Structures research at Imperial gets a boost with new laboratories
Launch of new Structures Laboratories in Civil and Environmental Engineering - News
New world class facilities were unveiled at the launch of the Structures Laboratories in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering yesterday.
A £2 million investment from the College has provided new equipment for the labs, allowing researchers in the field of structural testing to work more productively and with greater precision than ever before.
The research of the Section includes examining how a wide range of structures and materials respond to different loads and conditions, from withstanding earthquakes and fire, to the mechanisms behind the deterioration of concrete.
The launch itself was attended by representatives from industry, reflecting the various links between the Structural Engineering Section and the sector, including a number of industrial projects around the world which have been informed by the Section’s research.
Welcoming guests Professor David Nethercot, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering said:
“One of the strengths of structural engineering here at Imperial is the value we have always placed on laboratory testing facilities, as a crucial part of the research programme. These upgrades to our facilities will provide better functionality, greater research capabilities and better data capture.”
The refurbishment is one element of investment in infrastructure and equipment relating to structural engineering, ensuring the Department’s facilities remain world class through establishing the new structural testing lab and concrete durability labs.
Imperial’s Rector, Sir Keith O’Nions, added: “The whole Department is globally renowned for its research and teaching, and facilities like this are a crucial part of maintaining this excellent position.”
The new servo-hydraulic equipment used by researchers in the testing process is expected to significantly increase the lab’s productivity, by cutting the time it takes to prepare kit and set up tests. For some processes it is anticipated that testing time could be reduced from two days to a matter of hours. The refurbishment also includes new workshop facilities and preparation areas for constructing specimens used in the testing process.
Imperial’s department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was the best performing department in the country for civil engineering in the last Research Assessment Exercise, a UK wide process for evaluating research output in higher education. The Department is also currently rated the top civil engineering department in the Guardian University Guide.