US partnership allows Edinburgh Napier University to roll out new tech lab

A Scottish university is to ramp up its building design research and training thanks to a tie-up with a US business.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 10:41 am
Prior to the full laboratory being installed for the 2020/21 academic year, a pilot lab for student use has been launched this week. Picture: Contributed

Edinburgh Napier University has been gifted equipment and software by California-based Trimble to establish a “state-of-the-art technology lab” focused on architecture, engineering and construction.

The university said that by partnering with the company it could more fully integrate the technological tools that are transforming how buildings and living environments are designed and constructed.

The new lab will equip students with knowledge of the latest thinking in how to plan, design, build and manage engineering projects. It will expand the university’s leadership in training and research in 3D building design, digital fabrication and the sustainable built environment.

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Allyson McDuffie, director of education and outreach at Nasdaq-listed Trimble, which has more than 11,000 employees globally, said: “We’re extremely excited to be establishing a state-of-the art Trimble Technology Lab in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier.

“Our mission in transforming the industry requires that we invest in aspiring designers, architects, contractors, engineers and project management professionals by driving awareness of, and access to, industry-leading solutions for training and research.”


Prior to the laboratory being installed at the university’s Merchiston campus for the 2020/21 academic year, a pilot lab for student use has been launched this week at Napier’s facility at the 7 Hills Business Park in Sighthill.

Professor Andrea Nolan, principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We are proud to be joining forces with Trimble to create the first dedicated Trimble Technology Laboratory in Scotland.

“This generous gift means students and researchers across Edinburgh Napier University will have access to technologies broadening our applications of surveying, 3D building modelling, performance analysis and digitally empowered delivery for the built environment in new and exciting ways.”

Professor Robert Hairstans, head of Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures, added: “The new Trimble Technology Lab will prepare the next generation of engineering and construction leaders to be bold and better in addressing the industry’s 21st century challenges of harnessing technological innovation, increasing productivity and decarbonising the built environment.”

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