Nobel name for new science building

Artist impression of The Braggs

Artist impression of The Braggs
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The University of Adelaide's new science and research building was named after two of its greatest alumni at a topping out ceremony on the North Terrace Campus today.

The new building, which will house the University's world-leading Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and other science teaching and research facilities, has been named 'The Braggs' after father and son joint 1915 Nobel Laureates, Sir William Henry Bragg and his son, Sir William Lawrence Bragg.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha AO said: "After considerable discussion and consultation we decided there can be no better name for a building dedicated to the advancement of science, than the name of two of our greatest science alumni.

"I'm delighted to name this building, The Braggs, after these such distinguished scientists whose work has made a tremendous impact across many disciplines of modern science and medicine."

Professor McWha was joined by Senator the Honourable Don Farrell, Senator for South Australia and Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, and IPAS Director Professor Tanya Monro, in placing a Banksia tree at the top of the building in the traditional topping out ritual symbolising growth and good luck.

Sir William Henry Bragg spent 22 years at the University of Adelaide, as Elder Professor of Mathematics and Physics from 1886 to 1908, and his pioneering work with X-rays and radium started at the University of Adelaide.

Sir Lawrence Bragg graduated from the University of Adelaide in mathematics in 1908, and in 1915 won the Nobel Prize jointly with his father, Sir William. Together they worked out how to determine the molecular structure of crystals using x-rays. Sir Lawrence Bragg remains the youngest scientist ever to win the Nobel Prize, at 25.

Their research has influenced modern science and its applications, in medicine, physics, chemistry and biological sciences including determining the structures of proteins and DNA, and their techniques are routinely used in many industries including the development of new drugs and chemicals and in the minerals industry.

'The Braggs' is expected to be completed early in 2013. As well as unique specialised laboratories for IPAS, it will contain a large lecture theatre, two floors of state-of-the-art teaching laboratories and additional student and staff space - more than 10,000 square metres of research and teaching facilities.

The building was designed by BVN Architecture and is being constructed by Baulderstone.


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