Research

Research Excellence

High Value Manufacturing Beacon

We are developing cutting edge, next generation manufacturing processes and manufacturing technologies whilst improving organisation and sustainability.

Our research priorities

Sustainable manufacturing

We develop strategies, methodologies and enabling technologies to safeguard long-term economic sustainability but at the same time, support environmental sustainability.

Our main research goal in this area is to provide industry with the opportunity to achieve a progressive change away from traditional manufacturing approaches to high value-added sustainable manufacturing methods.

We have expertise in life-cycle analysis, sustainable product and process design, resource-efficient manufacturing technologies, sustainable business models and servitisation, and end-of-life processing and recycling technologies.

Visit the Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technology (SMART) website to find out more 

Intelligent automation

We support the development of UK manufacturing with our intelligent automation solutions.

Our research is playing a vital role with the development intelligent automation technologies for processes that have previously been considered too difficult to automate. These solutions are transforming manufacturing, improving production efficiency and maintaining high levels of quality.

We are part of the ESPRC Centre for Innovating Manufacturing and Intelligent Automation. Our academics and researchers work collaboratively with Cranfield University, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Aero Engine Controls, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre, sharing expertise to develop truly multidisciplinary research.

Manufacturing ICT

We increase productivity by addressing the full spectrum of design tools, knowledge management and methodologies to improve design through to production.

Our ICT solutions are strategically important technologies to enable current and next generations of manufacturing. Research in this space addresses the full spectrum of design tools, knowledge management and methodologies to support design, through to production with embedded intelligence to operational life and service and eventually end-of-life and re-birth into new products and processes. Find out more

Electronics manufacturing

We address the challenges associated with the design, materials science and manufacture of electronic intensive products.

Key areas of interest include process physics, materials interactions and increasingly, the problems associated with where the physical properties of the product directly impacts on its performance.

An evolving area of activity has been the development of the manufacturing, packaging and information technologies associated with the opportunities afforded by developments in low power electronics and sensors that together comprise embedded intelligence. Find out more  

Technology and operations management

We are internationally recognised for our research, teaching and consultancy across the breadth of technology and operations management practice. We help engineering and technology organisations to improve their operation management systems, increase production and be more competitive.

Key areas of interest include organisational resilience; engineering management; supply chain management; innovation management; lean operations; process and enterprise modelling; and information management.

Optical engineering

We use optics and lasers to solve major engineering problems.

Our Optical Engineering Group is active in all areas of optics and laser technology across a range of mechanical engineering applications - from high power laser applications, manufacture of components, through to high precision non-contact measurement of dynamic movements.

Techniques such as Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (EPSI), Laser Vibrometry and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) have grown from laboratory based research techniques into proven industrial technologies which are now used on a worldwide basis.

Mechanics of advanced materials

We carry out multi-disciplinary research into the response of advanced engineering and bio-materials to various types of external loading and environmental conditions.

Our analysis of deformation processes, damage evolution as well as failure initiation and development allows us to predict the properties, performance, reliability and structural integrity of modern materials and the components and structures made from them.

Among the materials we are currently working with are composites and nanocomposites, polymers and adhesives, steels and alloys, metallic glasses, biomaterials, materials for microelectronics, sports materials, ceramics and ceramic coatings, polymeric foams and non-woven fabrics.

Additive manufacturing

We are exploring the combination and integration of Additive Manufacturing with other emerging fields of science and technology to realise radically new products, capability, and applications. We are terming this as Hybrid and Multi-systems Additive Manufacturing.

The majority of our research activities are conducted in collaboration with industrial partners and encompass a broad range of sectors including: aerospace, defence, design, health, medicine, and electronics.

Our Additive Manufacturing Research Group (AMRG) is globally recognised for research excellence and was awarded a Queens Anniversary Prize (2013) for contribution to UK High Value Manufacturing.

Further information