Faculty Research Facilities
Coventry University has invested £100 million to support research excellence; in total, £150 million in improvements to campuses and facilities. In this Faculty, research students and staff take advantage of state-of-the-art equipment and technology, often donated by industry partners.
Completed in 2012, our award-winning £50 million Engineering and Computing Building (ECB) uses a range of sustainable technologies, including rainwater harvesting, solar thermal energy and biomass boilers. The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building contains a high-performance engineering centre, which features:
- 20% scale model Petronas wind tunnel
- automotive workshop
- AVL engine test cell
- civil engineering specialist testing equipment
- CNC machinery
- composites lab
- fatigue and tensile testing (Instron)
- flow lab
- four-pot shaker rig
- full-size Harrier Jet
- laser workshop
- metrology lab
- three flight simulators.
In addition to the Frank Whittle building, researchers in the Centre for Future transport and Cities have access to the industry-leading machinery, automation and technology within the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) a ‘live’ manufacturing environment. Six major research projects worth over £5 million are currently developing next generation fuel rails, exhaust systems and zero prototyping. Facilities include AME’s 1,700 square foot manufacturing hub, which houses forming, joining (including an orbital welder by Polysoude), analysis and simulation, metrology and product verification technology. It also features up-to-the-minute robotic automation, by way of the latest ABB YuMi collaborative robot.
Specialist facilities within the University for the Centre for Future transport and Cities include driving and aircraft simulators, control engineering laboratories, electric motor test beds, fuel cell thermodynamics, real-world environments and vehicles. In 2017, two exciting initiatives took our learning environment to the next level. The new National Transport Design Centre features ultramodern design tools and studio, working with commercial companies to develop future vehicles – right through from conception to launch. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Automotive Research (CCAAR) is a joint initiative with Horiba MIRA, the international provider of pioneering engineering, research and test services to the automotive, defence, aerospace and rail sectors. It now puts us at the forefront of research into the changing nature of highly automated and intelligent vehicles.
The Centre for Fluid and Complex Systems is based within the newly refurbished Maudslay House, a short walk from the Frank Whittle Building (ECB). Specialist experimental facilities include a 3-phase testing rig (oil, gas and water) with an additional movable 12m long pipe simulation rig currently in design. We possess sector-leading software used globally by over 500 international oil and gas companies. This includes PETREL and ECLIPSE reservoir simulation software worth US$ 12.5 million (donated by Schlumberger) and Petex Integrated Product Modelling (IPM) software worth over £1 million (given by Petex). Dedicated research incubator space enables academics and research students to study alongside one another.
Meanwhile, the Centre for the Built and Natural Environment transformed the campus into a live demo site for a recently completed four-year €13.7m Energy Efficiency Buildings European Initiative. The project was designed to technically advance, adapt, demonstrate and assess innovative building retrofit technologies with the aim of halving energy consumption. Within the John Laing and Richard Crossman buildings, to conserve energy and covert solar energy into direct current electricity using semiconducting, we trialled super-insulating mortar, vacuum insulated panels, efficiency glazing, LED lighting and cladding materials with integrated photovoltaic cells.