Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering facilities
The Ainsworth Building and Willis Annex
The redeveloped Ainsworth Building and Willis Annex is home to the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. The two buildings sit adjacent to each other and were reopened in 2015, after extensive work totalling $67 million.
The School’s research engine is the Willis Annexe and is any engineer’s dream facility with its unique labs and workshops. The annexe houses a flight simulator, mechatronics research space, a refrigeration lab, six laser labs including one equipped with blood-flow analysis technology, machines for tensile and compression testing, an aerodynamics laboratory with four wind tunnels and a mechanical workshop that’s probably the best credentialed workshop in Sydney.
The undergraduate workshops are on the ground floor overlooking the Willis Laneway. These open-plan areas cater for up to 400 students and are designed as flexible spaces where several labs are run simultaneously.
Dr Len Ainsworth made substantial donations to UNSW Engineering which helped make the redevelopment of this precinct possible. The building has two purpose-designed CATS (centrally allocated teaching space) rooms and a cafe that blends into an informal student space. There are more student break-out areas spread throughout the building, each of them are fitted with powered-up benches and modular furniture that students can arrange easily and use collaboratively.
At the heart of the building is a well laid out 350-seat lecture theatre. The modern lecture hall has impressive WiFi connectivity and every student has access to a power point to recharge laptops during class.
The building also facilitates collaborative research and teaching pods that sit across multiple levels in reconfigured academic spaces. There are also innovative teaching spaces, including modern high-tech computer laboratories for up to 200 students.
On the northern roof of the Ainsworth Building is a new solar thermal energy and solar-energy laboratory.