Royal visit for official opening of new Graduate Centre
HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London, officially opened the new Graduate Centre at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) on Tuesday 13 June 2017.
The seven-storey building includes 7,700 square metres of new learning and teaching space, a new home for the Doctoral College, and a dedicated study space – complete with panoramic views of London – for graduate students.
The £39m building will also be home to the School of Economics and Finance, with some 45 academic members of staff and a 1,300-strong student cohort, ranging from undergraduate to post-doctoral researchers. The Graduate Centre includes a 200-seat Peston Lecture Theatre, named in memory of Maurice Peston, who founded the School of Economics and Finance at QMUL.
At the start of the visit The Princess Royal met architects Wilkinson Eyre, the designers of the Graduate Centre, and heard from a group of PhD students who presented an overview of their research. Accompanied by Professor Simon Gaskell, President and Principal of QMUL, The Princess then met Professor Thomas Dixon, who introduced his team from the award-winning Centre for the History of Human Emotions. As part of their presentation they demonstrated the History of Lost Emotions Machine, which they use to engage young people and members of the public with their research.
The party was then introduced to Dr Francesco Fasani, a lecturer at the School of Economics and Finance whose research is focused on labour and migration. Dr Fasani spoke about the catastrophic situation in Syria, which has forced more than 12.5 million people to leave their homes. He said that while half of those who fled are still in Syria, the 6 million who left the country are mostly now living in neighbouring countries. This he said, is putting significant strain on the region amid an already turbulent period in Middle Eastern politics.
The Princess was then given a real-time demonstration of the new economics trading lab, which uses software to simulate a trading floor environment.
The party then moved to the Peston Lecture Theatre and concluded with a stone plaque unveiling in the entrance of the Graduate Centre and a reception where the Princess met staff from across the university including the Centre for Public Engagement and Centre for the Study of Childhood Culture (Museum of Childhood).
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