In December 2016, Oxford Flow played host to IGEM’s Young Person’s Network (YPN) as it toured two of Oxford’s most impressive facilities: The Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory and the Diamond Light Source.
Diamond Light Source is the UK’s synchrotron. It works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines to viruses and vaccines.
The machine speeds up electrons to near light speeds so that they give off a light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. These bright beams are then directed off into laboratories known as ‘beamlines’. Here, scientists use the light to study a vast range of subject matter, from new medicines and treatments for disease to innovative engineering and cutting-edge technology.
Whether it’s fragments of ancient paintings or unknown virus structures, at the synchrotron, scientists can study their samples using a machine that is 10,000 times more powerful than a traditional microscope.
Diamond is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of scientific research.
Continuing the innovation theme, the IGEM team then visited Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory, where Oxford Flow’s Technical Director, Professor Tom Povey talked them through some of the most sophisticated turbine and high speed flow facilities in the UK. He also gave an overview of Oxford Flow’s world-first piston-led valve design, which was developed at Osney Thermo-Fluids and is now being used by a number of leading businesses in the oil and gas industry.