Research Excellence

Energy Global Challenge

Our energy research provides solutions to help address one of our greatest challenges – global climate change.

Energy is the lifeblood of civilization. It ensures our health and well-being, provides heat and light to our homes and places of work and enables travel, food production, and the manufacture of the products we need. Our extensive use of fossil fuels to meet these needs has created one of our greatest challenges – global climate change.

Research is vital to reduce energy demand, to improve energy efficiency, to develop new, affordable low-carbon energy technologies, and to enable a smooth transition to a future, decarbonised energy system. A clean, secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply is also vital for economic growth, prosperity and global development.

Our research priorities

Energy generation

We are pioneering the development of new approaches to renewable and clean energy generation to develop and deliver substantial, affordable, durable and environmentally benign energy options for present and future generations.

Our work covers:

  • New and renewable energy technologies
  • Networks, integration and storage
  • Intelligent energy
  • Cleaner fossil fuel generation
  • Nuclear energy and nuclear waste management

We lead the UK Supersolar Energy consortium and are a member of the UK Wind Energy Supergen consortium and the Association of European Renewable Energy Centres. We are a national coordinator for the European Energy Research Alliance Smart Cities initiative.  

Energy storage

We are developing cheaper and more efficient storage systems for the management of heat and electricity.

We are proud to be the leading UK University for engine systems research. We work with leading industry players, including Rolls Royce, Caterpillar and BAE systems, to develop and improve internal combustion engines and propulsion technologies for applications across the automotive, aerospace, marine and power generation sectors.

Our research encompasses efficiency, emissions, durability, performance, and systems performance. Fuel cell development is a particular strength which has led to the world leading spinout company Intelligent Energy.

We are a partner in the End Use Energy Demand Centre, i-STUTE, developing new thermal energy storage materials and systems to help in the decarbonisation of heating and cooling and to address a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

A UK hub for aerospace engineering and technology development

£9.8 million of funding towards the establishment of a new facility will position us as a primary UK hub for aerospace engineering and technology.

Energy demand

We helped Unilever treat beverage waste to produce biogas and reduce water treatment costs. We helped Unilever treat beverage waste to produce biogas and reduce water treatment costs.

Our work informs stakeholders in central, regional and local government and creates new products and services for our industry partners and product manufacturers.

We have strong activities in the area of End Use Energy Demand with projects looking at the decarbonisation of heat and cooling in domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. Research assessing user requirements, factors governing acceptance and implementation in addition to technical performance is ongoing.

Transport and travel

We are developing new technologies for alternative fuel vehicles, especially using bio-fuels, fuel cells and electric engines. In the aerospace industry we are developing and applying new technologies to create more aerodynamic forms.

Much of the work is conducted in collaboration with major industry players such as airports (Heathrow, Manchester), airlines (e.g. British Airways) and local authorities (Leicestershire County Council, Birmingham City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester).

Energy demand and buildings

We are home to world-leading research on design, measurement and modelling in pursuit of a low-carbon built environment.

Our teams combine laboratory and field measurement, high powered computing capability and socio-technical research, to enable holistic appraisals of energy demand and demand reduction techniques.

Matched-pair test houses: accurate quantification of energy saving measures

Working out which energy saving techniques are most effective.

Further information