A leading national water science facility has been officially opened at Cranfield University. The Water Science Building is funded by government through UKCRIC (the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities) and Cranfield University.

During lockdown, the facility has been at the heart of Cranfield’s contribution to the national COVID-19 wastewater testing programme. Using the facility, scientists at Cranfield developed low-cost sensors and monitored the virus in wastewater flows from schools and other locations.

The facility features dedicated laboratories to support the development of advanced sensors and point-of-use treatment technologies as well as a Breakthrough Innovation Hub. These complement the new National Research Facility for Water and Wastewater Treatment, which is also based at Cranfield and part funded through UKCRIC.

The building strengthens Cranfield’s capabilities in both the fundamental science which underpins sustainable water management and the design and development of new technologies to help the water industry solve its most pressing challenges.

The UKCRIC Water Science Building was officially opened by Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chancellor of Cranfield University.

Professor Paul Jeffrey, Director of Water at Cranfield University, said: “This facility, together with the National Research Facility for Water and Wastewater Treatment, is already playing a key role in advancing knowledge in sustainable water management and helping the national efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We are delighted to be playing our part in the work that UKCRIC is doing to secure and enhance the nation’s infrastructure and resilience.”

Dame Deirdre Hutton officially opened the building, which will locally be known as The George Solt Building