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The OpenEngineering Laboratory

The OpenEngineering Laboratory logo is a round circle with a teal background which contains 4 cogs of different sizes and colours. There are also three yellow dots two with red lines coming from them and one with a blue line, representing electrical connections. The text The OpenEngineering Laboratory is to the right of the main circle.

The OpenEngineering Laboratory (OEL) offers practical Laboratory-based teaching at a distance covering, electronics, signal-processing, control, materials and mechanical engineering. The OEL allows our Engineering students to remotely connect in real-time to instrumentation, data, and equipment for real and authentic experimentation and investigation. There are currently 31 experiments, serving over 6000 students, presented from the laboratory. Students can access the OEL from wherever they have an internet connection and at a time of their choosing.

Key features include:

  • Equipment accessed in real-time
  • Ultra-low latency connection for instantaneous experience
  • Video and data streaming from test grade engineering rigs
  • Capacity for over 300 experiment kits available simultaneously
  • Accessible to students 22 hours/day

Example activities:

A red vertical shaft, a pendulum, is connected to a motor via a vertical shaft which can be moved back and forth in clockwise and anticlockwise directions. The pendulum is attached to this shaft by a horizontal pin, allowing it to rotate freely in a vertical plane. The motor is mounted on top of a black block that is standing on the flat electronic control board that allows remote operation of the motor. The control board also has a sensor which can read the angular displacement of the pendulum through time.


Investigate the dynamic behaviour of a driven pendulum to observe the relationship between its frequency, amplitude and phase

A photo of 61 metres of a red very thin copper wire with a diameter of 140 microns that is randomly tucked inside a conical glass flask to ensure that it is uniformly heated.


Monitor the electrical resistance of a copper wire through heating and cooling cycles to understand the effect of joule heating on the efficiency of power transmission.

A picture of the transparent section of a wind tunnel that contains two toy cars, one green and one red. The transparent section has a round hatch that can be opened to insert and remove items from the wind tunnel.

Wind tunnels

Explore aspects of fluid flow using a remote access wind tunnel. Three different experiments explore flow around a cylinder, drag and characterisation of a wing section

the OpenEngineering Lab is a fantastic way to add the additional dimension of 'hand-on' to the module. With distance learning it is notoriously difficult to supply students with hardware kits – the OEL is a great solution. I have found the experiments illuminating and interesting – they have added to my understanding of the excellent course material. It also offers a safe environment. It has allowed me to continue with the module even though I am on holiday in Barbados – truly offering a global reach. Great stuff!”

Electronics Student

It is refreshing and exciting to be able to undertake a laboratory based experiment. It has really helped to put what I have been reading about into a practical exercise.

Mechanical engineering student

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