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 Title Principal Supervisor Research Institutes Project Summary
Assessing and predicting the performance of GPR for landline detection using complete and accurate soil, target and antenna models

Dr Antonis Giannopoulos

Infrastructure and Environment

The project's key objectives are to develop accurate 3D models of complex near surface soil formations and antenna design variants and so produce complete soil/system GPR models that can be used to assess and predict the performance of a GPR system.

TEDDINET: Network of (Build) TEDDI projects

Professor Gareth Harrison

Energy Systems

Established in September 2013 and funded for four years, TEDDINET is a research network examining the interactions of people with digital technologies and the potential for smart metering to transform energy demand in the home and at work. TEDDINET’s primary purpose is to create added value and enhance the impact of 22 individual research projects funded under the ‘Transforming Energy Demand through Digital Innovation’ (TEDDI) and ‘Transforming Energy Demand in Buildings through Digital Innovation’ (BuildTEDDI) programmes. Sponsored by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), these 22 projects encompass 26 (UK) universities, 75 partners from industry and the housing sector, and over 200 researchers from engineering, informatics, design and social sciences.

Reduce energy penalty in CO2 capture processes and the emission of SOx and NOx from coal combustion

Dr Xiangfeng Fan

Materials and Processes

The research focuses on develop a microwave swing technique to selectively heat solid at molecular level for adsorbent regeneration, and then compare the results with temperature swing. The project is supported by EPSRC.



Prof Vengatesan Venugopal

Energy Systems

The Scottish Government is committed to promoting substantial sustainable growth in its marine renewable industries. Agreements for sea bed leases are already in place for 2GW of wave and tidal developments, and projects are progressing through the licensing process. Strategic marine planning for future phases of wave, tidal and offshore wind development is now in progress. For marine renewables to significantly contribute to the low-carbon energy mix towards 2050, significant offshore development in the form of very large scale arrays will be needed.

HARP: High capacity network Architecture with Remote radio heads & Parasitic antenna arrays

Dr Tharmalingam Ratnarajah

Digital Communications

To bring distributed multi-antenna wireless access to reality by combining two powerful emerging technologies:

radio remote heads (RRHs), which allow for widely geographically distributed access via radio-over-fibre connections to a central base station; and electronically steerable passive array radiators – ESPARs, which provide multi-antenna-like functionality with a single active RF chain only
Mixed Matrix Membranes for post combustion carbon capture of CO2

Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari

Materials and Processes

Membrane processes are a promising alternative to the more classical post-combustion capture technologies due to the reduced maintenance of the process, the absence of dangerous solvents and their smaller footprint. This project aims at supporting the development of new mixed matrix membranes for post-combustion applications. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) are composite materials formed by embedding inorganic fillers into a polymeric matrix in order to overcome the upper bound and combine the characteristics of the two solid phases: mechanical properties, economical processing capabilities and permeability of the polymer and selectivity of the filler. Despite several studies on the concept, the interactions between the two phases and their effect on the transport properties are not well understood. Yet, this fundamental knowledge is crucial in order to design the reliable materials needed for real-world-applications.

Educational & Training System for Clean Coal Technology

Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari

Materials and Processes

The general objective of CleanCOALtech project is: to create and develop an educational and training system for promoting, developing and implementing clean coal technologies, through knowledge and best practices shared from advanced EU country – UK to South-East European region – Romania and Greece in order to provide high performance and innovation in the vocational education and training systems and to raise stakeholders level of knowledge and skills.

Ligniflex: A synthetic biology platform to optimise the process and products of enzymatic lignin disruption

Professor Alistair Elfick


Our goal is to test the feasibility of producing low molecular weight aromatic chemical feedstocks from the lignin that is currently a waste product from wood processing and paper manufacturing, so that it may be used to manufacture useful products. We propose to develop a "front-end" to optimise the conversion of lignin into its constitutive aromatic chemical building blocks. This technology may be bolted to any "back-end" in a biorefinery to produce bioplastics, biosurfactants, biomaterials and so on. By exploring and optimising a technology which allows for the rapid tuning of bacteria or fungi for exploiting the conversion of lignin, we stand to limit waste by being able to optimise the degradation products being used as chemical feedstocks and diversify the range of end-bioproducts possible.

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.

Feasibility of a wetting layer absorption carbon capture process based on chemical solvents

Professor Stefano Brandani

Materials and Processes

New ideas for carbon capture are urgently needed to combat climate change. Retro-fitting post-combustion carbon capture to existing power plants has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions considering these sources make the largest contribution to CO2 emissions in the UK. Unfortunately, carbon capture methods based on existing industrial process technology for separation of CO2 from natural gas streams (i.e. amine scrubbing) would be extremely expensive if applied on the scale envisaged, as exemplified by the recent collapse of the Government's CCS project at Longannet power station. Moreover, many of the chemical absorbents used, typically amines, are corrosive and toxic and their use could generate significant amounts of hazardous waste. So, more efficient and 'greener' post-combustion CCS technologies are urgently needed if CCS is to be adopted on a global scale.


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