College of Science & Engineering

KB101: celebrating a century of science and engineering

On 6th July 1920, King George V laid the foundation stone for the first of the buildings that would form part of The University of Edinburgh's new Science campus, relocated from its former Old College premises.

KB101 is a celebration of University scientific history and contribution, but it's about much more than a collection of buildings or the geography of The King's Buildings: it's about our scientists and the discoveries they have made that have changed the world. We will celebrate our history of achievements with links to current achievers and links to recruitment messages around who will be the next generation to stand on the shoulders of these giants.

The covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown led us to postpone the centenary for one year, becoming KB101 and running instead for the academic year 2021/22. Further lockdown restrictions meant that events have been rescheduled for Semester 2 of 2021/2022 (May/June), and for Semester 1 of 2022/23 (September/November).

King George V opening Kings Buildings
King George V opening Kings Buildings 6 July 1920

Centenary events 

Events will be announced according to the changes in government Covid-19 regulations and University guidelines. The table below shows the current status of events.

We’ll follow up with more programme announcements at the start of the new semester, and then in April 2022.


Summary of confirmed events (phase I)

Date Event name
20–25 September 2021 Explorathon 2021 : a vitual event
25/26 September 2021 Doors Open Day 2021 : an online event, the KB virtual tour
November 2021–November 2022 Centenary Lecture series
10 December 2021 Centenary Artwork opening event
14 December 2021 Campus History Exhibition
September 2022 UncoverED@KB exhibition opening
Semester 1, 2022/23 100objects exhibition
September 2022 KB Permaculture Garden opening
March 2023 KB photography competition results


The College Centenary Lecture Series

A series of lectures will take place over the coming year, in which leading figures from Schools and centres will present talks covering the history of research at the College: a mixture of past, present and future predications. The talks will close with a keynote lecture discussing the challenges facing the University in the next century.


More information on the lecture series


Katie Paterson portrait photo
Katie Paterson. Photo: Neil Hanna Photography for Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The Centenary Art Commission 

As part of the KB101 programme, the College of Science and Engineering commissioned a permanent work of art by the internationally renowned artist Katie Paterson. 

Chosen by a panel following a competitive selection process, Paterson has been working since 2019 on this new and ambitious artwork 'Ideas' which will take the form of one hundred three-line texts cut in stainless steel (each an ‘Idea’), that will be situated in a variety of locations in and around the KB campus. 


Read more about the KB101 Art Commission


Permaculture Garden Logo



The KB Permaculture Garden 

The King’s Building Permaculture Garden, currently under construction and to be opened in June 2022, is a student-led project aiming to create a platform that allows the University and other communities to connect around a growing space at the rear of Murchison House. The design of the garden and the organisation of the social aspects are all inspired by the Permaculture principles. You can find out more about the project at their blog and social media channels: 

Blog site




UncoverED logo


UncoverEd II: Science and Engineering 1920–2020 

Opening Semester 2, 2022

As part of the centenary programme, the College has commissioned a student-led project called UncoverEd II, as a sequel to the current UncoverEd exhibition, which was hosted at Chrystal Macmillan Building, and an online version of which is at the link below.


 UncoverEd is a collaborative and decolonising research project, which aims to situate the ‘global’ status of the University of Edinburgh in its rightful imperial and colonial context. We believe this work is important because the University has a long and largely under-interrogated global history with deep imperial and colonial implications, many of which continue to the present day. This project encourages the University of Edinburgh’s community to reflect on its imperial past and how it played a part in Edinburgh’s status as a ‘global’ university.

UncoverED creator


The UncoverED II exhibition, which will concentrate on the history of BAME students in the College over the past century, will be launched in December of 2021. An exhibition space has been laid out in the foyer of Murchison House; the exhibition will also be posted online.


UncoverED exhibition


Public Engagement Events

We will be undertaking a series of Public Engagement events as part of KB101. Dates for these events are determined by the relaxation of restrictions, and the opening up of public event opportunities from April 2022 onwards.


More information on our Public Engagement Events



kb101 photo comp

The Centenary photography competition 

As part of our KB101 celebrations we have announced a photography competition for College staff and students to showcase life and work in the College of Science and Engineering. The closing date for the competition has been changed to the end of March 2023; full details are at the link below. 


The KB101 photography competition


Stay informed


Subscribe to receive KB101 updates

Privacy notice for KB101 mailing list