Prototypes will be designed and built by students in the new facility
UCL Mechanical Engineering is set to launch MechSpace, a new student hub for the design and build of practical projects, in London’s King’s Cross. The new facility, rapidly transformed by UCL Estates this summer, spans six levels with some 12,000 square feet of space and an array of well-equipped workshops and study spaces.
The student body of UCL Mechanical Engineering has grown significantly in recent years, with now over 800 taught students. The introduction of UCL’s award-winning Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) also brought a renewed emphasis on combining practical engineering skills and learning through projects, with academic knowledge.
The department needed extra room – which is challenging in the heart of Central London – a challenge which MechSpace is going some way to meeting. Around 350 students were able to tackle engineering scenarios there in a single day earlier this year.
Professor Tim Baker and Departmental Manager Claire Bamford with the keys to the new hub.
Professorial Teaching Fellow Tim Baker, who championed the acquisition and adaptation of the new space, said: “UCL is cited as a global leader in engineering education, with UCL Mechanical Engineering highlighted for our work on practical projects. MechSpace will provide our students with exceptional facilities and be a place where our department can further develop our leadership in the field.”
UCL MechEng students will now tackle their ambitious group design projects with vastly improved facilities. Head of Department, Professor Yiannis Ventikos said, “Seeing the projects our students are pursuing is a humbling experience; from racing cars to exoplanetary rovers, and soon rockets! Our brilliant students now have a space where they can unleash their creativity to its fullest.”
Undergraduate Cristina Navarro-Rubio who previously led the students’ Mechanical Engineering Society, was pleasantly surprised by MechSpace on returning from a year studying in Australia. “It is an amazing new working area that brings so many new opportunities. A spacious workshop with all the tools you could ever need for your projects, as well as quiet rooms where you can study and hold meetings.”
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The new building will also serve as a Central London base for global STEM outreach organisation F1 in Schools, with whom the department has collaborated for many years.
The building will be launched by UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, in an event for alumni, staff, students and guests on Wednesday October 16th.