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James Hehir Building

The James Hehir Building is a six storey, 4013m building which is a few minutes walk from the main Waterfront Building.

This £21m building is home to specialist teaching facilities including clinical skills laboratories, physiology and sports science laboratories, and an iLab, as well as general teaching and study space and Cult Café Bar, which is open to students, staff and the general public.

The first and second floors offer students an iLab, informal learning spaces and a clinical skills area. The third floor caters for both staff and students with an open plan office accommodating staff and an exercise lab. The fourth floor is the final area used by students offering state-of-the-art science laboratories.

  • Completed within budget at £21m and to the timescale of 18 months.
  • Stands at six storeys and 4013m.
  • Features 10 Team Mate lecterns across the building.
  • A bespoke nursing camera solution installed to record assessment videos, one of the first universities to trial this solution for nursing and midwifery.

Ground Floor

Opened in August 2013, Cult Café Bar is a social hub for staff and students, as well as being open to visiting members of the public. The café offers home cooked, locally produced diner style food, as well as a wide variety of local beverages. The venue runs a range of events, including live music, sports and film screenings and themed parties. Visit for opening hours, events and more information.

First Floor

The first floor of the James Hehir Building is home to the iLab (Innovation laboratory); an inspirational facility designed for group work, which transports users from their everyday environment into an extraordinary space encouraging creative thinking and problem solving.The i-Lab will be used for anything from team-building and problem-solving to strategic planning and development of creative ideas.There is also a general teaching room and informal learning space where students are able to access computers and printing facilities.

Second Floor

Teaching - Undergraduate and postgraduate students from Nursing, Midwifery, Radiotherapy, Operation Department Practitioners (ODP) and Social Care have the opportunity to learn and develop clinical skills within three large practical rooms.

Students will get the opportunity to learn and enhance practical skills through a variety of learning and teaching methods such as simulation, which are designed to link theory with practice. Although the rooms are interchangeable for teaching purposes, they also offer certain specific features which are tailored to help meet the needs of the specialities found within each profession.

The second floor of the building contains a dedicated consultation room with a joining observation area incorporating a one way mirror. This allows students to practise their counselling and interviewing skills particularly within Mental Health, Nursing and Social Care. One room is predominantly to be used as an acute area for adult nursing; Midwifery and Child Health nursing students. In addition to this, there is a purpose built anaesthetic room for ODP students. Specialised equipment is accessible to all students for teaching and updating moving and handling skills. This area also contains a purpose built home room to allow clinical skills to be developed in a home environment.

A tutorial room allows the delivery of theoretical based sessions linked with developing practical clinical skills. It also serves as a briefing and debriefing room when conducting staged simulation scenarios which are utilised to develop interpersonal skills in addition to practical clinical activities. This form of learning and teaching is supported by the presence of integral recording equipment through ceiling mounted cameras and microfilms in four of the Clinical Skills Centres. There are also three high fidelity computerised manikins, two adult and one baby, which enhance the development of safe practice as well as relevant hospital beds and equipment to create an contextualised environment for learning.

Third Floor

Teaching, Research and Consultancy - The suite of rooms located on the third floor of the James Hehir Building comprise the Human Physiology Laboratories; this includes the main Physiology laboratory, Blood working and Analytical laboratory, Consultancy and Meeting room, Showers and Equipment storage space.

Providing a wide range of industry standard equipment and technology, the laboratories are equipped to measure physical and physiological function at rest and during exercise. Bespoke IT, audiovisual and communication systems designed to enhance the student learning environment are also available. In all, these new facilities help develop graduates who have the underlying scientific theory and practical skills required to work in a real world context.

The laboratories are designed to facilitate research and consultancy portfolio at the University of Suffolk.The focus of the research projects conducted is in the domain of Healthy Ageing and Performance Development. Students are also engaged in the research projects which helps underpin the teaching and learning.

The new facility also enables the University to offer a full range of Scientific Support Services for sports men and women, using cardiorespiratory assessment equipment, treadmills and cycle ergometers, force plates, body composition assessment tools and biological fluid analysis equipment.

Staff Offices and Common Space - The third flood reception area is a common space where staff and students can sit and relax or have informal meetings.There is also a staff office which is home to academic staff including lectures and members of the Research team.The office has a 17 work station capacity, a meeting room, photocopy room, staff kitchen and a stunning view of the marina.

Fourth Floor

Teaching - Undergraduate and postgraduate students have the opportunity to learn and develop practical science skills within the 50 person Bioscience laboratory. Students have the opportunity to utilise these practical skills in a variety of analytical and biochemical techniques that are designed to underpin the knowledge and information they are given in lectures.

As well as the standard laboratory equipment, there is a range of specialist equipment that facilitates high quality practical skills teaching. This includes:

  • Molecular imaging for gene expression analysis;
  • DNA amplification;
  • Gas Chromatography (GC) analysis of the fat content of foods;
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) measurement of caffeine in beverages;
  • Preparation, microscopic observation and study of tissue samples.

Recent student projects have included analysis of human breast milk for nutrient content, the effect of dietary supplements on the antioxidant capacity of human blood and the function of probiotics.

Research - The Biotechnology Unit is also located on the fourth floor of the James Hehir Building. The Unit, which was created with support from Suffolk County Council and the East of England Development Agency, has attracted academic and commercial sector partners. Accommodating 20 research staff, the Unit is undertaking cutting edge research in regenerative medicine. This activity also underpins teaching and learning at the University and will provide much sought after skills in the new and exciting area of body part building.

State-of-the-art equipment is available for:

  • Large scale high end cell culture facilities;
  • Time lapse microscopy;
  • Automated microscopy for high throughput cell analysis;
  • Laser capture micro-dissection for single cell analysis;
  • Real time gene expression analysis;
  • Tissue processing including cryosectioning and mosaic imaging.

The James Hehir Building is located adjacent to Athena Hall, the on campus 600-bed student residence.

University Quay will continue to develop over the coming years with future modules of the academic building including an extensive library and learning resources centre.