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A world-class 3D visualisation facility has officially opened at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, today.

The Dame May Ogilvie-Gordon Audio-Visualisation Centre is a joint venture between Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Petroleum Engineering, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and British Geological Survey.

Located in the Lyell Centre for Earth & Marine Science & Technology the facility will allow academia and industry to better interpret complex geological and engineering data. The facility is a joint building with the British Geological Survey.

The centre is named after Dame Maria Ogilvie Gordon – who was one of the most prolific female geoscientific researchers of the 20th century.

Professor John Underhill, Heriot Watt’s Chief Scientist, said: “We’re delighted to be officially opening this modern and unique visualisation suite.

“Not only will it help the oil and gas industry with research in subsurface geoscience, it will also allow us to see the make-up of the Built Environment and examine aspects of the sea-bed and our coastlines.

“The Centre was perfect to name after Dame May Ogilvie Gordon – an esteemed Heriot-Watt alumni who was dedicated to Geology, had an extraordinary rich geological career, a founding member of the League of Nations (the United Nations) and a role model for women in science.

“The state-of-the-art equipment will support the dissemination of data and analytical tools to academia and industry alike.”

Dr Nick Richardson, OGA's Head of Exploration and New Ventures, said: “This open-access facility provides a collaborative space within which users can communicate their science and develop a shared understanding and new ideas. 

“The UK’s Oil and Gas Sector will benefit from the facility in areas such as surface and subsurface mapping, operations planning, remote site inspections, and facility safety orientations, however given the facility’s adaptability we are sure that many other user groups and sectors will find a diverse range of useful applications.”

Professor Garry Pender, Deputy Principal for Research at Heriot-Watt University, added: “I am delighted that hosting this facility will strengthen the University’s position as a leader in research in the sub surface, as related to oil and gas, and other disciplines.

“It will help drive greater collaboration between Heriot-Watt and the British Geological Survey.”

The facility was made possible by a £700k Capital Grant Award made by The UK Regulator, The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).

The opening is part of an Exploration Weekend where the university will open its doors to the public for a series of sea themed free family friendly, hands on lab visits, cultural events, exhibitions and lectures, plus the opportunity to learn about our world-class, global research.