Facilities for Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Research Institute students

BEST has a range of first-rate facilities which are used by BEST's research staff, undergraduates and postgraduate students.

PhD Research Hub

This facility is a dedicated computing space for PhD students within the BEST research institute and also contains breakout meeting rooms and a seminar space.

Radio Frequency and Microwave Sensors Laboratory

This laboratory is mainly used for postgraduate research and contains the following equipment:

• Food industry (meat, milk, oil)
• Livestock monitoring (sheep projects)
• Environmental monitoring (MT/Stagecoach)
• Security/facilities management (Bottle scanner, Desk sensors)
• Healthcare/bio sensing

Highways Research Laboratory

This laboratory allows the investigation of flexible pavement design. It incorporates an annex used for preparation of binders within a bespoke fume cupboard and production of samples using industry standard equipment.

A cooper testing machine allows the testing of materials to destruction to examine their behaviour under repeated loading including triaxial conditions.

Industrial Chemistry Laboratory

This laboratory contains the following equipment, mainly used for postgraduate research:

  • Distillation facilities
  • Microwave liquid processing rig
  • Fermentation facilities
  • Pipe integrity
  • Microwave assisted distillation
  • Energy from waste rig
  • Containment level 2 facilities
  • Structural building fabric integrity monitoring
  • Microwave assisted chemistry
  • Bio processing
  • High performance liquid chromatography equipment
  • Bund wall overtopping and dynamic pressures

Soil mechanics laboratory

The soil mechanics laboratory provides facilities for carrying out tests to identify properties and strength parameters of soils to aid in the design of structures above or below ground.

Hydraulics laboratory

Using scale models and prototype structures, the laboratory demonstrates the properties of fluids and forces involved with static fluids and fluids in motion. It also covers the analysis of experimental work in fluid mechanics, mainly dealing with water.

Surveying laboratory

The School has invested heavily in high-grade surveying equipment and has acquired two high-precision RTK GPS sets and a 3D laser scanner.

Light structures and materials laboratory

This facility is equipped for testing frames for shear force, bending moment, and plastic deformation. Equipment may be connected to a computer by means of an Automatic Data Acquisition Unit and software (STR2000), enabling computer simulation of loading conditions.

This laboratory is also equipped to carry out small-scale tests conforming to the relevant British and European Standards on construction materials. The aim is to investigate and examine the behaviour and structure of materials. Materials range from timber, plastics, metals, cements and mortars.

Structural testing laboratory

This laboratory is equipped with a wide range of loading rigs, testing frames and systems for monitoring stress and strain in structures under load conditions.

Concrete laboratory

This laboratory is equipped for testing wet and hardened concrete using destructive and non-destructive testing methods. This laboratory is also equipped for generalised work on construction and highway materials.