Carleton University is heightening security and hiring a sexual assault officer following a year-long safety audit that examined campus safety.

The move comes after a 23-year-old student was viciously sexually assaulted while working late at a university lab last year.

"We really want to create this culture of safety where people look out for each other, where they feel supported; where they can report on incidents and all take part in this culture of safety," Chris Walters, co-author of the safety audit, told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday.

The school says it's investing $1.6 million to implement new security measures which include more security cameras and security patrols. Access to laboratory buildings after hours will also be restricted by swipe cards.

"We're also improving our safe pathways - these will be better lighted pathways that will be patrolled more frequently and will also be under close circuit television supervision all the time," said Walters.

Despite the boost in security, Walters says the report found staff and students generally feel safe on campus, although he added: "There is some room for improvements, especially after dark when students are working late at night in classrooms and in labs."