Sara Barker trained at the Glasgow School of Art, Painting department in 2003, where she now teaches. She currently has a solo exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery until the end of September 2020. Her forthcoming solo exhibition at Cample Line, Dumfriesshire, opens in October 2020.
From 7 September, free parking on campus will come to an end and a temporary permit system will be introduced. If you plan to park on campus or hold an existing permit, please follow this guidance.
For colleagues planning their commute to campus, we are enhancing active travel provisions, giving advice on the public transport options available in Leeds and offering individual travel planning where required. Head to the commuting to campus page to learn more about your different travel and commuting options.
Parking on campus
As we enter period two of our approach to planning the return to campus, free parking on campus during core hours will come to an end from 7 September 2020 (you can read more about our approach in the email sent to all colleagues on 4 June).
As many colleagues will continue to work from home, a new temporary interim permit system will be introduced for those who do require parking. These arrangements are expected to continue whilst social distancing measures remain in force (expected to be until at least the end of 2020).
Key changes to parking for staff from 7 September
- Free parking during core hours (7am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) will end at 7am Monday 7 September. Free staff parking outside of these core hours will continue as usual.
- All staff who are required to work on campus and would like to park will need to hold a new interim parking permit, or pay the new daily parking rate of £5. You can apply for a new interim permit on the ParkIT webpage (please note: to access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop).
- As many existing permit holders will not be working on campus, all existing permits remain suspended and payments will not be restarted.
- Blue Badge holders are not affected by these changes and will continue as usual. If you require accessibility support, email the car parking team
- Reserved bays will be available in the multi-story car park for staff arriving after 9.30am. These will be clearly marked and anyone parking in these spaces between 6am – 9.30am risk receiving a parking charge notice.
To support our plans to gradually reopen campus, we are introducing a new interim parking permit for staff which will be valid from 7 September until social distancing measures are lifted.
- In order to obtain an interim permit, you must apply online via the via the ParkIT webpage (To access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop).
- Everyone who applies for a permit will receive one and all permits will be automatically allocated following completion of the application form.
- The number of applications will be continuously monitored and the allocation process reviewed if demand becomes too high. Any changes will be communicated directly to permit holders and all staff via the coronavirus website and all staff eNewsletters.
- All permits issued within the interim period are for this period only and will not affect applications or be carried forward beyond this.
- Interim permits cover a minimum of one month and will be automatically renewed on a monthly basis. They can be cancelled by emailing the car parking team.
Car parking charges
The cost of the interim permit is based on salary and will be deducted through University payroll monthly as detailed below:
- Salary: up to £24,461 = £18pcm
- Salary: £24,461.01 upwards = £25pcm
- Apply for a permit now using the ParkIT webpage (To access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop). If you are unable to apply online then please contact you line manager or emailing the car parking team for assistance
- Postgraduate students and researchers are not eligible for an interim permit as the deductions are taken through the University payroll.
- No parking will be available for students during core hours (7am – 5pm, Monday – Friday).
Existing annual permit holders
As an existing permit holder your permit will continue to be suspended and you will not be charged any annual deductions throughout this period. All current 2020 permit discs will not be valid for parking on campus from 7 September.
To park on campus from 7 September you must either:
- apply for an interim permit on the ParkIT webpage (To access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop); or
- pay for day parking.
We are unable to support car sharing applications at this time.
Existing motorcycle permit holders
All existing permits are being cancelled from 7 September 2020, and anyone who wants to re-apply for a motorcycle permit can do so via the ParkIT webpage (please note, you can only access this link through the Virtual Windows Desktop).
Free parking on campus ends at 7am on the 7 September and a valid permit will then be required.
Motorcycle permits are being cancelled to ensure that staff who are working from home and don’t need to park on campus are not required to pay their annual permit deductions.
Daily parking and visitors
A new daily parking rate of £5 applies to infrequent staff users parking on campus. This is available by collecting a QR code from the barrier on Woodhouse Lane between 8am – 4pm. Please bring your staff ID card with you. Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Visitor parking will be available at a cost of £7 per day and must be booked using the ParkIT webpage.
