University opens new state of the art engineering laboratories thanks to widow’s gift in memory of her husband

4 April 2019

A substantial donation from the widow of a University of Hertfordshire alum has enabled two new science and engineering laboratories to open at the University, providing innovative facilities for future generations of scientists and engineers.

Libby Calder made the donation from the estate of her late husband Duncan Calder, who sadly died in 2015. It has now enabled The Duncan Calder Virtual Engineering and the Duncan Calder Materials Microscopy Laboratories to open in his name.

The money has also been used to fund two PhD Scholarships and has transformed the research capacity within the School of Engineering and Technology. It means the University’s scientists and engineers of the future now have a virtual environment - mirroring that of industry, in which to design cars and airplanes and solve complex modern-day engineering problems.

Mrs Calder’s hugely generous donation in the name of her husband has ensured that hundreds of engineering undergraduates and research students will benefit from an incredible educational experience and enhanced employability through access to these two new state of the art laboratories.  Her gift will enable the University to create the next generation of scientists and engineers from Hertfordshire and beyond.

Rodney Day
Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology, University of Hertfordshire

Duncan Calder was an engineer and designer who attended Hatfield Technical College (HTC), the University of Hertfordshire’s predecessor, more than 60 years ago. He went on to establish a successful manufacturing company producing machines for the photographic and film industry just down the road in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. The couple and their family spent most of their lives living in the town.

Duncan attended HTC from 1953 to 1954 after joining the de Havilland Aircraft Company. He was one of the College’s very first students studying Engineering Science, Practical Mathematics and Engineering Drawing.

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