To support our courses we have an extensive set of facilities.
Take a virtual tour
In 2019, the University of Surrey invested over £6.5m in new and upgraded facilities in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS). This video explores the computer science areas that benefited from this investment, including our new 200-seater Computer Science Laboratory.
Facilities to help your studies
Our faculty has two common rooms available for students to use 24 hours a day, one of which is for quiet study.
The University has six open access PC labs available 24 hours a day, when not being used for classes. These run typical desktop and word processing software on Microsoft Windows to support your studies, plus dedicated software for teaching, including programming languages.
Our faculty runs five dedicated specialist labs, again available 24 hours a day, when not being used for classes. These run specialist software, such as:
- Jupyter notebooks
- NSight on Linux (Ubuntu)
- Spyder (IDE)
- DEAP (evolutionary computation)
Which are used in our degree programmes.
We also have specialist desktop solutions for our postgraduate research students. This includes a range of development software, research packages and dedicated printing.
For machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence
The department has the following resources for demanding machine learning experiments.
A new 200 machine lab is set up as a pool of computers (called the “orca” pool). This is a good facility for machine learning experiments because each machine has a Nvidia Quadro P4000 Graphics Card, and each card has 8GB memory, i.e. 200 GPUs available.
These machines can be controlled remotely. You can submit machine learning jobs to the pool of 200 machines, and jobs will be queued and run on the first available machine. You can submit multiple jobs, potentially running multiple models in parallel on different machines. You can also run jobs overnight. For example, you could submit multiple jobs in the evening and login in the morning to see the results. The results get saved into your own university managed home drive.
Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 cards
For research the department has servers with Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 cards, we have eight of these cards in total. They are fast and their memory is high at 24GB, which enables training large models, e.g. those using the transformer architecture.
Nvidia Tesla K40m
The department also has two Nvidia Tesla K40m. These are older, but their memory is still good at 12GB. This facility is also available to students who need to run large jobs.
For edge and cloud computing, networking and distributed systems and security
We have an OpenNebula server which provides our own "cloud" environment in which students can safely explore security software, like configuring firewalls or performing penetration testing using metasploit, as well as experiment with different network setups to learn about the intricacies of computer networking.
We also provide remote access to over 200 Raspberry Pi's, which are equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to enable students to study and explore the security feature provided by this important technology, which has been deployed in millions of devices, including the majority of all modern laptops and desktops.
All the Linux labs can be accessed remotely using a web browser which will allow students access to a full desktop remotely (i.e. from home or their student accommodation) with all the application as if they were in the lab, or alternatively a direct ssh can be used.
A similar facility is also offered for Windows-based lab machines and students can use the VM Horizon client to access Windows PCs from home or their student accommodation.
The majority of the software that we use as part of our degree is open-source (Eclipse, Java, Python, Linux) and hence free for you to download and use.
We also provide a range of other commercial software for which we have a site licence and which students can download and use while they are studying for their degree, e.g. Office365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc), SPSS, Matlab (note this list is not exhaustive and subject to change).
Facilities for final year students
Final year students have access to the Grace Hopper Lab, a dedicated 24-hour card access lab with 15 additional machines.
We have also purchased equipment such as NAO robots and Parrot drones for use in final year projects. Additional equipment and external services to support projects can be purchased (these are assessed on a case-by-case basis).
Find out more about final year projects.