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Facilities and contract services

The Faculty enjoys state of the art research facilities including world leading analytical facilities and a comprehensive suite of biosciences laboratories. Many of these facilities are made available commercially to our industrial partners.

Trombone linked to test equipment in acoustics laboratory


Laboratory facilities, both indoor and outdoor, are available to support research into environmental noise, acoustical measurement techniques and musical acoustics. 

The Open University biology laboratory

Biomedical facilities

A range of general laboratories, biomedical laboratories and specialist facilities such as electron microscopy.

Electron microscope in laboratory

Electron Microscopy

The Electron Microscope Suite contains equipment for electron microscopy analysis on biological, material, rock or metal samples.

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Engineering and Innovation Consultancy Services

A wide range of interventions are available including consultancy, training and custom designed action research in areas such as: Sustainable development, Technology Management, Waste Management and Systems thinking and practice.

Ar/Ar and noble gas laboratory at The Open University

Environment, ecosystems and earth science

Facilities that support research and investigation into areas such as biodiversity, biogeochemistry, ecology, palaeoenvironmental change, geochemistry, oceanography, palaeontology, sedimentology, tectonics, noble gas mass spectrometry and volcanology

High performance computing cluster

High Performance Computing Cluster

Many projects across the Faculty require High-Performance Computing (HPC) services. These services are provided through a dedicated High Performance Computing Cluster (HPCC) of specialised server machines. The system was extended to offer some 500 cores in early 2012.

Image of interaction laboratory

Interaction Labs

The Ambient Technology Lab space is housed in the purpose-built Jennie Lee Building (JLB). The Research Labs allow us to study how learners interact with the latest educational media and technologies, both in the lab and at remote locations.

Nano Indenter in Open University laboratory

Materials testing and characterisation

The technical facilities of the Materials Engineering Group include Mechanical testing, Instrumented Indentation, Optical Microscopy, Creep testing and Residual Stress Measurement. A comprehensive materials characterisation service is now provided by StessMap.

Image of large Mars Chamber at The Open University

Physical sciences facilities

Analytical laboratory facilities and facilities to simulate a range of environments.

Equipment in the rapid prototyping laboratory

Rapid Prototyping

Our Rapid Prototyping techniques include expertise in: Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Computer Numerical Control (CNC), 3D scanning and Laser cutting.

Bulldozer clearing rubbish at waste faciltity

Waste and Resources Management

IWS is a leading UK centre for environmental monitoring of waste and waste processing. The group offers specialist expertise and first class laboratory services in the fields of biodegradability testing of materials, characterisation of organic wastes and compost/digestate as well as assessment of environmental impact of gaseous, bioaerosol, particulate and liquid emissions from waste and waste processing.

Meet our Academics

Head and shoulders of male OU academic

In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.

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