- UTS Tech Lab is a new facility for research and development of innovative technologies, led by the Faculty of Engineering and IT.
- With a footprint the size of multiple airport hangers, Tech Lab is home to a range of specialist labs and bespoke workspaces located together, creating new opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.
This week, has officially opened its doors with an industry launch.
Located in a growing industrial and technology hub in Botany, close to the international airport and just outside Sydney’s CBD, Tech Lab is the newest addition to the UTS campus. The more than 9,000m2 research facility houses a range of multidisciplinary engineering and IT labs, as well as collaborative workspaces, meeting rooms and seminar spaces.
Led by the Faculty of Engineering and IT (FEIT), Tech Lab is designed to facilitate new, integrated ways of researching and developing innovative technologies. It accommodates a range of multidisciplinary, specialist labs with state of the art equipment. Housing them in one location creates new opportunities for cross-pollination of knowledge and innovation.
FEIT staff have been relocating to Tech Lab since earlier this year – but creating a highly-specialised facility of this scale takes time. While many of the workspaces are now up and running, the fit out of some specialist labs remains underway.
Open design and access to facilities
Tech Lab features an open plan design, both in its lab spaces and its activity based workspaces to encourage collaborative work and interaction between the different researchers and specialists based there. Social spaces include large and colourful open plan kitchens and lounge areas, which have also been designed to facilitate an informal exchange of ideas and information.
Work and meeting spaces are available for external partners to come in and work alongside UTS researchers. The space has been conceptualised with a focus on nurturing collaboration and partnerships with industry and government.
It will also provide new opportunities for UTS staff and HDR students, who will have access to the state-of-the-art facilities. Tech Lab will welcome researchers from across the university who are working on future-focused projects that integrate new technologies into engineering and information technology applications.
The industrial site that Tech Lab sits within has also seen a recent upgrade. The onsite café has been revamped and features a large outdoor seating area. A new bus shelter has been installed to accommodate the regular that travels between UTS and the site, while substantial bike parking is available for people who prefer to travel on two wheels.
Dexus, the company that manages the Lord St site, have also recently announced plans to further revitalise the local precinct. They have acquired the Botany Lakes Business Park, also on Lord St, where they will be developing a commercial hub with a focus on creative industries.
Specialist labs and research facilities
Inside Tech Lab a range of specialist labs and research spaces have been custom designed and constructed. They include:
Advanced Testing Lab for Structural Dynamic Research – Featuring Australia’s most advanced ‘shake table’ that can simulate earthquakes, this space will also allow testing of resistance to wind and vibration.
Acoustics Lab – This suite of rooms features an anechoic chamber, a room that absorbs all sound reflections to allow testing of pure, direct sound. Anechoic chambers are often said to be the quietest places on Earth.
Structural Testing Facility – This space includes Australia’s strongest floor structure and NSW’s only reaction wall, which are used to test simulated weight loads.
Multimedia Data Analytics Lab – This houses Australia’s only dedicated facilities for applications in multimedia and video surveillance. Equipped with advanced systems and a range of cameras, the lab set-up allows research for video-based applications and projects including human action recognition, detection and counting of people, human re-identification and human gait recognition.
Motion Simulation lab - an advanced facility for research and development into artificial intelligence systems and wearable devices. It will be a space for cutting-edge research in areas such as electric and solar cars and autonomous vehicle technology, and has already attracted significant industry interest.
Now that the doors are officially open, Tech Lab will continue to expand its operations as more and more labs come online, facilitating collaboration across areas including smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced manufacturing.
While UTS is already known for its engagement and partnerships with industry, Professor Ian Burnett, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) says that the new, state-of-the-art facilities at Tech Lab will attract companies and researchers from around the globe to work on new projects in engineering and digital transformation.
“Tech Lab will continue to build on Australia’s research strengths and bring industry and academia together to deliver the most technologically advanced products and services. This will provide impact for our partners and jobs for our students and the wider community,” he says.