The University of Leeds will be hosting its first virtual open day over two weeks from 29 June.
The open day is a great way for prospective students to get a sense of our beautiful campus and see the fantastic learning and teaching spaces we have. Estates and Facilities have always supported the running of the open days by ensuring the campus is looking its absolute best and that all buildings are open ready for visitors. However, since the event is now a virtual open day we thought we could help showcase our incredible study spaces.
The Design Office create inspiring and engaging study space for students to work in a variety of different ways. The spaces are divided into zones using furniture solutions that encourage collaborative group work as well as quiet areas for individual study and contemplation.
We’ve recently completed a number of refurbishment projects including:
- Study spaces in the Maurice Keyworth Building,
- The Language Centre in the Parkinson Building,
- The School of Language teaching spaces on Lyddon Terrace,
- Brotherton West, in the Brotherton Library.
New building projects
As well as refurbishing current spaces we also have a number of on-going and future projects that will transform the student experience at the University of Leeds.
Sir William Henry Bragg Building
Set to open its doors to students in 2021, the new building represents a significant investment by the University in a new integrated campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences. The facility will include first-class laboratory and specialised teaching spaces, enabling cutting-edge research, and outstanding student experience, whilst enhancing the University’s research power and strengthening collaboration with industry.
Watch a fly-through of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building
The Esther Simpson Building
Phase three of a multi-million-pound project to develop new Leeds University Business School and School of Law buildings. It will be a new central teaching space for all to use and will provide technology-rich, flexible teaching spaces, lecture theatres, and trading rooms, further advancing the delivery of world-class teaching solutions.
Watch a fly-through of the Esther Simpson Building
Many of our campus development projects had been placed on hold. However, work continued on the Esther Simpson Building site whilst closely following the Public Health England recommendations.
Since most of us have been away from campus the Esther Simpson Building project has been making progress. Below is an update from the contractor BAM about what work has happened in recent months.
- Steelwork has commenced on site and we are currently building the first phase of the works. This starts from the side nearest the Substation working towards Cloberry Street. Within this element is one of the first staircases to be installed also.
- Once the first part of the frame is complete we will install nets to protect operatives before they commence installing the metal sheets which will become part of the floor structure
- Due to failure in the surface to the temporary nursery drop off bays we have organised for this to be replaced with a fresh layer to ensure longevity for the scheme.
- The next stage of structural works will require us to concrete the higher floors along with forming the basement concrete box housing the plantroom.
Watch a time-lapse of the Esther Simpson Building project.
While many of us continue to work from home there remains a core of essential workers who are maintaining campus for when we return, including the Grounds and Gardens team.
The campus based team have been busy ensuring the external estate does not become overgrown and unmanaged during lockdown. The work has included mowing the lawns, weed control, watering of the new planting that was undertaken by the team prior to lockdown.
Moving forward the Grounds and Gardens team will shortly be removing the annual bedding, unfortunately due to supply issues we will not be able to plant up the Baines Wing this summer, but the team have already placed the order for autumn delivery with Leeds City Councils Nursery at the Arium.
Sports Park Weetwood
The team at Weetwood have completed the essential annual pitch renovation programme. In normal circumstances this work usually commences in early April with the final pitch usually renovated in late June. This year the team have successfully procured grass seed that is 100% UK grown from farms in Hampshire & Suffolk. The team have been able to make the most of the natural rainfall available and good growing conditions.
The Estates handy gang team have been busy since lockdown providing support to the NHS. This has included the delivery of beds and furniture items to LGI and St James University Hospital from a storage facility on campus.
The team worked successfully with colleagues in Health & Safety, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds Institute for Cardiovascular And Metabolic Medicine to ensure the safe delivery of a Cat 2 hood from the Light Building to the Old Medical School to facilitate Covid-19 research.
During all times staff have been following social distancing guidelines where work has involved staff members working together.
