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Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has joined businessman and philanthropist Len Ainsworth to open the new Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering precinct at UNSW.

Mr Turnbull toured the new facility with President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs and Dr Ainsworth, whose substantial donations to UNSW Engineering helped make the $67 million redevelopment possible.

“Everything has a background in engineering,” Dr Ainsworth said. “My gift has helped UNSW educate our next generation of engineers.”

The new Ainsworth Building forms the cornerstone of the precinct, which features state-of-the-art refrigeration, laser and mechatronics labs, as well as wind tunnels, a flight simulator, and machines for tensile and compression testing.


The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull and Len Ainsworth tour the new Ainsworth Building and lab spaces (Credit: Grant Turner)

The precinct also boasts innovative design studios and teaching spaces, and a solar thermal energy system on its roof, which doubles as a working lab.

It will cater to 1600 mechanical engineering undergraduates, 200 postgraduate coursework students and 130 research students.

The Dean of UNSW Engineering, Professor Mark Hoffman, said Dr Ainsworth’s generosity had pushed the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering forward as an industry leader. 

“The facilities enhance students’ experiences, increase industry interaction, help us attract the best researchers and academics and, of course, pave the way for significant research advancement.”

Read more on the UNSW Engineering website.