The new six-storey New Engineering Building, designed by architect RMJM, is on the university’s Jessop East site. It will house lecture theatres, laboratories and other learning facilities.
Completion is expected in 2016.
As well as RMJM, the project team includes cost consultant Turner & Townsend, consulting engineer Arup and planning consultant Montagu Evans.
Balfour Beatty’s contract is part of an £81m investment plan by the university, which recently overtook Cambridge for engineering research income earned.
The new development is expected to create around 500 jobs during the construction phase alone and is predicted to bring £44.5m into the local economy during the construction phase and first year of operation.
Balfour Beatty is already working for the university on a £16m redevelopment of its Students Union building.