A big thank you goes to the team for all their hard work during this uncertain time.
If you’re missing campus as much as we are, check out the galleries below.
Thank you to the Director of Estates, Steve Gilley, who has captured these beautiful shots of campus during the University shutdown. The majority of students and staff may not be there but campus is still full of life.
Campus in bloom
We want to recognise the effort of the different teams across Estates and Facilities for their work to support the University shutdown.
Shutting down the estate, maintaining essential services
Colleagues across Estates Operations have been busy, particularly with preparing for the closure of most buildings. They have been supporting services with staff who still need to access the campus, maintaining statutory compliance to protect buildings and remaining occupants, and also planning for the eventual re-opening of services, which in itself will be a huge undertaking. Grounds and Gardens and Handy gang staff have also been helping move, offload and store essential items, including hospital beds, in support of the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust.
The Water Hygiene team, ably assisted by volunteers from across the Maintenance team, have been working daily throughout the estate to ensure water services remain safe and secure. Similarly, the Fire Alarm team is working in the majority of buildings to maintain life safety systems protecting them against the risk of fire whilst unoccupied. The Asbestos team and Health and Safety team have also been coming on to campus for business-critical work only.
The Generating Station Complex (GSC) remains a key service provider to the University and the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust. The present crisis means that the operation of this facility is more critical than ever. Consequently, key members of the Operations team have been tasked with focusing exclusively on planning (with the contractor Engie) the continued safe operation of all services from the GSC with an emphasis on serving the hospital as the critical partner.
The lockdown does present a unique opportunity for us to better understand how energy is used across campus. The Engineering team have been working to carry out the planned shutdown of non-essential facilities to reduce the University’s energy demand to a minimum. This will help reduce wastage and running costs and help inform any future works required to address the University’s net-zero carbon challenge.
Our campus development projects have also been placed on hold. For the immediate future, we have stopped work on most of our campus developments, refurbishment and improvement projects, except for projects where the contractor feels they can safely continue whilst closely following the Public Health England recommendations. These projects include the Sir William Henry Bragg Building and The Esther Simpson Building. The teams are currently assessing the impact of delaying projects and continuing to develop ways to be in a position to tender schemes once there is more clarity about future activity on campus.
Keeping campus safe
As one of the essential services that remain working on campus during the shutdown, the Security Services have been ensuring that campus buildings and facilities remain safe and secure. Security have stepped up high visibility patrols of campus to act as a deterrent to crime and the team are managing access to buildings across campus to ensure that they are available to essential workers.
Security have also taken steps to ensure that staff and students still on campus can access face-to-face advice and support whilst still adhering to social distancing guidelines. A new 24/7 WhatsApp video call service has been set up on 07876 866747, for anyone who needs to speak directly to a security officer. If support is needed in person then the Security Office remains open as an essential service during the shutdown.
Jo Hynes, Deputy Director of Estates & Facilities Services, said: “The Security team are truly a leading example of our values. They are going above and beyond to ensure the safety of the campus and be a first point of contact for all enquiries. They’re supporting students who are still living in residences and are managing essential contractor access. All of this whilst having to work differently themselves and maintain good practice in terms of social distancing and their own safety. Thank you to all the officers and staff!
“A special thanks as well from the whole security team to Catering Services and Bev Kenny. They have very kindly provided meals throughout this period, making the officers feel appreciated. In the current circumstances gestures like this help a lot!”
Managing health and safety
Colleagues from Health and Safety Services have also been supporting work across the FD from managing contractor access and induction at the beginning of the shutdown to developing and managing risk assessments for the essential activities that teams are performing. They have also developed proactive guidance on health-related issues and how best to accommodate the demands of working remotely.
Helpdesk, Office Support and Car Parking
To prepare for the relocation of FD staff from campus to working from home, the Office Support team have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to ensure that we have had sufficient IT hardware and access to software. The team are continuing to support with day-to-day activities of the FD, which includes ensuring staff are kept up to date during these fast-moving events, logging urgent work orders onto SAP and maintaining records of completion dates which are critical to ensuring that the physical infrastructure of the University is maintained during this shutdown.
