The Duke awarded students, who won a competition and helped contribute to the design of the zone, with a certificate.
He then pulled the curtains open and revealed the silver plaque to a crowd of avid students and staff.
In a moving speech, the Duke stated: “The purpose of university is to train people to solve the problems of tomorrow.
“We don’t always know what the problems of tomorrow are, but they’re probably likely to be today’s problems, only worse.
“You are teaching your students about how to use this technology and particularly how to think about the use and how it can be most effective.
“So, I congratulate you for having this Smart Zone and for filling it with the latest gadgets. I am delighted to be associated with the Smart Zone, even if I’m not very smart myself.”
The Duke was shown a few of the students’ projects before departing from the premises.
The £1.3 million zone aims to provide students with the tools and technologies to undertake new projects in areas such as sustainable power, AI and robotics.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Jones said: “The Smart Zone actively promotes the importance of project work and working collaboratively with industry partners who are also invited to make use of the space and equipment
“Above all, this demonstrates that we are investing in our students who are making the transition from university to industry professionals.”
The Smart Zone is now open to students and professionals in the Brindley building located on the university campus.
For more information, watch the video below:
Photos by: @benwareing