REF 2014

Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh welcome the outstanding results of REF2014 for the Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE). 94% of our overall research activity is world-leading or internationally excellent. This, combined with the number of academic staff involved, makes Edinburgh the UK powerhouse in Engineering.

This recognises the quality of our research, our impact upon economic and societal well-being and the environment provided for our researchers and students.

ERPE is the largest submission in the UK to the General Engineering assessment panel, achieving an overall Grade-Point Average (GPA) of 3.30 and a power rating (=GPA multiplied by the number of FTE academic staff submitted) of 662.

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Press and Media Reaction

Note on ERPE

The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE) capitalises upon the complementary nature of engineering research at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) and the University of Edinburgh (UoE). Staff contributing to ERPE are employed by three administrative units; the Schools of Engineering and Physical Sciences (HWU), Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, (HWU) and Engineering (UoE). These provide a coherent structure for staff management and financial planning. Research activity cuts across School and Institute boundaries and is organised in four overarching themes:

  • Infrastructure and Environment
  • Energy and Resource Management
  • Manufacturing and Materials
  • Sensors, Signals and Systems

Research in ERPE is enriched through close collaboration with colleagues in the School of Geosciences at UoE and the Maxwell Institute in Mathematical Sciences (UoE and HWU collaboration, jointly submitted to RAE2008 and REF2014). In addition, interactions with leading researchers in medicine, physics, chemistry and biology and with external partners, including the British Geological Survey (BGS), the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, enhance the scale and intensity of our research and related postgraduate activities.

From its foundation ERPE has focused on the creation and dissemination of knowledge in areas of significant economic and societal benefit, as our impact case studies testify. ERPE employs a variety of approaches to create and transfer knowledge, generating impact within the UK, Europe and internationally. These include:

  • joint industry projects (JIPs) and strategic partnerships (academic, industrial and international)
  • the creation of intellectual property (IP) and know-how
  • company formation
  • the issuing and licensing of patents
  • contribution to the definition of technical standards and regulations
  • support of product development, new or enhanced service offerings, both by the Universities and commercial partners
  • the creation and transfer of knowledge and technologies to pre-existing commercial entities

Over the REF2014 period ERPE has achieved a total research income of £106M and:

  • spun-out 8 new companies (securing a total £9.7M in funding)
  • successfully completed licensing negotiation with 106 companies
  • been awarded £39.53M of industrial funding for collaborative research projects
  • and contributed to the publication of 24 international standards
REF 2014 logo (Research Excellence Framework)
REF 2014, Research Excellence Framework


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