Microsoft research lab 'topped out'


The final bolt on the roof of the new 10 million Microsoft Research Laboratory was screwed into place on Friday.

Prof Roger Needham, managing director of Microsoft Research in Cambridge and Vaughan Burnand, managing director of Shepherd, the construction company, jointly tightened the bolt during a ceremony to mark the official 'topping out' of the new building on Cambridge University's new West Cambridge site.

The Microsoft laboratory will become a pioneering centre for research collaboration.

Friday's ceremony, which marked the moment the building was roofed in, was attended by members of the university, whose own 15 million computer lab is also currently under construction by Shepherd on an adjacent site.

Prof Needham, whose wish to remain in Cambridge dictated the UK location for Microsoft's lab, said: 'It's great to see the building coming along so nicely. I'm confident that it will serve its purpose well and that it will look good without being flashy.'

The new research lab is being constructed to reflect Microsoft's culture of a cooperative style of working, which it says is part of its success.

There are single offices, but also large public areas, and the building will have no conventional heating system but instead use the heat generated from the computers in the lab. The building is scheduled to be finished in the autumn.


At Microsoft Research in Cambridge, we truly aspire to transform the world through deep research. The bold and inquisitive minds of our researchers and engineers have produced, and continue to produce, significant contributions to Microsoft’s most successful products and services, as well as to the broader research community. The interdisciplinary nature of our lab ensures that we push the boundaries of computing in an inclusive way, resulting in robust and trusted technologies that can be deployed at scale. We have only scratched the surface of what technology can do for us, and I am tremendously excited to be working in a team that is so committed to having a significant impact upon our society.

Microsoft Research Ltd