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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 13:29 GMT
'Village' honours NI engineer
The village will bring together the university's research centres
The village will bring together the university's research centres
An engineering 'village' named after one of Northern Ireland's most famous inventors has been officially opened.

The University of Ulster said its new Harry Ferguson Engineering Village would be a centre of innovation and entrepreneurship.

It is located at the university's Jordanstown campus in County Antrim.

The centre was opened on Wednesday by the UK Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury.

Centre for Sustainable Technologies
NI Bio-engineering Centre
Technology and Engineering Incubator Centre
Nanotechnology Research Institute
Biomedical and Environmental Sensor Technologies Centre

The village brings together the university's research centres, including the centres for sustainable technologies, bio-engineering, technology and engineering, nano-technology and the 5.7m Fire Safety Engineering and Research Centre.

The UU said it would provide a platform for top flight research across the whole spectrum of engineering.

It would help academic scientific innovation "jump from the lab to the world of commerce", it said.

'Modern mission'

UU Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry McKenna said: "The new Harry Ferguson Engineering Village, named in honour of one of Northern Ireland's most renowned engineers and innovators, is the latest step in our pioneering research and technology transfer programme here at the university."

He said the university's outstanding researchers, and the new facilities would together form a unique platform to enrich teaching, research and technology transfer.
The first Little Grey Fergie was built in 1936
The first Little Grey Fergie was built in 1936

Later this year, a new Centre for Sustainable Technologies and ane 8m nano-technology research institute will be opened at the village.

The 11m nanotech centre is a joint project between the UU and Queen's University in Belfast.

Harry Ferguson is best known for his "little grey Fergie" tractor.

Born in County Down in 1884, he had built and piloted his own aeroplane by the age of 24. The first model of his tractor was produced in 1936.

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