REF 2021: School ranked first in Scotland for Engineering research

The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering is delighted to announce that, following the outcome of REF2021, the joint submission from the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University in Engineering was ranked 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for quality and breadth of research.

The ranking cited is based on the breadth and quality of research which apply the standard formula (as used by the Times Higher Education) to the REF 2021 results. Joint submission rankings are calculated by combining the individual institutions’ results in the same unit of assessment. 96% of our research activity was ranked as world-leading and international-level.

Our research addresses key future global challenge areas: driving the transition to a lower carbon future; next generation materials and processes; data-driven innovation, robotics and AI systems; and making infrastructure and the environment safer and healthier.

"The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering was established to bring together world-class engineering researchers in two universities. We are delighted that this collaboration, the success of our people, our engagement with industry and our ability to solve real-world problems, has been recognised in the results of REF2021. Today’s announcement is testament to the commitment and dedication of our staff and partners."

Prof Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Head of School of Engineering

Both Universities would like to acknowledge, with thanks, our global partners in industry and the public sector for their excellent contributions to our research success and impacts on environment, society, economy and wellbeing.

The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering


The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE) is a strategic alliance between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. We work in conjunction with each other to translate engineering research into practical outcomes. The impact of our research addresses the most urgent challenges for society.

Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Further Information