Fire hits computer research at Southampton

A major fire has partially destroyed the world-class computer labs at Southampton University.

A major fire has partially destroyed the world-class computer labs at Southampton University.

The fire, which occurred on Sunday 30 October, affected the Mountbatten Building at the university’s Highfield campus, which includes the micro-fabrication facility.

The Mountbatten Building houses research laboratories and offices for the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).

Tim Berners-Lee, the man recognised as the inventor of the World Wide Web, was last year appointed a professor at Southampton where he is working on the next version of the web, the Semantic Web.

University secretary and registrar John Lauwerys said, “This is a huge loss to the university and the fire has destroyed one of our key research facilities of international importance, supporting groups in both electronics and computer science and the Optoelectronics Research Centre.

He said, “It is not yet safe to enter the Mountbatten Building, so we do not yet know the extent of the loss in terms of people’s research material. It is likely to be a few days before this can be fully established.”

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