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Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD)

Students and researchers working on equipment in the Schuster Building


MECD will be a campus that acts as a gateway to the city of Manchester and the University. It will inspire future generations of engineers and material scientists to pioneer discovery.

Our facilities will complement and sustain the pioneering engineering developments that are occurring every day at The University of Manchester.

Our researchers will have access to outstanding facilities, some of which will sit across discipline boundaries in order to encourage interaction and innovation.

MECD will put our researchers in the heart of our campus close to other key research centres including the National Graphene Institute and the Henry Royce Institute - the UK’s national centre for material science research and innovation.

Research workspaces

The campus will contain a huge variety of adaptable workspaces to support our leading research. There will be basement areas devoted to heavy duty and vibration isolation laboratories and high voltage facilities, which will be on full public view behind floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto York Street.

Find out more about some of the fantastic research workspaces in the new engineering campus below.

  • Microanalysis laboratory with machine on sideboard

    Chemical laboratories

    MECD offers unrivalled opportunities for modern well-serviced laboratories. The laboratories will enable research in areas of chemical engineering, analytical science, corrosion and protection, and materials science.

    With such a wide variety of rapidly evolving research, the laboratories will be flexible in terms of space utilisation and servicing, because today’s requirements will not necessarily be those of the future. Our laboratories will adopt a modular approach, with standard laboratory furnishings and equipment alongside necessary specialist areas.

    Specialist facilities will be grouped together, including autoclaves, walk-in fume cupboards, dark rooms and chemical analysis facilities. Controlled areas will also be provided for safety reasons eg: class 3 and 4 laser hazards or biological hazards.

    Laboratories will have fast and reliable Wi-Fi access to allow researchers to use their own portable devices or work stations in the lab.

  • Close up of hands cutting fabric with blunt instrument

    Design and fashion business

    Design and fashion business combines practical experimental work linked to fashion and textiles, as well as theoretical work leaning towards business. Research activities cover the complete textiles and apparel supply chain, from raw materials to the design and sale of finished garments.

    Much of our research activity is outward facing, for example with consumers or participants involved in various data capture activities - from focus groups and eye tracking to body scanning. MECD will provide space for these research outputs to develop with quiet desk space, open creative spaces and room for group working.

  • Anonymous hands touching robotic machine

    Electronic research laboratory workspaces

    Research in electronic engineering involves working with anything from small devices at the microscopic level to complex sub-systems with many interconnected components that are either tested alone or as part of a larger system. Therefore, our electronics laboratory will be a flexible and adaptive space with integrated research work areas.

    This adaptive working environment will allow movement between activities. It will provide access to natural light and enclosed breakout space for quiet work, group problem-solving or discussion, in addition to different zones for the various hardware test, software development and desk evaluation aspects of the laboratory.

    Work benches will be movable to allow the laboratory to be reconfigured as research projects progress or move in and out of the space.

    Industrially sponsored research is common in electronic engineering research laboratories. Sensitive and high-end equipment and intellectual property will be protected with suitable access control and visual screening.

  • Student peering down microscope and adjusting it

    Microscopy workspace

    Our high end electron microscopes are a flagship facility for the University, and the environment in which the microscope is housed is a crucial factor in allowing the research to be successful. The microscopes' location within MECD has been designed to limit changes in temperature, air flow, magnetic field, or noise and to ensure the microscope stays stable and the best data is obtained.

    Although the microscope is the central piece of the experiment, the majority of our researchers' time will be spent preparing the specimen and analysing the data using specialist software. Open-plan laboratory space will be located nearby with fume hoods and tools for sample preparation, plasma cleaners, as well as safe storage of samples.

  • Empty workstations in the MSS Building

    Modelling and simulation workspaces

    For scientists and engineers who use theoretical approaches in their research, their desk is their laboratory. MECD will provide a modern fit-for-purpose working environment with an open feel with good natural light to minimise visual strain from extended screen-time.