To help support NHS staff working at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, the FD has offered free use of the parking facilities on campus. This will enable more NHS staff to travel to the hospital via car and avoid the risks of travelling on public transport during the current lockdown. The car parks are also now free to use for any University staff who are still coming onto campus as essential workers during the shutdown.
Keeping campus clean
Cleaning Services continue to have a cohort of staff who are providing essential support to activities that are still taking place on campus. This includes areas such as the Dental Hospital and Worsley Building, laboratories being used to support the NHS’s efforts to combat coronavirus and buildings where other essential staff are working. The team continue to manage the clinical waste process on campus, as well as ensuring external areas of campus are kept clean and tidy.
In the coming weeks, the team will be working on a plan to remobilise the campus for when the current isolation rules are lifted. These plans will include a standard deep clean to ensure that all University students and staff have the best experience when they arrive back on campus.
Impact on Central Teaching Space
The team are constantly in touch and are busy working from home. As the University determines how teaching will be delivered in the first semester of the new academic year the team will be assessing the impact on central teaching space facilities and the potential increased demand for lecture capture and live streaming facilities.
Planned refurbishments of teaching spaces have been paused and using data from the Condition Audit and from Timetabling, consideration will be given to maximise the best use of space.
Updates on the University response to Coronavirus can be found at coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk
We are delighted to announce that our services in the Facilities Directorate have received re accreditation of the Customer Service Excellence ® (CSE), a government standard that recognises an organisation’s commitment to putting customers first.
Following a tremendously busy year in 2019 services in the FD have worked harder than ever to deliver continuous improvement on their existing compliance plus status. Earlier in March the Services received a one-day surveillance visit from the CSE accreditor who looked over this year’s submission and met with colleagues to find out more about the great work that is taking place.
Jo Hynes, Deputy Director Estates and Facilities commented:
“I would like to thank and congratulate all our staff across Campus Support Services, Catering and Events Management, Marketing and Communications and Sport and Physical Activity. This achievement is testament to everyone’s continued hard work and commitment to deliver excellent service to our customers. This year, we have achieved compliance plus across a further 10 accreditation criteria. This is a fantastic result and demonstrates our ability to deliver continuous excellence.”
Our Services received compliance plus and additional praise for the following:
We use reliable and accurate methods to measure customer satisfaction on a regular basis.
We analyse and publicise satisfaction levels for the full range of customers for all main areas of our service and we have improved services as a result.
We have made positive changes to services as a result of analysing customer experience, including improved customer journeys.
There is corporate commitment to putting the customer at the heart of service delivery and leaders in our organisation actively support this and advocate for customers.
We empower and encourage all employees to actively promote and participate in the customer-focused culture of our organisation.
We can demonstrate our commitment to developing and delivering customer focused services through our recruitment, training and development policies for staff.
We provide our customers with the information they need in ways which meet their needs and preferences, using a variety of appropriate channels.
We take reasonable steps to make sure our customers have received and understood the information we provide.
We have improved the range, content and quality of verbal, published and web-based information we provide to ensure it is relevant and meets the needs of customers.
We identify individual customer needs at the first point of contact with us and ensure that an appropriate person who can address the reason for contact deals with the customer.
Read through the brochure that supported our accreditation
Free Parking on campus for students and staff from 18 March, 5 pm until further notice.
From 5 pm on 18 March, all University students and staff will be able to park free of charge on campus until further notice. This includes the multi-storey car park (except the 8th floor) and all other car parking facilities on campus.
- Staff – you will need your vehicle(s) to be registered on the ParkIT system if you’ve not done so already. If coming to campus, this can easily be done once on campus via the ParkIt website
- Students – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not already registered for out of hours parking
Visitors to the campus will also be able to use our parking facilities anytime, at standard rates. Please visit https://estates.leeds.ac.uk/our-services/car-parking/visitor-parking/