Who is Gisbert Kapp? Here are the people the buildings on campus are named after

Maybe one day you too can get a building named after you on campus

The Birmingham campus features a weird and wonderful array of buildings, most of which are named after influential people with some association to Birmingham.

Many buildings have a history of their own, which you probably have never thought about when rushing to your 9am.

Here is a round-up of some of the buildings on the University of Birmingham’s campus, looking at who actually they are named after.

Muirhead Tower

First on the list is Muirhead Tower. This building was named after the university’s first professor of Philosophy, John Henry Muirhead.  His work was influential on the teachings of social work at the university.

Aston Webb

Built in 1900, it was named after Sir Aston Webb.  The original design of Chancellors court, namely the clock tower and the Aston Webb building itself, was a product of Webb’s design alongside fellow architect Ingress Bell.

The building was used as a hospital during the First World War.

Old Joe

The iconic clock tower was given the nickname Old Joe after one of the university’s key benefactors, Joseph Chamberlain. In 1900 he became the first chancellor of the university, serving in his role for 14 years until 1914.

Rumour has that if you walk under Old Joe as it chimes, you will fail your degree.

The Murray Learning Centre

The Murray Learning Centre was recently renamed after Sir Kenneth and Lady Noreen Murray, who did their PhD’s at the UoB. They since established The Darwin Trust of Edinburgh, another prominent benefactor of the university.

Alan Walters Building

The Alan Walters building was named after Sir Alan Walters (1926- 2009) who taught Economics and Statistics at the university. His work and expertise in this area helped inform teaching and policies throughout his career.

Gisbert Kapp

Gisbert Kapp was named after Gisbert Johann Eduard Kapp. He was the first professor of electrical engineering at the University of Birmingham.

Haworth Building

The Haworth building is named after 1937 Nobel prize winner, Sir Walter Norman Haworth. He won for his work on carbohydrates and vitamin C. He was the mason professor of Chemistry within the university from 1925 to 1948, as well as serving as director of the Chemistry department.

Poynting Building

The Poynting Building, home to the school of Physics and Astronomy was named after John Henry Poynting. He was a previous professor of Physics at the university.

Watson Building

The Watson building was named after Mathematician, George Neville Watson. Serving as a Professor of Pure Mathematics from 1918 until 1951. In 1915 he was also awarded an honorary MSc in Pure Science from the university.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Last on the list is UoB’s very own on-campus art gallery. This was funded and built by Dame Martha Barber to celebrate the memory of her late husband Sir William Barber. He too was a benefactor of the university, with his contribution helping to establish the campus we see today.

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