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Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre

18 January 2024

The Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre (RRSIC) is a hub for Canterbury's science and innovation network. Our state-of-the-art facilities encourage collaborative teaching, learning, and research. Learn more.


The RRSIC is an exciting and inspiring space. A space where staff and students learn, collaborate, become inspired and grow their scientific knowledge about New Zealand and the world.


Ernest Rutherford

Named for Ernest, Lord Rutherford, father of nuclear physics and UC’s most famous alumnus, the Ernest Rutherford building is one of the only buildings in Australasia that combines multiple science disciplines in one space. With 20,000 square metres of floor space, it houses teaching and research laboratories for physics, astronomy, chemistry, geological sciences, geography and biological sciences.

Completed in 2018, the building was purposefully designed to encourage innovation and support flexible learning and teaching methods, with key features including:

  • state-of-the-art laboratories
  • UAV/drone room
  • 3D medical imaging
  • cloud chamber
  • radioactivity lab
  • superconduction magnet lab
  • herbarium
  • informal social and study spaces.

Cultural themes have been interwoven into the building, and the many communal spaces promote interaction, with hospitable entrances able to accommodate events and welcome in students, staff and visitors.


Beatrice Tinsley

The Beatrice Tinsley building was opened in October 2019. It connects to both the Ernest Rutherford building and the Julius von Haast building, where the School of Biological Sciences Te Kura Pūtaiao Koioro is located.

Beatrice Tinsley was a UC science graduate and renowned astrophysicist whose research made substantial contributions to our understanding of the evolution of galaxies.

Ernest Rutherford Tour

Take a walk through the home of UC Science with PhD student Stephanie Galla.

Ernest Rutherford Opening

Watch as the new Ernest Rutherford building is officially opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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