The Agricultural Engineering Innovation Centre, home to the National Centre for Precision Farming, provides 'clean' engineering facilities including:
The £2.93m engineering building supplements existing resources and provides a physical base around which university/industry collaboration can be stimulated.
The building has many unique features that support product development and training, and also provide a means to verify health and safety measures in the design and development of new agricultural machinery and precision farming applications.
The engineering hub includes workshops dedicated to electronics and mechatronic, metal fabrication and vehicle and machine assembly and maintenance where students develop and manufacture their concepts for rough terrain machinery. A dedicated design room adjacent to the workshops is invaluable for final year project work, and a Z corporation 3D printer allows for rapid prototyping.
The large covered Soil Hall is unique to Harper Adams. Measuring 60m x 30m (the largest covered field demonstration area in the UK), the hall provides an excellent facility for carrying out practical demonstrations and research into the behaviour and performance of off-highway vehicles and field machinery without the influence of the weather. The covered field can be irrigated to change soil conditions, and provides an ideal environment for student project work and for commercial companies to carry out research and development work on their products.
A machinery demonstration hall measuring 48m x 30m, which is attached to the soil hall, provides storage and demonstration facilities for off-highway and agricultural machines. We maintain a wide-ranging fleet of machines and vehicles and have loan arrangements with engineering companies to ensure students have access to the latest technological developments. Both the Soil and Machinery halls have been used by machinery firms for demonstrations of tractors and equipment to local farmers and dealers.
A great facility for demonstrating all sorts of off-road vehicles, this is also the site of the Skills Training Centre for students wishing to gain additional qualifications such as telehandler or tractor driving, offered as part of the Rural Skills Programme.
We also have the use of an adjacent 3ha field, which has been developed to provide a safe driving and demonstration area for students and companies. The field provides an all-weather surface for the operation of off-highway and agricultural machines and extends the facility provided by the covered Soil Hall and Machinery Demonstration Hall.
The Engineering Design Centre is located on the ground floor of the Bamford Library. There are a number of classrooms and study rooms that provide access to powerful workstations running the latest computer aided design (CAD) software packages.
This new innovation hub for agricultural technology has been built at Harper Adams University, thanks to funding from the Government’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies. Under a partnership deal, industry and academics, including those at Harper Adams, will work together to create a new global centre for agricultural engineering and precision farming.
The Innovation Hub serves the Agri-EPI Centre project – backed by the Government’s Business Innovation and Skills Department, which aims to become a world-leading centre for excellence in engineering and precision agriculture for the livestock, arable, aquaculture and horticulture sectors.