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Facilities and resources

We are situated on the Wheatley campus in a purpose-built £9m facility which is well equipped and is the envy of many local organisations and creates an environment in which technical expertise is enhanced by creativity and imagination.

We offer modern, state-of-the-art workshops, laboratories and computer facilities. This promotes a friendly, close knit community of staff and students with excellent student support staff and facilities close at hand.

Computer equipment

  • Several classrooms with a PC per student running a wide selection of software.
  • Several computer rooms with access 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
  • Two Unix-based high performance cluster servers.
  • A range of 2D and 3D imaging devices for computer vision research.

Computer-aided design facilities

A range of performance PCs running a wide range of software for computer-aided design and analysis including AutoCAD, SolidWorks, CosmosWorks, Pro/Engineer, 3D Studio Max, Fluent, Adams, Ansys, ABAQUS, and Matlab. A3/A4 printer and an A0 plotter.

Mechanical engineering facilities

  • The Mechanical Engineering Workshop and Projects Lab provides machining and fabrication facilities. There are hand and power tools such as lathe, milling, shaping, sheet metal bending, drilling, electric discharge, welding, CNC machines, three axis measuring machine and one rapid prototyping machine. The workshop keeps a stock of regularly used materials such as aluminium and steel alloys.
  • The Joining Technology Research Centre (JTRC) is used primarily for research into adhesively bonded joints and structures. The equipment available at JTRC includes several universal test machines from 250N – 100kN, Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA), static and dynamic contact angle analysis and pendulum impact testers. Several surface preparation techniques are available such as grit blasting, flame treatment, corona discharge, and ultrasonic baths. JTRC has a range of environmental test chambers that include salt spray, UV and programmable temperature/humidity chambers.
  • The Stress and Materials Laboratory has two Denison-Mayes and one ESH servo-hydraulic testing machines with 500, 100 and 250 kN load capacities. All machines are digital controlled and capable of static and fatigue testing. There are cooling vessels and furnaces for carrying out tests at cold and at elevated temperatures (77K to 1273K). There are two 50kN Testometric electric screw-driven machines and an Avery-Denison 12kNm torque-testing machine. There is a polariscope for photoelasticity and there is a Moiré Interferometry rig for high-resolution full field strain analysis. The lab is well equipped with several strain gauge installation and testing kits and strain measurement display meters. The laboratory is also equipped with specimen preparation and encapsulating facilities for optical microscopy. There are two digital controlled hardening and tempering furnaces with options for different heating, and cooling rates and dwell durations. The lab has a sputtering coating machine that assists moiré interferometry work. Vickers, Brinell, Rockwell and microhardness tester are available. Advanced image analysis software can be used with a microscope for surface and structure analysis.
  • The Dynamics Laboratory has several pieces of high performance equipment for vibration monitoring and recording as well as acoustic measurements and modelling. There are uniaxial and triaxial accelerometers, source control, spectral acquisition and modal analysis hardware and software. A series of small shakers for bench top testing as well as two larger shakers for complete automobile and structural excitation and modal analysis are available. There is an Ono-Soki Spectrum analyser. The lab also has a damper dyno.
  • The Fluid Mechanics Laboratory houses a Plint and Partners open loop closed working section wind tunnel, a laminar and turbulent flow rig, pipe and nozzle flow apparatus. Measurement equipment include digital and fluid manometers, pitot and pitot-static tubes, National Instruments high speed data acquisition equipment and PC, load cells and load meters.

Automotive and autosport engineering facilities

  • The Automotive Laboratory is fully equipped with workbenches, shelving and cabinets containing engineers hand tools, automotive and racecar test and measurement equipment, pneumatic and electric power tools, lifting equipment and a range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for use by all staff and students. The lab has a Reynard 883, J.J. Lehto's winning Formula 3 racecar, and a Formula Ford F2000 Van Diemen. A number of Volvo, Renault and Ford internal-combustion engines and Volvo TWR, Renault and Hewland transmissions, are available for hands-on experience. The lab also has a four-post rig for chassis analysis with the following specifications: 2.0–4.8 m vehicle wheel base, 1.1–2.4 m vehicle track, 3000 kg maximum load (per corner), 40 Hz nominal bandwidth, 0.7 m/s test velocity, 32 measurement channels.
  • The Thermodynamics Laboratory supports the engine testing programmes within the department. The laboratory comprises four engine test cells housing the following: Ricardo single cylinder research engine, Rover K16, Hatz single cylinder engine and Formula Student racing engines. The laboratory is instrumented with an AVL indimeter which is a high speed data acquisition system, engine emissions gas analysers and in-cylinder pressure sensors which all allow in-depth engine performance investigations. The laboratory also houses a drop tube furnace which is a specialised fuel analysis system.

University library

  • The Library is here to support your research through a variety of specialist help, resources and services.


Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Oxford Brookes University
Wheatley Campus
United Kingdom

Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences