Coventry University’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) recently celebrated the completion of a £6m expansion through a virtual event.
The university technology centre has introduced new teaching spaces, including six laboratories and a dedicated area for robotics and testing. These enhancements include provisions for remote lecture attendance, utilising 3D computer-generated models of the facilities and avatars to represent participants.
Marcos Kauffman, the director of the centre, remarked on the occasion as the commencement of a “new chapter” that positions the AME “at the forefront of innovative teaching”. The event’s official reopening saw some guests participating as virtual avatars, alongside those attending physically. These virtual participants could navigate a digital version of the AME facility and engage in sessions remotely, interacting with others in the metaverse and those present on-site.
Since its inception in 2014, the AME’s recent expansion has been partially funded by a £1m grant from the government’s Local Growth Fund. Established in collaboration with Unipart Manufacturing, the centre, as highlighted by its managing director Carol Burke, aims to bridge “skills and technology gaps in our industry.”