The building, which will be home to engineering undergraduates, has an aluminium diamond shaped facade exterior. It stands at the heart of the University campus as a major investment in learning and teaching.
Inside, the six-storey Diamond boasts specialist teaching facilities including a range of lecture theatres, seminar rooms, open-plan learning spaces, library and IT services, and space for informal study including a cafe.
Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome our students into the Diamond for the first time today.
“The building offers them a unique learning experience and exemplifies the University’s commitment to see engineering and high value manufacturing at the heart of the region’s economic future.
“We believe the Diamond will offer the best multidisciplinary engineering teaching space in the UK, it is truly a world class university building.”
The building’s 19 laboratories will offer students more practical learning opportunities with a chemical engineering pilot plant, a clean room, an aerospace simulation lab and a virtual reality suite.
The Diamond’s computing area offers 1,000 study spaces available 24/7 for staff and students across the University. There are also digital and print facilities, media editing booths, a recording studio and computer teaching laboratories.
Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management at the University, said:
“The building will add to our world-class estate, providing our students with world-class facilities. The Diamond has been designed as a “smart” building allowing detailed control of energy management, and includes a central naturally ventilated atrium and rainwater harvesting. The building has been delivered on time and in budget.”
Building work on the Diamond was completed to schedule by contractors Balfour Beatty who started the project in autumn 2013.