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Inside our new Engineering Building: The Makerspace

Inside our new Engineering Building: The Makerspace

by Newcastle University

We are transforming our historic Stephenson into a home for the next generation of visionary engineers to come together and create the technology of tomorrow. Opening in September 2023, our Makerspace will be a truly creative and collaborative environment in which students can thrive. 


A time of regeneration 

The regeneration of our Stephenson Building captures its 70 years of history and is transforming it into a centre of future innovation. A place for future engineers, researchers, designers, and visionaries to collaborate and tackle world challenges together. 

From inclusive education spaces to multi-purpose teaching laboratories, our new engineering building will offer a world-class experience for academics, researchers and students alike. 

The Stephenson building will enable me to interact with like-minded students, exchange ideas, and acquire skills that will be important in my future job thanks to new, flexible areas for studying, socialising, and working on group projects. 

Jacky Lam 

Geospatial Surveying and Mapping student 

A key aspect of the development is the Makerspace, a place where students and staff can gather to work on design and fabrication projects whilst sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. Makerspaces provide a space for students to develop practical and collaborative skills whilst working on projects which may be part of the curriculum or self-motivated. 


View of the Makerspace being built

Who is the new Makerspace for? 

If you’re interested in becoming an engineer of tomorrow, then the Makerspace is for you. 

The new Maker Space – a student-centered zone for interdisciplinary collaboration, creativity and entrepreneurship – is something I'm greatly looking forward to! The first year as a 'General Engineering' student showed us how connected the various disciplines actually are, and thus the importance of revising and working on projects together. Our lecturers and the curriculum design already foster this, and now it's exciting that we will have a space designed just for it. I'd want to plan a meet up with my first year project team to see whether we'd like to remodel our mini-wind turbine, which was our first year project! 

Babirye Damalie Kayondo 

Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Year 2 

The main users of the new Makerspace will be School of Engineering students. But the goal for the space is that any member of the Newcastle University community should be able to bring an idea to the Makerspace for advice and support in how they can go about designing and making it. 

There will be regular opportunities for students to be trained in the use of specific equipment, in particular at the start of the academic year. Once trained, users of the Makerspace will be able to book time on the machines they have been trained on. Makerspace availability will be advertised across the School of Engineering and wider University, and there will be regular open days and drop-in sessions for potential lab users. 

Some projects will be predominantly student led, following the Formula Student model, whilst others will have an academic and/or technical lead.   


What equipment will it have? 

The New STB Makerspace will focus on mechanical design and manufacture, with some capability for mechatronics. An initial set of equipment will include 3D printers, laser cutters, pillar drills, routers, band saws, glue guns, sewing machines (for composite materials), hand tools, and a soldering station.  

One thing I am especially excited for, is the redeveloped Stephenson Building at the heart of the Newcastle University campus. The new site will include student-centred spaces such as the new Makerspace which will be incredibly useful for studying and group work due to the large open spaces. Not only this, but this space promotes creativity which will be beneficial for not only engineering but many other disciplines.  

May McConnell 

Civil and Structural Engineering Student – 2nd year 

The Makerspace will not remain static, either. It’ll continue to evolve over time to meet the needs of students and collaborators. It’ll be a living space for the engineers of the future to grow. 


Makerspaces like this one in the University's Urban Sciences Building can be places where new combinations of tech and materials come together.

Interested in finding out more about studying Engineering at Newcastle? 

Engineering shapes the future all around us. 

We’ve brought together the brightest minds, from academia and industry, to develop the engineers of tomorrow. 

You'll work alongside experts in their field who are tackling major global challenges, such as climate change, sustainable energy, transport, clean water supply, and waste management. 

As one of our student engineers, you’ll gain practical experience and engage with industry professionals. You’ll also work on sustainable projects as a member of a multidisciplinary team. 

Newcastle is where great innovators such as Armstrong, Stephenson, Merz, and Swan developed ideas that changed the world. Be part of our next generation of world-leading engineers and study a range of engineering disciplines, such as: 

Start imagining yourself here, and find out more about the Stephenson redevelopment. 

Are you the future of engineering? Click here to find out