Pictured (left to right): Martin Gallagher (Deeley Construction), Steven Brown (University of Warwick, Dinu Iuga (University of Warwick)

Work on a new extension to a laboratory building at the University of Warwick to house a colossal magnet that will be used for cutting-edge national research has been completed.
Coventry contractor and developer Deeley Construction has handed over the extension to the Millburn House based Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility after completing the £950,000 construction contract.

The single-storey extension features a lobby, plantroom and an NMR hall.

It will house the UK’s first 1 GHz solid-state NMR spectrometer – which is built around an incredibly powerful magnet – that will be used by scientists from across the UK in research for a range of applications and industries including pharmaceuticals, drug delivery and materials research.

The whole project was made possible by £8 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of a wider £20 million investment in the cutting-edge technology across the country.

Deeley Construction completed the project in a controlled environment due to the close proximity of the other academic departments. The wider project team included Ridge & Partners (employers’ representative), BMJ Architects, CPW (consultant M&E design engineers) and Scott White & Hookins (structural engineers).

Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, said: “As a company, we have worked on many varied projects and this extension at Millburn House is a further example of that. I’ve certainly developed my understanding of NMR technology!

“The project has been delivered via the University’s Lot 1 contractors framework which made it a very strong partnership between everyone involved and that is always the best way to produce a positive result, which is exactly what we have here.

“As a Coventry-based company, we are very proud to have played a part in this nationally significant research facility that will bring scientists from all over the country to the University of Warwick.”

Professor Steven Brown in the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics and Director of the UK High-Field Solid-State NMR Facility, said: “The Millburn House based Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Centre at the University of Warwick is the largest solid-state NMR laboratory in the UK which currently houses the 850 MHz High Field National Facility.

“As part of the EPSRC/BBSRC research councils’ initiative to expand the national high field solid-state NMR capability, a state-of-the-art 1 GHz instrument is being added to the Millburn House Facility to enhance the research profile and international competitiveness of the UK biological, pharmaceutical and materials research programmes.

“Deeley was tasked with the construction of a new wing to the Millburn House Magnetic Resonance Centre, which has been constructed to house the new Bruker 1 GHz solid-state NMR instrument.”