A NEW engineering innovation centre’s capabilities mean more than most to one East Lancashire student.

UCLan has unveiled a new £35million facility in Preston, tasked with bringing concepts into reality.

Krystyna Marshall, 16, from Burnley, who had won a young engineers competition, was one of the first to see inside.

She had dreamed up a special jacket to support spinal muscular atrophy sufferers, like one of her cousins.

But the amount of metal she envisaged using could have made the garment too heavy and costly.

Staff from the School of Engineering were then able to devise an exoskeleton which, when manufactured on a 3D printer, made the jacket wearable and brought down the price.

Krystyna said: “By making this design a reality, a new world can be opened up to children with spinal conditions.”

Dr Matthew Dickinson, a senior lecturer at UCLan, said the exoskeleton was a perfect example of the way engineering could directly impact on people’s lives.