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Foundation stone for new University labs

Press release issued: 8 October 2003

A foundation stone for Bristol University's new, £20 million, state-of-the-art engineering building was laid by Sir Jeremy Morse, the University's Chancellor, on Friday [October 10].

A foundation stone for Bristol University’s new, £20 million, state-of-the-art engineering building was laid by Sir Jeremy Morse, the University’s Chancellor, on Friday [October 10].

Called BLADE (Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering), the project is funded with a grant of £15 million from the government’s Joint Infrastructure Fund and £5 million from the University itself.

The new laboratory facilities will include an earthquake laboratory with a three-by-three metre shaking table and a 15-metre reaction wall, an actuation and control laboratory, materials-testing facilities and an electrical power drives laboratory.

Aerospace engineers, civil engineers, computer scientists, engineering mathematicians, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers will pool their expertise in the quest to design, engineer and monitor structures throughout their entire life-cycle.  The aim is to produce performing structures to avoid human suffering and massive economic loss associated with engineering failures ranging from earthquake damage and aircraft losses to petrochemical industry disasters.

The University already has an international reputation in the field of engineering.  This investment will bring together the Faculty of Engineering’s six departments to establish Europe’s most advanced dynamics engineering research facilities combined with world-class expertise and techniques.

Professor David Muir Wood, Dean of Engineering, said: “The initiative has already attracted international interest and will provide an unrivalled dynamics research facility enabling UK engineers to remain at the leading edge of research.”

The laboratories will be located in a new extension to the Queen’s Building – the Faculty of Engineering’s headquarters.

Work on the building should be completed by February 2004.

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