New home for biomedical science education officially open

The Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building.
The Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building.

At the core of education is the ability to excite and stimulate students, to challenge them to strive for greatness and to inspire them to change the world.

The new Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building (BLTB) is a building that encapsulates this purpose; the innovative and thoughtful design, purpose-built lab spaces that transcend traditional lab-based teaching spaces and the sophisticated use of technology all come together to provide our staff and students with the best possible environment for education.

The BLTB was officially opened by Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Monash’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Mitchell AO, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Professor John Carroll, Director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) on Tuesday 25 June.

More than 170 guests attended the opening ceremony, which began with a Welcome to Country from Mr David Johnston, a Boon Wurrung man, on behalf of Aunty Carolyn Briggs.

L-R: Professor Christina Mitchell AO, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor John Carroll, Director, Monash BDI, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, President and Vice-Chancellor Monash University. As the Master of Ceremonies, Professor Carroll welcomed distinguished guests and other attendees, and spoke of the opening of the BLTB as the realisation of a vision.

What’s in the building? It can accommodate 1200 students in four flexi-labs, 200 in small teaching spaces and there’s plenty of open-plan informal collaborative workspaces.

“But the real story is the labs,” said Professor Carroll.

“This is the lab space for modern times. We’ve worked to create a space for students to collaborate together. We’re retracting away from individual learning and investing in the future by making a commitment to training our students in discovery and knowledge creation, and – most importantly – critical thinking,” he said.

There is an entire floor dedicated to the Centre for Human Anatomy Education, equipped with the latest anatomical teaching infrastructure – from 3D-printed replicas with veins and nerves accurate to within the breadth of a human hair to SECTRA tables that can display phenomenal 3D quality images on multi-touch visualisation screens.

“We now have a space to bring together state-of-the-art concepts and equipment to train the next generation of scientists, doctors and well informed members of society.”

“During this first semester of the building’s operation, it has been a privilege to see the space come to life with the vibrancy of our Guests at the official opening of the BLTB. staff and students, to witness it adopt a life of its own.”

Professor Carroll went on to thank the key stakeholders involved in the project, including those involved in the design and construction, key individuals and teams from Monash, and academics and professionals from the Monash BDI who all came together to bring the project to life.

Professor Mitchell spoke of the significance the building will have on training the health workforce of Victoria including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

“It is very important to provide our students with a world-class education and facilities for our trainee doctors and nurses,” Professor Mitchell said.

Professor Gardner emphasised that this is much more than ‘just’ a building - that buildings shape people's experiences, including how they work and learn, and have a profound impact on connection of person to place.

“This is a beautiful, striking addition to the campus,” Professor Gardner said.

Plaque celebrating the official opening of the BLTB. “This new Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building is part of exciting renewal and enhancement of the campus. It has all the hallmarks of innovative design,” she said. "Providing spaces in which state-of-the-art learning and teaching can thrive–where boundaries can be challenged and where innovative thinking is encouraged and supported. This building delivers five floors of the most pedagogically-advanced biomedical learning and teaching spaces.”

After the plaque reveal, the guests were invited to take part in tours of the building, led in small groups by volunteer staff and students.

You can find out more about the building’s features by reading this article. View a time-lapse of construction here.

Special thanks

A project of this significance would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions from the following teams:

  • Denton Corker Marshall, architects
  • Aspect Studios, landscape architects
  • Donald Cant Watts Corke, project management support
  • Multiplex Australia, design and construction
  • Russell Elliot, Associate to the Chief Operating Officer, Monash
  • Shelley Penn, university architect
  • Professor Shane Murray, Dean, Monash Art, Design and Architecture
  • Buildings and Property Division, Bradley Williamson and Christina DePellegrin
  • Professor Kris Ryan and the Education Innovation Team
  • Professor Phillip Bird
  • Professor Paul McMenamin
  • Academic leads from each Monash BDI Department: Liz Davis, Mark Prescott, Priscilla Johanesen, Helen Abud, Jane Black, Kate Denton and Frank Alderuccio
  • Cheryl Roberts and Ann Bohte, together with the entire Biomedical Teaching Technical Support Team

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.