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Turf cut on Hadyn Ellis Building

19 May 2011

Dr Grant and Mrs EllisVice-Chancellor Dr David Grant and Professor Ellis' wife, Diane, cut the first turf on the site of the Hadyn Ellis Building

The first turf has been cut on the site of the University’s flagship new research building, named in honour of the late Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hadyn Ellis.

The Hadyn Ellis Building will be a striking landmark development, at the heart of the University’s new Maindy Park research campus. The £30M Building will house highly advanced facilities for some of the University’s world-leading interdisciplinary scientific teams, including the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, and the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics. The ground floor will include an attractive public area for lectures, displays and conferences about the University’s work.

Professor Hadyn Ellis was highly influential in the development of the University until his death in 2006. Educated at St Julian’s High School, Newport, he was appointed as Head of Cardiff’s School of Psychology in 1989. In his own field, he was a pioneer in the cognitive psychology of face recognition. He published ground-breaking research on prosopagnosia – the inability to recognise faces following brain injury.

Professor Ellis became Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research in 1994. This period saw the University double its research income and shoot up the national league tables for research. These achievements were crucial to Cardiff entering the elite Russell Group of research-led universities.

Appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2001, Professor Ellis played a key role in the merger with the University of Wales College of Medicine. During this period he was able to expand the University’s base of interdisciplinary research. He was awarded a CBE for his services to Higher Education in 2004.

Professor Hadyn EllisProfessor Hadyn Ellis

At a special ceremony, Professor Ellis’ wife, Diane, and the University Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, cut the first turf on the site of the Hadyn Ellis Building. The ceremony marks the start of the transformation of Maindy Park into a campus of six or seven high quality research buildings, due to take shape over the next two decades.

Dr Grant said: "Professor Hadyn Ellis was an internationally distinguished academic and a highly regarded Deputy Vice-Chancellor until his untimely death in 2006. He was an active champion of interdisciplinary research excellence, which the Maindy Park campus will foster. He also played an early, important role in the creation of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, for which the Hadyn Ellis Building will now provide a modern, well-equipped home. We believe it is entirely fitting that this new building should bear his name."

The University aims to achieve BREEAM "excellent" status for the sustainability of the Hadyn Ellis Building. The architects are Nightingale Associates and BAM Construction has been appointed to construct the building.