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LSBU uses sophisticated virtual reality technology to challenge tomorrow's engineers

A new engineering laboratory at LSBU will give students hands-on experience of using the latest virtual reality technology as an engineering development tool
16 November 2015

London South Bank University (LSBU) has commissioned a new virtual engineering laboratory, carefully designed to help students become more industry-aware and give them familiarity with new technologies to design, develop and test their ideas.

The laboratory comprises five zones - the virtual reality auditorium, the project-based learning laboratory, the rapid prototyping and post-production suite, the digital factory and the head-mounted-display suite, which allows students to navigate their engineering projects in 3D using virtual reality headsets. Combined these zones allow students in LSBU’s School of Engineering to perform detailed design reviews, rehearse in-depth training tasks, validate maintenance procedures or verify assembly and manufacturing processes at 1:1 scale. The technology used enables students to view their engineering projects in real-time, using the latest 3D modelling and visualisation technologies.

Viewing a project in virtual reality has many benefits to the engineer. Aside from gaining a greater understanding of how the project will work when fully realised, the engineer can also spot any flaws or potential risks in the project, and correct these prior to further development. The new facility offers an immersive interactive experience that provides users with the opportunity to experience a wide range of industrial environments first hand. It give students the chance to develop practical skills that would under normal circumstances be prohibitive due to economies of scale.

Tony Roberts, Academic Director within the School of Engineering at LSBU comments: “At LSBU we want to give students a hands-on experience of using Virtual Reality as a development tool, as this technology changes the way we interact not only with our designs, but with our colleagues too. So we are using these exciting technologies to challenge the next generation of engineers to think differently and develop more creative solutions to real-world problems. Postgraduates, undergraduates and even younger students from our affiliated Academy of Engineering will all benefit from these facilities. This is part of a new chapter of engineering teaching and LSBU has a leading position in delivering the kinds of skills industry needs.”

Find out more about studying Engineering at LSBU.