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The University of Southampton

Expert services

We have over 10,000m² of specialist workshops, laboratories and testing facilities dedicated to engineering. Our world-class engineering facilities provide the foundations for our research, education and enterprise activities and are key to the success of engineering at Southampton.

Our engineering facilities are spread across both Highfield and Boldrewood Campuses. Boldrewood Innovation Campus, our newest campus, is a short walk from the main Highfield Campus. It is the result of the University’s collaboration with Lloyd’s Register: one of the largest business partnerships with any single university in the world.

Our new £48m National Infrastructure Laboratory (NIL) has now officially opened. Funded by government and industry, the NIL houses state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities in heavy structures and solid mechanics, geomechanics, multi-scale materials testing and infrastructure engineering. These facilities are used to develop new understandings of the behaviour of large structures and structural components, with an emphasis on cities and infrastructure and the rail and maritime sectors.

Our engineering facilities include:

National Infrastructure Laboratory

National Infrastructure Laboratory

Defining the future of the UK's transport infrastructure. Andrew Haines, Chief Executive Network Rail, opened the National Infrastructure Laboratory on Friday 27 September 2019.

Anechoic chamber

Anechoic chamber

Our large anechoic chamber forms part of the Rayleigh Laboratories, and is one of the largest in the country.

Student workshops

Student workshops

Our students can design, manufacture and test their own prototypes in our student workshops on both Highfield and Boldrewood campuses.

Wind tunnel

Wind tunnel complex

Our wind tunnel complex includes the RJ Mitchell Wind Tunnel, which has been at the forefront of aerodynamics research for more than 35 years.

towing tank

Towing tank

Our 138m towing tank supports teaching, research and commercial clients, not just for conventional ship model testing but across the aerospace, energy, and transportation sectors.


Testing and Structures Research Laboratory

TSRL is a state-of-the-art materials and structures testing facility. Later this year, it will be housed in our new National Infrastructure Laboratory at Boldrewood Innovation Campus.

The large reverberation chamber

Reverberation chambers

Our reverberation chambers enable us to generate high-intensity diffuse noise fields for acoustic fatigue testing of, for example, spacecraft and aircraft components. 

Design studios

Design studios

Our design studios on Highfield Campus and Boldrewood Innovation Campus are available for students to use for their individual and group projects.

Flight simuatlro

Boeing Flight Simulator

Our purpose-built flight simulator can be used within the design, testing and manufacturing stages of generating aircraft, and provides the opportunity to experience how aircraft design influences handling.

Human Factors Research Unit Laboratory

Human Factors Research Unit Laboratory

The Human Factors Research Unit laboratories have a unique range of facilities for experimental studies of human responses to whole-body vibration, hand-transmitted vibration, and low frequency oscillation.

Anechoic doak laboratory

The anechoic doak laboratory is used for jet and valve noise testing, and is equipped with an air supply that can achieve up to 20bar pressure

Geotechnics laboratories

Our laboratories are equipped for both standard and advanced soil element testing, for instance to study stress rotation under rail axle loadings.

Chilworth drop test rig

The drop test rig, situated at the University's Science Park at Chilworth, can measure 2D wedge-water impact phenomena.

nCATS facilties

The national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton facilities include tribological rigs; corrosion and wear-corrosion measurement equipment.

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