Durham Riverside Renewal

Durham University students develop practical understanding at Freeman's Reach


A group of students from Durham University visited the Freeman’s Reach development to gain first-hand experience of a city centre development as part of their degree.

Durham University students visited the site earlier in the year and returned with the latest intake of students studying for an MSc in Energy and Society, to see the newly installed hydro-turbine, which will use an Archimedean screw to harvest energy from the River Wear and provide 75 percent of the development’s total energy requirements.

The Energy and Society Masters degree has been designed by Durham University to address sustainable energy issues from both a technical and social perspective. It appeals to both engineers looking to understand how and why innovations succeed or fail, and to social scientists looking to understand energy developments.

Durham University also offers two programmes for engineering undergraduates, a four year MEng and a three year BEng. Both courses benefit from Durham's integrated approach to engineering, starting with the study of all disciplines and specialisation in later years.

Freeman’s Reach is being developed by a consortium led by Carillion Developments, part of Carillion plc, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP.   

It will become the new home of National Savings & Investment and Her Majesty’s Passport Office and will open up this part of the riverside to local people and visitors for the first time in generations.  With improved visitor amenities, particularly for those arriving by coach, Freeman’s Reach will offer daytime and evening café/restaurant facilities as well as featuring a new tree lined Riverside Walk.

Dr Simone Abram, module leader of the Energy and Society MSc course, said: “The first visit to Freeman’s Reach was extremely valuable and I was keen to bring our new students along to see the turbines being commissioned.

“Incorporating this visit into the module gave students a chance to see renewable energy in practice, and is a valuable addition to their studies.

Ian Beaumont, Project Director of the Freeman’s Reach Development, said: “I am delighted to welcome back Durham University to Freeman’s Reach. It was clear to see from the previous visit how much the students could gain from putting their studies into context and I had no hesitation in showing another group around the development.”



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A group of Durham University Students visiting Freeman's Reach
A group of Durham University Students visiting Freeman's Reach
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