Research facilities

Research facilities in the School of Mechanical Engineering

Our academics and postgraduate researchers have access to the following specialist facilities and laboratories, which our undergraduate and Masters students may benefit from during their project work.

  • Dowson Tribology laboratory containing tribometers and specialised simulation rigs for the study of lubrication, friction and wear in real systems.
  • Bradley Combustion laboratory containing optically accessible engines, special combustion vessels including a unique fan assisted bomb for investigating high temperature and pressure combustion, state-of-the-art laser diagnostic techniques and 3D imaging.
  • An erosion and corrosion laboratory with rigs for oil and gas applications, mineral scaling research and bioengineering systems.
  • First-class measurement facilities and facilities for the dynamic testing of automotive and aerospace components, including the latest industry-standard software for computational fluid dynamics and finite element modelling of systems and materials.
  • Equipment supporting our research in medical and biological engineering including facilities in materials screening analysis, joint simulation, surface analysis, heart valve simulation and tensile and fatigue testing.
  • State-of-the-art optics laboratories developing novel imaging and metrology techniques.
  • Surface analysis suite including atomic force microscopy, nanoindentation, mass spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectrono spectroscopy, infrared spectrosocopy and quartz crystal microbalances.
  • Microfluids laboratory featuring micro particle image velocimetry, high-speed photography and a range of techniques for fluid mechanics.
  • Wolfson Foundation laboratory which is the largest academic facility in the world for the experimental functional simulation of artificial joint replacements including pin-on-plate wear and friction testing, six station reciprocator, single station reciprocator, wear and friction simulators for hip and knee joints, spine simulation.
  • EPSRC national facility for innovative robotic systems Our robotics facility includes the latest 3D printing technology, a high-precision cutting system, and micromanipulators for assembling tiny robots. An advanced mechatronics and robotics laboratory.
  • Experimental facilities for characterising material behaviour including static and dynamic universal test machines, a high speed thermal imaging system alongside full and reduced scale brake dynamometer.
  • Purpose-built design systems laboratory motion tracking system, soft metrology facilities, and design observation suite for audiovisual recordings to study ways in which people interact with technology and new products.
  • Plasma Vapour Deposition (PVD) facility for advanced surface engineering research.
  • A control and dynamics laboratory including rapid prototyping and computer aided manufacturing.
  • The University's Charterhouse Rehabilitation Technologies laboratory, supported through the School of Mechanical Engineering and Medicine, including motion tracking system to support development of novel restorative rehabilitation technologies.
  • A Newly Commissioned Corrosion Research Laboratory dedicated to Sour corrosion and High Pressure/High Temperature (HP/HT) corrosion research.

Working with business

We are committed to sharing our facilities and associated expertise with external academic and industrial collaborators. To make an enquiry please contact:

If you are looking to locate a particular item of research equipment you can search the N8 database, which holds details of all the equipment and facilities across the N8 university partnership.