Research Projects

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

We also have many exciting Engineering PhD Opportunities for postgraduate students looking to join the School.

Search within Project titles
Project Title Principal Supervisor Research Institutes Project Summary

Prof David Ingram

Energy Systems

The aim of the RealTide project is to identify main failure causes of tidal turbines at sea and to provide a step change in the design of key components, namely the blades and power take-off systems, adapting them more accurately to the complex environmental tidal conditions. Advanced monitoring systems will be integrated with these identified sub-systems and together with maintenance strategies will be implemented at outset from the design stage to achieve an increased reliability and improved performance over the full tidal turbine life.

Multi-scale analyses of wildland fire combustion processes

Dr Rory Hadden

Infrastructure and Environment

Low intensity prescribed fires are often employed in forests and wildland in order to manage hazardous fuels, restore ecological function and historic fire regimes, and encourage the recovery of threatened and endangered species. Current predictive models used to simulate fire behavior during low-intensity prescribed fires (and wildfires) are empirically-based, simplistic, and fail to adequately predict fire outcomes because they do not account for variability in fuel characteristics and interactions with important meteorological variables. Experiments are being carried out at scales ranging from the fuel particle, to fuel bed, to field plot and stand scales, with an aim of better understanding how fuel consumption is related to the processes driving heat transfer, ignition and flame spread, and thermal degradation through flaming and smouldering combustion, at the scale of individual fuel particles and fuel layers. Focus is placed on how these processes, and thus fuel consumption, are affected by spatial variability in fuel particle type, fuel moisture status, bulk density, and horizontal and vertical arrangement of fuel components, as well as multi-scale atmospheric dynamics.

Fire Safety of Modern Timber Infrastructure

Dr Rory Hadden

Infrastructure and Environment

Exposed structural timber elements within a compartment creates an additional fuel load which must be considered in design. This research focuses on quantifying this additional fuel load, and understanding conditions where after burnout of the compartment contents, the additional exposed timber may stop burning (auto-extinguish). 

Fire-fighting underventilated fires

Dr Ricky Carvel

Infrastructure and Environment

Working with the fire brigades, and using a small-scale experimental apparatus to define appropriate fire-fighting responses to underventilated fires in sealed or partially sealed compartments. 

Small Scale Hydrogen Storage for Integrated Energy Systems

Dr Dimtri Mignard

Energy Systems

The integration of a greater proportion of renewable energy, compounded by the rise in small scale distributed generation, is making it increasingly difficult to balance demand and supply of electricity without adequate energy storage facilities. However, the effective deployment of these solutions at any particular location will require an understanding of the local energy system at the time. Conversion between energy vectors will also be required not just to meet storage needs, but also to allow major shifts from fossil fuels to low carbon energy in applications like heat and transport. Hydrogen is an energy vector that is particularly versatile from this viewpoint. 

Liquid crystal lasers

Dr Philip Hands

Integrated Micro and Nano Systems

Usually associated with display technology, liquid crystals also have many other applications and uses.  In this research project we are developing liquid crystal lasers, capable of broad wavelength-tuning, multiple simultaneous colour emissions, and highly customisable outputs, all within a small, portable and low-cost architecture.  We are also seeking to integrate liquid crystal lasers into new photonic systems and applications, such as biomedical imaging (e.g. fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry), digital holographic projection, and 2D & 3D displays.

SuperGen UK Centre for Marine Energy Reseach

Prof Robin Wallace

Energy Systems

UKCMER is the third phase of EPSRC investment in collaborative wave and tidal energy research.  Edinburgh has led all three phases since 2003. There are 13 partner universities in the Centre working together on 15 projects.  They work together to ensure joined-up regional, disciplinary and thematic effort to help meet the challenges in accelerating deployment towards and through 2020 targets

ARIES: Adaptation and Resilience in Energy Systems

Professor Gareth Harrison

Energy Systems

The energy supply sector is undergoing massive technological changes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the climate is progressively changing creating new challenges for energy generation, networks and demand. The Adaptation and Resilience in Energy Systems (ARIES) project aims to understand how climate change will affect the UK gas and electricity systems and in particular its 'resilience'.

WindSurf - A self-starting, active-pitch, vertical-axis wind turbine

Dr Jonathan Shek

Energy Systems

WindSurf aims to develop a core enabling technology - active blade pitching for a vertical axis wind turbine. This will allow wind turbines to operate in challenging wind conditions, to operate quietly and for new, lower maintenance turbine designs. WindSurf will open up new sites for wind energy: sites previously rejected because wind speeds were too low, variable or subject to swirling, or where noise nuisance would have been a concern. WindSurf will tackle all three parts of the energy trilemma: reducing emissions, increasing security of supply, and reducing cost.

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.


Subscribe to Research Projects