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Sir William Tyree Foundation Donates $5m to UNSW

At a hand-over presentation attended by David Gonski and Jon Paparsenos, Peter Tyree and Robyn Fennell, Sir William and Lady Tyree’s surviving children, have donated, on behalf of the Sir William Tyree Foundation, the sum of $5 million to the University of New South Wales. This donation is the concluding payment of the eleven million dollar commitment made by the Foundation to provide industry funding for the Tyree Energy Technologies Building (TETB).

This donation is the latest of numerous gifts made to UNSW and its engineering faculty by the Foundation and finalises the funding commitment required from industry to initiate the construction of the building six years ago. The TETB was one of the visions of, then Dean of Engineering, Professor Graham Davies whose aim was to locate UNSW’s world leading energy research capabilities in one building that would create a professional and inspirational environment.

Completed in January 2012, the TETB, built with funding from the Sir William Tyree Foundation and the federal government’s Education Investment Fund is named after Sir William Tyree. Sir William was a UNSW alumnus, successful innovator, businessman and major philanthropic supporter of Australian engineering and educational research. Situated at the Anzac Parade entrance to the University the $124 million TETB has a 6 Star energy rating and incorporates breakthrough architectural design that provides a space that is home to the UNSW Energy Institute whilst also providing facilities where research, education and industry bodies can collaborate in developing, and practically implementing, sustainable energy technologies.

The building has been a resounding success and is the recipient of numerous awards including:

  • Outstanding Construction Award – Master Builders Association (NSW) 2012
  • National Public Buildings Award (over $50mil) – Master Builders Association Awards 2012
  • Tertiary Buildings (over $50mil) – Master Builder Association Awards 2012
  • Public Buildings Category – Randwick City Urban Design Awards 2013
  • Sustainability Category – Randwick City Urban Design Awards 2013
  • Finalist, UN World Environment Day Award 2013
  • 3rd place, Green Dot Awards LA, USA 2013
  • Teaching/Mixed Use Laboratory Award – UK S-Lab Awards for Excellence in Laboratory Design, Management and Operation 2015.

Housing the School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy and the School of Petroleum Engineering, the TETB consists of five levels totaling approximately 15,000 square metres which incorporates administrative spaces, teaching and learning spaces,engineering workshops, engineering display spaces, a café, and research areas including laboratories. The roof of the building incorporates photovoltaic cells for the testing of research and development work as well as contributing to the energy input requirements of the facility while a central atrium space uses access stairs and pedestrian bridges to connect the floor levels increasing the visual and physical interconnections and enhances the collaborative nature of the design.

Peter Tyree commented; “This building displays all that is great in Australian architecture and building technologies, it provides a first class educational facility that will enable Australian engineers to grapple with, and find solutions to, the ever expanding issues of energy security and management both in Australia and the rest of the world”.
Peter also commented; “In addition to the funding for the TETB it is a great honour for the Sir William Tyree Foundation to also be funding a significant amount of ongoing research and development that is being carried out in TETB. The “Distributed Power Generation (Microgrid)” and the “SWER Line Fault Detection” projects are both great examples which demonstrate the long term value of the TETB facility to the University and Australia.”

For further information on Tyree Energy Technologies Building and philanthropic activities of the Sir William Tyree Foundation, please contact David Ward at the head office of the Foundation, (02 4872 6177).