James Watt Engineering Building


The James Watt Engineering Buildings are named after the famous engineer, James Watt, mathematical instrument maker to the University from 1756 to 1764. The original building was however instigated by Professor Archibald Barr, who had advocated the provision of an engineering laboratory at the University since 1891. Having persuaded local industrialists and charitable bodies to contribute £40,000 towards the construction of the new laboratories and £14,000 to equip them, building work commenced in 1899. John Oldrid Scott acted as architectural adviser to the architectural designs of John James Burnet.

The building was opened by Lord Kelvin on Thursday 3 September 1901 as part of the International Engineering Congress hosted by the University.

Burnet provided designs for additions to the building in 1908 and in 1920 a new laboratory was added over the main workshop with a Treasury grant. In 1954 construction work for an extension began on the site of the old Chemistry laboratory known as the Abbot's Kitchen. The architects were John Keppie, Henderson & JL Gleave, who added the 2-storey brick extension. The new facility was opened to staff and students in September 1958, and the building was inaugurated by Viscount Montgomery of Alamein on 4 November 1959.

The James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC) is located in the James Watt Building and was built in 2005 to house all the micro and nanofabrication facilities at the University of Glasgow in a single clean room. The clean room houses over £25M of nanofabrication tools.


James Watt Engineering Building
G12 8QQ
Record last updated: 15th May 2015