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CIMNE inaugurates a new building for research

The International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering has just inaugurated a new space for research at the UPC Campus Nord of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech. The inauguration took place on July 15th, 2016, with the presence of the Minister for Economics and Knowledge of the Catalan Government, Mr. Jordi Baiget, who highlighted the importance of opening "required spaces that make services and are useful for the catalan research model and society”. Professor Enric Fossas, dean of the UPC, and the director of CIMNE professor Eugenio Oñate, and the engineer in charge of the work, Mr. Pere-Andreu Ubach, have also participated in the event.

Inauguration B0

Pere-Andreu Ubach explaining details about the building to the visitors

The inauguration was attended by highlighed authorities in the research field, such as the Director General for Research, Francesc Subirada and Lluís Rovira, Director of ICERCA. The director for CIMNE, Eugenio Oñate, has highlighted that “the building is the proof that the collaboration between institutions is expressed into concrete facts” and has emphasized that it will be “a tool to improve the task of research and knowledge transfer”. On the other hand, the Minister Baiget has highlighted the utility of the building and its contribution for the catalan research model. Mr. Baiget has said also that “in a virtual world, [the new premises] offers opportunities for meeting and dialogue” and “more engineers and researchers can do research”. The director of the Civil Engineering School of the UPC, Sebastià Olivella, has emphasized the importance of "being part in this project" and “to have space for doctoral students at the campus, where they can be closer to the laboratories and their thesis supervisors".

Inauguration CIMNE B0

From left to right: Sebastià Olivella, director of the Civil Engineering School of the UPC;  Mr. Jordi Baiget, Minister for Economics and Knowledge of the Catalan Government; Enric Fossas, dean of the UPC; and Eugenio Oñate, director of CIMNE

B0, a new space for research

On September 2014 CIMNE started the construction of a new building of 2,270 m2, in a zone adjacent to the central offices of CIMNE at the UPC Campus Nord. The so-called B0 building will host the premises of the Flumen Institute for River Dynamics and Hydraulic Engineering, a joint initiative between CIMNE and UPC as well as spaces for research, education and technology transfer, activities related to the development and application of numerical methods in engineering, with emphasis on civil engineering. 

The construction of the building has been co-funded by the FEDER programme of the European Commission.

Overview B0

The new building has been finished by the end of 2015 and researchers have moved to these new facilities during the first months of 2016. This new building is equipped with modern experimental facilities for model scale testing of river dynamic and hydraulic problems and it also provides work areas for researchers at the graduate level (masters, doctoral and postdoctoral) and for senior researchers from CIMNE and UPC.

Last generation virtual reality room

Inauguration 3D
From left to right: Mr. Jordi Baiget, Minister for Economics and Knowledge of the Catalan Government; Ms. Esther Real, vicerector for Knowledge Transfer of the UPC; and Ms. Anna Font, General Manager of CIMNE

A highlighted space of the new facilities is the potential of the new 3D room, designed by CIMNE researchers and the team of the Centre de Realitat Virtual de Barcelona (CRV) of the UPC and EURECAT. It is an important 3D visualization tool and it will serve as a testing laboratory by researchers and as a showroom exhibition of prototypes of engineering, bioengineering, interactive environments, etc.

During the visit, the researcher at CIMNE, Dr. Javier Mora, explained the high performance equipment of the 3D room, which features an array of 12 projectors to achieve more than 4K resolution, retractable large screen, calibration system, polarized glasses, 3D sound system, computer equipment for high-performance rendering and interaction works. After that, was taken place the projection of a 3D models.

Sustainable building

The building is equipped with features to improve energy efficiency and lighting needs and control the energy consumption.

The water from Flumen laboratory is reused through an underground tank of 750m3 which has allowed the creation of a closed recirculating water circuit to make all models of laboratory testing. "The installation has been a challenge due to the small dimensions of the building and its location within the campus because it has a very deep basement, with a maximum unevenness of 16 meters compared to the street", explains Pere-Andreu Ubach, the engineer responsible for the work.

It has also promoted the creation of common areas to improve the exchange of knowledge between research teams in a friendly environment. The B0 new building has a terrace of some 200m2 where has been installed an inflatable structure of over 100m2 that can be deployed in less than 20 minutes and is a true demonstration of the application of pneumatic engineering, developed by CIMNE researchers.