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UFS launches expansions to Biotechnology Building
2015-11-04

     

Biotechnology Building
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

To support the strategic focus of the University of the Free State (UFS) on teaching and learning in the field of Biotechnology, the Department of Microbial, Biochemical, and Food Biotechnology introduced upgrades and additions to the value of R23 million to the existing Biotechnology Building on its Bloemfontein Campus. The funding was provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

The new section, together with renovations to the existing part of the Biotechnology Building, was opened on Thursday 29 October 2015.

The Department, consisting of three disciplines - Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Food Biotechnology - is extremely diverse. Two of the three disciplines – Microbiology and Biochemistry – are housed in the Biotechnology Building.

Additions and renovations to the Biotechnology Building include:
-    Four new research laboratories
-    Nine revamped research laboratories

      

At the launch of the Biotechnology Building were,
from the left: Nico Janse van Rensburg,
Senior Director: University Estates;
Maureen Khati, University Estates,
Prof Nicky Morgan, Vice Rector: Operations
and Ria Deysel, Director: Facilities Management.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

The work to the building will have dramatic effects on the quality, as well as the quantity, of postgraduate students. Given the national priority to deliver students, this is very important, particularly at the doctorate level.

Prof Koos Albertyn from the Department said these were the first renovations and expansions done to the building since 1 January 1990. “We welcome the extra space. Forty-six more postgraduate students can now be accommodated in the department,” he said.

Construction took place on the south-western corner of the existing building. Further developments to the building include:
-    Six new offices
-    A lecture hall for 70 students
-    Laboratories that can accommodate 56 postgraduate students

Prof Martie Smit, Academic Head of the Department, said: “This new and refurbished facility enables us to give our best. As academics, we are committed to doing our part in delivering high-quality education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to students envisaging a future in biotechnology.”

The James Charles du Preez Seminar Room was also opened at the event. The seminar room is dedicated to Prof Du Preez – who was Head of the Department from October 2002 until the end of 2014. He played a major role in raising funds for upgrading the Biotechnology Building, including the addition of a new wing.



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