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The University of Southampton

Changing the world for 60 years

Published: 27 June 2012

A Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 racing car, electrifying demonstrations in a high voltage laboratory and a rare chance to see inside a wind testing tunnel are just some of the latest exciting attractions to be unveiled as part of the University of Southampton’s Community Open Day.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the University will throw its doors open to the public on Saturday 30 June and invite people of all ages to experience a fascinating insight into its cutting-edge research.

Engaging exhibitions, interactive displays, talks and shows, will line the Highfield Campus from 10.30am until 4pm.

The University is also running a prize draw for visitors to win an iPad. Simply register on the University website in the run up to the event – - and you will be automatically entered.

This stimulating and free event will mark the University’s 60th year at the forefront of world-changing research and will showcase some of its most successful achievements from the past six decades. Visitors will have a variety of opportunities to speak to and interact with some of the world’s leading academics.

Visitors will have a rare chance to see inside a wind testing tunnel.
The RJ Mitchell wind tunnel

Recently unveiled experiences include:

  • A rare chance to see inside the RJ Mitchell Wind Tunnel, a centre of excellence for sports engineering. Also on display, a full-size Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 racing car. 
  • Tour and enjoy demonstrations in the globally renowned Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, which has put the University at the forefront of innovative research in power supply conduction and distribution. Visitors will be shown around the facility and will have the chance to view a demonstration of high voltage phenomena, which will include arcs, discharges, plasma generation and high voltage breakdown.
  • Ponder letters, pictures, historical documents and diaries held in the Special Collections Archives at the Hartley Library that date back several centuries.
Previously confirmed highlights include:
  • The world’s only Biometric Tunnel, which will be open for people to walk through and discover their own individual ‘signature’ of the way they walk
  • A showcase of examples of underwater creatures discovered on the Caribbean sea-floor
  • The Soton Astrodome, the University’s inflatable mobile planetarium, which will transport visitors to the stars.
More information about the Community Open Day, the University’s successes, and the registration form giving a chance of winning an iPad, can be found at

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