Opening our doors to the public



More than 500 people arrived at Heriot-Watt University at the weekend to enjoy a packed schedule at the annual Doors Open Day.

On Saturday 29 September, special access was granted to the Lyell Centre, which is home to the British Geological Centre (BGS) and some of Heriot-Watt University's scientists. Young and old took the opportunity to meet scientists and engineers as well as learn about the fascinating research that is being undertaken.  

Our scientists thoroughly enjoyed participating in the event, as much as our visitors.

Tracy Shimmield, Co-Director of the Lyell Centre

There was even the chance for visitors to get hands-on with sea creatures in a marine touch tank as well as get a close up look of our robotic assisted living lab, and 3D visualisation centre.

Dr Laura Wicks, Heriot-Watt University's Public Engagement Lead, said: “We had an incredible turnout to this year's Doors Open Day.

“It was great to see so many visitors, of all ages, interacting with our scientists and their research – they had so many great questions about both why and how we explore all aspects of the world, from the deep ocean floors, to dust in outer space. 

“The feedback has been very strong, not only from visitors but also from our academics who loved spending time with people who hold a genuine interest in what they do.”

The event was part of Edinburgh Doors Open Day and Explorathon, which is a European Commission initiative to boost public awareness of the positive role of research in society.

It is the second year Heriot-Watt and the BGS have partnered together to host the Doors Open Day on campus.

Co-Director of the Lyell Centre Tracy Shimmield, BGS said: “The Lyell Centre is a joint collaboration between the British Geological Survey and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, which builds on our individual and combined interdisciplinary expertise in land and marine conservation, geology and geoscience.

“We always seek out opportunities to share our science with members of the public and we look forward to taking part in Doors Open Day each year.

“Our scientists thoroughly enjoyed participating in the event, as much as our visitors.”

This year's Doors Open Day event links into Heriot-Watt University's Year of Sea campaign – which is a year-long calendar of activity, spanning schools, the public, academia, industry collaborators, funders and policy makers.

The University will host a Student Open Day on Friday 26 October for prospective students, giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the university experience and discover more about the subject areas. For more information or to register visit here.