Engineering Building Scheduled to Open Semester Two
Construction of the new Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences building, WZ, will be complete in April and open for classes on day one of Semester Two, according to Professor Enrico Haemmerle, the Dean of Engineering and Head of School of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences.
The pedestrian path connecting St. Paul Street and Mount Street will also open day one of Semester Two.
Although the building was planned to open Semester One this year, Professor Haemmerle says the project was delayed due to challenges with demolishing the carpark that was there originally.
“There was a small delay with decommissioning the carpark. Initially we hoped to have it open first semester, but it just took longer to take down the carpark than anticipated.”
According to Professor Haemmerle, WZ is the biggest investment AUT has made on one building. He says this investment reflects the department’s growth and need for a more collaborative space.
The growth in the department arises from the engineering, computer and mathematical sciences faculties joining together two years ago. In recent years, the school also introduced several new programmes, including construction and architectural engineering, as well as mechatronics and software engineering.
Professor Haemmerle says these new programmes and steady growth in general has made the faculty the second largest school in the university.
“We have over 3,000 EFTS (Equivalent Full-time Students), and in terms of revenue, we’re likely the largest at AUT. Also, about a quarter of all PhD students at the university are in our School.
“This is why we needed the new building; to provide space for these students and also bring some of the different students together in one location.”
The new City Campus building is road-facing on both Symonds Street and St. Paul Street. Professor Haemmerle says the position, as well as the special design of the building, will open the classrooms up to the public and showcase what the university does.
The building will have a café and new workspaces for students. The level 3 project room will also have a digital ceiling that allows every light point to be monitored individually, providing a range of user and environmental feedback about the building.
In regards to the name of the building, WZ, Professor Haemmerle says it has no significance, but was the only letter left on the City Campus that could be used.