Opening of the Osney Thermofluids Research Laboratory at the Southwell Building

When Sep 23, 2010
from 11:00 AM to 03:00 PM
Where Southwell Building, Osney Mead, Oxford
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On Thursday, 23rd September 2010 over 180 guests, including representatives from government, industry, alumni and academia from the UK and abroad, attended the opening of the Department of Engineering Science’s Southwell Building in Osney Mead, Oxford. The new building has been named after Professor Sir Richard Southwell, who was head of the Department of Engineering Science from 1929 to 1942.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton opens the Southwell Building

The new Osney Thermofluids Research Laboratory in the Southwell Building was opened by Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, who highlighted that this is one of the leading laboratories in the world for turbo-machinery and heat transfer research.

During the opening the Vice-Chancellor announced that Professor Peter Ireland will be taking up the post of the Donald Schultz Professorship of Turbo-machinery at the Southwell Building. Professor Ireland was a Postdoctoral Researcher and later a University Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Science, and since 2007 he has been the Heat Transfer Specialist at Rolls-Royce plc.

The Department has had a close relationship with Rolls-Royce that goes back 30 years and was formalised in 1992 with the establishment of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics. It is this association that has been central to the development of the new Osney Thermofluids Research Laboratory.

The Department’s history of work in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics dates back to its foundation in 1908. A pivotal moment came in 1971 when the University acquired the old Oxford Power Station, which allowed first rate work in hypersonics and turbo-machinery. A few years ago the old Power Station was no longer fit to house a modern research facility so the University seized the opportunity to acquire the Southwell Building.

Today, one of the most important pieces of equipment in the Southwell Building is the “Oxford Turbine Research Facility”, which has been acquired from QinetiQ (one of the largest global science and technology organisations), with support from the South East England Development Agency.

VIPs at the Oxford Turbine Research FacilityPictured with the Oxford Turbine Research Facility are (from left to right): Research student Imran Qureshi; Professor Guy Houlsby, Head of the Department of Engineering Science; Mr Paul Stein, Chief Scientific Officer at Rolls-Royce plc; the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Dr Frank Haselbach, Chief of Function - Aerothermal, Turbine Systems with Rolls-Royce plc.

Highlights from the opening included:

  • Unveiling of the plaque to mark the opening of the Southwell Building by Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford
  • Presentations by Mr Paul Stein, Chief Scientific Officer with Rolls-Royce plc; Professor Guy Houlsby, the Head of the Department of Engineering Science; Professor Martin Oldfield, Professor of Engineering Science (Emeritus); Professor Li He, the Rolls-Royce/Royal Academy of Engineering Professor in Computational Aerothermal Engineering; and Professor Peter Ireland, the new Head of Osney Thermofluids Research Laboratory
  • Live demonstration of the “Annular Sector Heat Transfer Facility”, a heat transfer experiment using real engine hardware in which engine conditions are correctly modelled.
  • Poster exhibition by research students and research assistants
  • Tours of the new Osney Thermofluids Research Laboratory
  • Drinks and canapés reception

The following photo montage gives a flavour of the opening.

More information on this story can be found on the University of Oxford’s website: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2010/100930.html

To find out more about facilities at the new Osney Thermofluids Research Laboratory please refer to the following brochure.