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Dura inspires future engineers in state-of-the-art lab

The multi-million-pound technology laboratory built on Abingdon & Witney College's campus aims to address the current skills gap

Posted by Lucinda Reid | February 26, 2018 | Technology

Dura has been inspiring students at an Oxfordshire college with the addition of their state-of-the art workspace furniture for a brand-new technology laboratory. They were thrilled to be asked by Abingdon & Witney College to fit out the open plan lab that provides specific teaching zones, which opened at the start of 2018.

The workspace installation includes six mobile tool drawers and cupboard units which not only provide secure storage space for components and project work, but can be configured in several different ways for group collaboration, presentation and individual project tasks. A fixed installation of 12 learning stations flanks one wall, where banks of 3D printers are situated. The main teaching area encompasses an interactive screen, additional storage and worktop space.

Michael Chiyasa, Head of Estates and Capital Development at the College, said: 'When planning the building, our attentions were drawn to the Advanced Manufacturing Centre that Dura had created for Coventry University at Unipart. We knew immediately that we had found our solution! Our aim was to simulate as closely as possible an authentic industry environment, but tailored to our specific teaching needs. We also wanted a facility that would stand the test of time and that would complement the building. The Dura workplace furniture afforded fantastic choice and their consultation, design and installation service was outstanding.'

The multi-million-pound Advanced Skills Centre built on the Abingdon campus aims to address the current skills gap in the local area, targeting key STEM sectors including electronics, engineering, telecoms and IT. Its modern design and state-of-the-art engineering workshops, equipped with the latest technology, aims to provide an inspirational environment, whilst the spacious breakout areas and lounges give students a university campus experience.

Head of Faculty for Technology, Mark Byerley, said: 'We now have a state-of-the-art, truly flexible and future-proofed teaching space, unlike any other locally. Thanks to the expertise and advice of Dura, who are clearly very knowledgeable in education technical furniture fit-out, we feel confident that our unique Advanced Skills Centre will inspire future generations to choose Abingdon and Witney College for their Engineering and Digital courses, and ultimately, provide employers with a highly-skilled workforce that is ready to contribute to the local, national and global economies.'

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