AT FIRST glance this piece of machinery could pass for a huge ammonite fossil, fit for a museum.

In fact, the swirling structure is a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, taken from a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

The seven-tonne engine has been donated to Oxford University by Rolls-Royce, and was installed at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute in Osney Mead Industrial Estate on Wednesday.

Alex Murray, research fellow and engineering manager at the institute, said they had to remove the doors and windows to crane-lift the engine in.

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It has been suspended in place as an art piece, visible from the road, to highlight the institute's work in the field.

Dr Murray said: "It's really a visual show to demonstrate what we do, and a talking point.

"It's been suspended from the ceiling - it's pretty impressive to see this imposing thing from the road."

The institute is part of the university's Department of Engineering Science, specialising in research in turbines and hypersonic speed.