Laboratories and Workshops
The College has completed a 2-year, £1 million program to refurbish and update the engineering teaching laboratories in the Harrison Building. Five areas have been refurbished, together with the re-equipment of the student workshops and the development of a state-of-the-art facility for 3D visualisation and rapid prototyping.
Many of the laboratories below feature on our 360 degree virtual tours pages.
In the aerodynamics laboratory the capabilities of the existing wind tunnels were augmented with a computerised lift/drag balance and modern hot-wire anemometry equipment for velocity measurement. The flow channels in the main fluids laboratory were recommissioned and an additional channel of one metre square cross section installed for testing marine renewable energy generation devices.
Thermodynamics and energy laboratory
A separate thermodynamics and energy laboratory was created which contains thermodynamics experiments, a computerised engine test bed and renewable energy experiments. The existing geotechnics laboratory was also refurbished, with new equipment for testing soil and rock samples.
In our structures laboratory students are able to mix and test concrete and test other full-size structural elements such as new types of drainage materials for use underneath car parks. The laboratory includes a number of TQ Modular Structures rigs, which students can use to investigate the structural properties of beams, cantilevers, arches. The equipment is fully computerised.
Behind the structures laboratory a new materials laboratory was created to house an array of tensile test equipment together with space for first year mechanics practicals.
The equipment in the existing electronics laboratory was upgraded with an array of new equipment ranging from oscilloscopes to PCB manufacturing facilities.
The College’s £1 million refurbishment of the Harrison teaching laboratories included investment in an innovative 3D visualisation and design suite. This facility is partitioned to provide a 50 seat lecture theatre and a design studio. The lecture theatre is equipped with a state-of-the-art 4-metre wide screen duality stereoscopic projection system supplied by Inition Ltd (www.inition.co.uk). This consists of dual LCD projectors with polarising filters which project the same scene onto the screen from slightly different viewpoints; polarising glasses worn by the viewer ensure that the left image is seen by the left eye, the right image by the right eye, thus providing a stereoscopic view with an illusion of depth. Look around the visualisation suite on our 360 degree virtual tours page.
Next door to the lecture theatre is a 3D design studio which houses the 3D printer for undergraduate use. A number of high-end visualisation workstations will be available, some of which will have 3D displays for students to use for data analysis and generation of 3D content for coursework or projects.
We also have access to the University’s EPSRC-funded IBM Supercomputer SP3 system and to a Beowulf parallel computing cluster.