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Last month, we attended the highly anticipated launch of the state-of-the-art Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, alongside university staff, contractors and other collaborators in the creation of the building including our colleagues from Reiach and Hall with whom we worked closely on the design of the building. Following speeches by dignitaries from UCLan and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, we toured the different facilities that make up this remarkable resource for both the university and the local community around it.

Surrounded by high-tech equipment that we have primarily been familiar with as representative cubes in a Revit model was fascinating. Suddenly these model pieces were machines producing tangible objects and being used in experiments in front of our eyes. Seeing the building in action and receiving a behind-the-scenes look at the impact it is making on students and the industry alike was a truly experience.

The EIC is part of the University’s larger masterplan which involves various improvements and additions to the Preston campus. The EIC’s facilities include an additive manufacturing lab (3D printing), an advanced manufacturing workshop, an intelligent systems facility, a motorsports and air vehicles lab, a high-performance computing lab, a flight simulator suite and a fire, oil and gas facility. We’re excited to see the effect this innovative building is already having on the North West region as well as the engineering industry.

Steve Fogg, Chair at the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said:

“This is a facility that is innovative in its design, it has created innovative spaces and it will create innovative engineers."