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.

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Project Title Principal Supervisor Research Institutes Project Summary
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.

Electro-Mechanical Modelling of Tidal Turbines

Dr Jonathan Shek

Energy Systems

The research in this project will focus on modelling full resource-to-wire dynamic models of tidal arrays in order to investigate and optimise their operation.  The expected impact of this study is providing industry with an understanding and guidelines of the applicability of the different electrical layouts to specific locations and size of the arrays.

Compare different generator technologies and control theories Validate models using real measured data Perform harmonic analysis and accurate loss modelling based on temperature/frequency variations Suggest cost-effective solutions for device developers
TorqTidal: Mitigating Torque Pulsations in Tidal Current Turbines

Dr Jonathan Shek

Energy Systems

TorqTidal seeks to provide control strategies for tidal current turbines that will reduce the risk of failure and increase the lifetime of device components without increasing capital costs. This will act to increase investor confidence and drive down the LCOE, which is a key step in helping the UK to exploit its significant tidal energy resource.

REFINE: A coordinated materials programme for the sustainable reduction of spent fuel vital in a closed loop nuclear energy cycle

Professor Anthony Walton

Integrated Micro and Nano Systems

A coordinated UK research programme delivering the materials science required for sustainable spent fuel reduction in a closed loop nuclear energy cycle. This multidisciplinary programme will deliver the critical research team and the platform technologies to enable scientific advance in related molten salt application areas together with the underpinning process development and training essential to establish and deliver these objectives.

Microwave Assisted Gas Separation

Prof Xianfeng Fan

Materials and Processes

CO2 Capture


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