A new pioneering engineering building is set to bring an array of cutting-edge facilities to the University of Exeter. National firm Morgan Sindall Construction has completed the development and handed it over to the university ahead of its scheduled opening in May 2020.
The building will include VSimulators – a multi-disciplinary research platform funded by a £4.8 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. VSimulators offers a state-of-the-art, world class facility, combining virtual reality (VR) technology capable of immersing up to nine occupants simultaneously in headset-projected VR scenarios.
A 4×4 metre, custom designed motion platform, linked to the VR scenarios, enables users to perceive realistic motion as they move around in a virtual world, while optical and inertial motion capture systems and an array of force plates will record their experiences.
VSimulators will be used by academics and industry to support multi-disciplinary human factors research and innovation.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Paul Cockram, area lead and operations manager at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “The University of Exeter’s ambition for new facilities has been at the heart of the delivery of this project and we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work collaboratively with the university to bring this unique vision to life.
“We’re pleased to be handing over the new building on schedule, which will provide a stunning new home for the university’s engineering, mathematics and scientific researchers.
“As a centre of excellence, the new facility will open up new opportunities for research and innovation, helping to further bolster the University of Exeter’s world-leading reputation as a critical thinker in this field.”
This new facility will boost the innovative science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical, or STEMM, offering in Exeter, acting as a pivotal centre of excellence for the College’s world-leading structural engineering research.
Hugh McCann, estates business partner at the University of Exeter added: “This is an exciting new facility for the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and the University as a whole.
“I am delighted that we have taken delivery of the new facility, and look forward to marking the launch of the VSimulators facility later this year.”