Or as I like to call them – ‘My Second Home’
As we reach the start of the Easter Break, we find ourselves on the last stretch of our assignments and project reports while attempting to revise for the final examinations. For the Part 3 and Part 4 students, we ideally would have already finished or are in the midst of collecting the final data for our Individual Projects (IP) and Group Design Projects (GDP).
For the past 2 and a half weeks, my groupmates and I have been in and out of the labs and hopping between various workshops to manufacture our solar desalinator system and test its various components. This gave me the chance to finally venture into places I have not been before, or at least not since the induction I attended at the start of Part 3 (as I did a research-based project for my IP), and inspired me to write a blogpost on the facilities I seem to have forgotten the university had.
The cryogenics lab is the home base of my group’s GDP. In it lies two stools among other things and not much floor space. It may be filled and somewhat cluttered but that only means that there are many wonderful treasures just waiting to be found.
Frequent trips to the Electronics Workshop were made to get some bits and bobs and to get our electronics tested before they could be used in the labs.
A visit to the Bioengineering lab was made possible by a friend.
Other than the Electronics Workshop, there are various other workshops that students are free to enter during working hours that provide the tools and equipment to build their projects. However, for specialised equipment which are only available in limited quantities (e.g. laser cutter, 3-D printer), one would have to
fight with others put his/her name on a waiting list as soon as the workshop opens for the day to be able to use them.
The staff and technicians over at the labs and workshops are very helpful and extremely good at what they do. Having a chat with them about one’s overall project design or just on how to manufacture a certain part can make a big difference (though they might sometimes forget that one might be on a very tight budget).
Although students are able to access the workshops freely, it is not the same for the labs which are unsupervised. To obtain access to the labs around the university, one would require to submit a risk assessment form for each lab to ensure that tasks will be carried out in the lab safely.
The university has many other amazing facilities that people might not know of as they’re hidden behind building walls. One might not be able to have access to them all throughout one’s studies, but there are opportunities to check them out during the university Open Days. Or if one can’t wait, there is always the virtual tour option!
The university also has a number of computer suites (also known as the Common Learning Space Workstations) around the campus with each computer equipped with software required for the various course modules.
All that aside, I had the chance to visit the towing tank over at the Boldrewood Innovation Campus for one of my modules and was absolutely amazed.
And lastly, a site visit to an anaerobic digestion plant for the Bioenergy module to end the post.