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University of Greenwich's Medway campus in Chatham opens three new science buildings


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Three new state-of-the-art science buildings have been completed at Greenwich university.

The sites were opened by vice chancellor, Professor Jane Harrington, on its Medway campus in Chatham just in time for this year's intake of students.

Prof Jane Harrington (middle) cuts ribbon opening the new agronomy lab. Picture: Univeristy of Greenwich
Prof Jane Harrington (middle) cuts ribbon opening the new agronomy lab. Picture: Univeristy of Greenwich

An agronomy laboratory, a food product development space and a climate change greenhouse have been completed as part of the campus's improvements.

The buildings have already benefited from important food, crop and climate work conducted by scientists at the Natural Resource Institute (NRI).

The organisation's research facilities manager, Simon Springate, who oversaw the construction of the greenhouses, said: "The new greenhouse will be crucial to our research on growing drought-tolerant plants, something that is going to become more important as the planet heats up.

"We have five experimental compartments with temperature, humidity and lighting control."

Inside the new climate change greenhouse. Picture: University of Greenwich
Inside the new climate change greenhouse. Picture: University of Greenwich
Professors have a briefing outside climate change greenhouse. Picture: University of Greenwich
Professors have a briefing outside climate change greenhouse. Picture: University of Greenwich

The greenhouse sits between the other original structures.

NRI associate professor.of agronomy, Jonne Rodenburg, who was leading the agronomy laboratory development, said: "It is closely linked to the new greenhouse. Here we can process and measure the plant materials and soils derived from it, as well as from farmers’ fields."

The new facilities, built within the existing Royal Navy-era buildings, will greatly aid advanced scientific research.

From left: Prof Jane Harrington watches as a student demonstrates how to use the new technology in agronomy lab. Picture: University of Greenwich (51513201)
From left: Prof Jane Harrington watches as a student demonstrates how to use the new technology in agronomy lab. Picture: University of Greenwich (51513201)
From left: Student, Vijesh Vikraman, prepares food made from cassava in new food product development lab. Picture: University of Greenwich
From left: Student, Vijesh Vikraman, prepares food made from cassava in new food product development lab. Picture: University of Greenwich

The food innovation space is being used to work closely with entrepreneurs to create products and improve on those already existing.

Dr Richard Fuchs said: "It will also serve as a teaching space, where students will be taught the process of developing new products as part of their degree programme. It is an exciting addition to our infrastructure and will enable us to work even more closely with local food entrepreneurs."

Construction began in 2020 continuing through the lockdowns and was completed this year.

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Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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