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The SuperLab at University of Technology Sydney

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The SuperLab at University of Technology Sydney
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UTS realises leading-edge science education facility with Crestron

The moment he was briefed, project manager Rob Hardy knew he was taking

on one of the toughest challenges in AV design. A ‘SuperLab’ was planned

as the centrepiece of the new Science & Graduate School of Health Building

at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Ranked as the No. 1 young

University in Australia, UTS is one of the largest universities in the country

with a total enrolment of over 40,000 students and 3000 staff.


But just what is a SuperLab? The idea of a SuperLab had been around for

only a decade, but it was already established as a new category of teaching

room. The first SuperLab was built at the London Metropolitan University

and it quickly gained a reputation as a key tool for improving passing grades

and enhancing retention rates amongst first-year Science students.


A SuperLab must allow many classes to run in the space at once, and be

able to instantly reconfigure to allow an instructor to address any sized class

— from as little as a dozen to as many as 200 students.

It sounds easy if you say it quickly, but facilitating two-way communication

between a demonstrator and a class undertaking practical chemistry or

biology experiments is already taxing. Adding the requirement for different

groups to work side by side without interrupting each other takes the

audiovisual task to an entirely new plane. Match that with the need to

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