John Payne opens the new building named in his honour

Thursday, 21 October 2010


The new John Payne building, which marks the first stage of Brookes redevelopment plan, was opened recently by the man after whom it has been named.

The new John Payne building, which marks the first stage of Oxford Brookes' redevelopment plan, was opened recently by the man after whom it has been named. Alumnus of Brookes and distinguished engineer, John Payne (pictured right) was the designer of the Oxford hoist, a patient lifting device, now sold all over the world. John was also awarded an Honorary Master’s Degree in Engineering at the ceremony.

John Payne developed the ‘Oxford hoist’, the first wall-mounted hoist for lifting patients, in the 1950s. He worked with a doctor at Headington Hill Hall, which was a military hospital at the time and is now part of Oxford Brookes.

John chose the name ‘Oxford’ because of the region’s rich tradition of medical research and in time this brand became known as the world standard in patient handling hoists or products.

John has enjoyed a highly successful engineering career and commercial success at the helm of his own company, FJ Payne and Son which was based initially in Oxford, later moving to Eynsham.

John has deep connections with Oxford Brookes and is a long time supporter of the University. He graduated in 1939 with a certificate in Mechanical Engineering from the Schools of Technology, Art and Commerce, at the time when John Henry Brookes was principal.

John Payne commented: ‘I was delighted and overwhelmed by the honour conferred on me by Oxford Brookes. I am very proud to have been an old boy of the Schools of Technology, Art and Commerce.’ He added: ‘I believe that a workshop is an essential incubator where innovators can nurture their creations. It is my wish that all who pass through the workshops of the John Payne building will enjoy the same benefit and pleasure that I had so long ago as a student and continue to enjoy through my own workshop today.’

The new John Payne Building incorporates the innovation and design excellence evidenced in John Payne’s life and work. The building houses a technology lab and architectural workshop as well as office space for the university’s capital projects team. It incorporates several environmentally friendly features. These include a green turf sedum roof that absorbs rainwater and provides a steady temperature. The building has been awarded a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating from the Building Research Establishment and marks the first stage of Oxford Brookes' redevelopment plan.