Higgins Labs, is home to WPI's largest academic department, Mechanical Engineering. Built in 1942, the building was completely refurbished and expanded in a recent renovation. Some 20,000 square feet of space was added, including a 17,000-square-foot addition. In Higgins Labs you'll find the Design Studio, home to a new approach to teaching design, the Discovery Classroom, a multimedia lecture hall, and dedicated laboratories for work on student projects.
Among the research facilities you'll see in Higgins are laboratories for computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering, fluid dynamics and thermal processes, laser holography, structural dynamics and vibrations, rehabilitation engineering and biomechanics. In the Center for Firesafety Studies is the modern Fire Science Laboratory, which supports work in fire dynamics, combustion phenomena, detection, smoke properties, and fire and explosion suppression.