Leading businessman and philanthropist Len Ainsworth made a substantial donation towards the construction of the new School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering precinct at UNSW.
The major capital project will see the construction of a new building and renovation of two adjacent buildings, creating over 14,000m² of state-of-the-art floor space. The Ainsworth Building is expected to open in January 2015.
Len Ainsworth is the Executive Chairman of ASX-listed Ainsworth Game Technology and Founder and Director of The Ainsworth Foundation. Addressing guests at the University's Construction Commencement Ceremony for the precinct recently, the successful businessman said he took ‘great satisfaction in being able to give a little bit away here and there’.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer said Mr Ainsworth's donation for the new School precinct went right to the heart of the University and to Len's character. According to Professor Hilmer, innovation is one of the things that really characterises Len's career and it's only fitting that the new building reflects that same notion.
Dean of Engineering, Professor Graham Davies noted his shared passion for design and manufacturing with Mr Ainsworth.
Emphasising the need for Australia to have a strong manufacturing base, Professor Davies said that the School taught about 1600 Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering students, helping to create a new skilled workforce that will be able to develop new high-value manufacturing technologies for the country. He added that the new buildings were absolutely essential for the training of those students.
Mt Ainsworth’s involvement with the Faculty started a few years ago with his sponsorship of the Mechanical and Manufacturing Design Studio, which is still in place and has become the model for other universities.
The Head of the School, Professor Anne Simmons thanked Mr Ainsworth not only for his generous donation but also for his unwavering support for mechanical engineering, manufacturing and design in Australia.
NSW MP Mark Speakman SC delivered a message of congratulations from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was on a trade mission in Asia.