Research Projects

All research projects at the School of Engineering. You can search keywords within Project title and filter by Research Institute.

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Project Titlesort ascending Principal Supervisor Research Institutes Project Summary
DEM model calibration and validation for cohesive soil-machine interactions

Prof. Jin Ooi

Infrastructure and Environment

The modelling of cohesive soils is a challenging task of great importance in many earth moving processes. In these cases, the understanding of the interaction soil-machine is vital to try to optimize the process and avoid problems. This project aims to investigate the capabilities of DEM cohesive contact models to capture with a sufficient level of accuracy the mechanical behaviours involved in soil-machine interactions.

Community-Based Waste-Water Treatment in International Development

Dr Martin Crapper

Infrastructure and Environment

A project, funded by PhD scholarships from the Islamic Development Bank and EPSRC (via the Doctoral Training Grants) is underway looking at the efficiency of meso-scale waste stabilization ponds to treat municipal waste water, with resource recovery from fish farming and selling sludge for fertilizer. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate systems that can be adpoted and run by communities, particularly in urban West Africa. The pilot project is based in Cotonou, Benin.

Clearwater: Demonstration of First Ocean Energy Arrays

Mr Henry Jeffrey

Energy Systems

This project will design, build, install and operate an open ocean 4.5MW tidal energy farm in the Inner Sound in the Pentland Firth, off the Northern coast of Scotland. The project ("Clearwater") will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a multi-turbine tidal energy array, an essential step to catalyse development of commercial projects in the EU ocean energy industry. Project Clearwater provides a credible, robustly implemented transition from high cost single turbine demonstration deployments of marine turbines to economically viable multi-hundred turbine arrays in oceans and managed water assets across Europe and the wider global market.

Challenging RISK: Achieving Resilience by Integrating Societal and Technical Knowledge

Professor Luke Bisby

Infrastructure and Environment

This project is concerned with socially integrated mitigation of multiple structural risks in the urban environment, with a focus on the linked risks of earthquake and fire. Fire is the largest contributor to building damage following earthquakes. To date, this research area has largely been ignored as it crosses the boundaries between the knowledge areas of earthquake and fire safety engineering. The combination of factors adds to the challenges in risk estimation already existing in each distinct area. There is currently no universally accepted method for accounting for the effect of strengthening practices on building vulnerability to earthquakes (let alone earthquakes followed by fire). In the case of fire safety engineering, few credible techniques for damage estimation or risk-based design currently exist due to a lack of requisite input data. This project will develop, through large scale structural testing and computational analysis, new technical engineering solutions to these problems. And, for the first time, these technical engineering solutions will be developed explicitly accounting for the social context within which they are to be enacted.

Cellulect: A Synthetic Biology Platform fot eh Optimization of Enzymatic Biomass Processing

Professor Alistair Elfick


We propose to develop and implement a genetic platform for optimizing blends of enzymes for biomass processing applications, using computational modeling, combinatorial gene assembly, expression control and high-throughput screening of gene cassettes from a library of genes in modular format. In addition to providing optimal enzyme blends for any given application, analysis of the results will allow us to develop heuristics which will facilitate rational design of biomass processing systems in the future, and will lead to a deeper understanding of biomass degradation processes.

Cardington Test Reports (PiT Project)

Professor Asif Usmani

Infrastructure and Environment

As part of a DETR funded PiT (Partners in Technology) project the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering (previously the Structures in Fire Group) conducted extensive computational and analytical studies of the behaviour of steel-framed composite structures in fire conditions. This work was undertaken in collaboration with Corus PLC and Imperial College London. The results were presented in the form of a main report, which identified the main findings, together with numerous supplementary reports which explored various phenomena in detail. The reports produced at Edinburgh are available for download as indicated below.


Prof Venki Venugopal

Energy Systems

This fundamental scientific research aims to investigate the dynamic loading, motion response, impact of vortex induced vibration and its suppression mechanism, and fatigue failure of subsea power cables subjected to combined 3-dimensional waves, currents, and turbulence.

COPTIC: Co-optimisation of CO2 transport, injection and capture

Dr Hannah Chalmers

Energy Systems Statement of the Project Development of a very sound expertise on CO2 transportation infrastructure Identification and understanding of uncertainties during integration of CO2 capture, compression, injection and reservoir units together with CO2 transportation system Provide industry and academia with the required technical knowhow in this context
CAUSE - Control of wave energy Arrays Using Storage of Energy

Dr Jonathan Shek

Energy Systems

There are 3 main objectives in this project:

Answer the research question: Can energy storage radically improve off-grid and on-grid control in wave energy arrays? How can it be done? Develop an electrical array model for wave energy, with energy storage and co-ordinated control Strengthen the partnership between the UK and Chinese Institutions for future research collaboration


Boiling in microchannels: integrated design of closed-loop cooling system for devices operating at high heat

Professor Khellil Sefiane

Multiscale Thermofluids

The project aims to advance the use of microchannels based cooling technology by solving major outstanding issues. Flow instabilities and maldistribution are identified as a major hurdle towards effective implementation of this technology to a variety of applications.


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