Dyson Centre for Engineering Design opens in Cambridge

A new advanced engineering facility funded by the James Dyson Foundation has opened at Cambridge University, providing a space for students and academics to prototype and collaborate.

The £8m development includes the Dyson Centre for Engineering Design, which houses specialised printing machinery, scanners, lasers and routers. Over 1,200 engineering students will have access to the facility, where an open-plan layout is designed to foster a collaborative environment and the sharing of ideas.

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Student led projects already located at the centre include solar powered electric racing cars, vehicles engineered for arctic ice, quad-rotor drones, and helium balloon spaceflight systems.

“Developing the intellectual property that will help Britain succeed in the global technology race depends on applying our brightest minds to ambitious and exciting research projects,” said Dyson.

“I’m hopeful that this new space for Britain’s best engineers at…Cambridge will catalyse great technological breakthroughs that transform how we live.”

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Adjoining the design centre is the four-storey James Dyson Building for Engineering that will be home to postgraduate researchers. Work carried out here will examine advanced materials, smart infrastructure, electric vehicles and efficient internal combustion systems. Fibre-optic sensors in the building’s foundation piles, concrete columns and floor sections will deliver live data, turning the entire structure into an ongoing experiment.

“Collaboration is at the heart of solving global engineering challenges and the new James Dyson Building brings brilliant researchers from across disciplines together with industrial practitioners to serve our cities, transportation and energy systems with novel techniques,” said Prof David Cardwell head of the Department of Engineering at Cambridge.