Close up of two male engineers working


Research covers all major aspects of engineering and the physical sciences, including cross-cutting themes such as energy, materials, medical engineering and artificial intelligence, with theoretical, experimental and modelling work underpinning all areas.

From nanoscale to advanced engineering

Applying interdisciplinary expertise to tackle industry challenges is central to our way of working and is enabled by state-of-the-art facilities. The University is a key partner in the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials that aims to be a world-leading centre for advanced materials research and commercialisation, helping the UK manufacturing base reduce the time it takes to take new materials from invention to market.

Optimising energy systems

Interdisciplinary research at the interface of energy and the environment, underpinned by capability in computational modelling, process and system optimisation, socio-technical assessment of energy technologies and systems is driving innovation in a range of applications. These include: greening fossil fuel power generation; bioenergy; fundamental and applied combustion science and technology; renewables; petroleum exploration and production; smart grids; energy storage and greener transport.

Enhancing petroleum recovery

Geoscience research in sedimentology and petrophysics has led to the development of data sets and visualisation tools that are routinely used to enable more cost-effective evaluation of field potential in both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. Surface engineering and nanotechnology expertise has been applied to the industry-wide challenge of mineral scaling. Following successful research projects, field trials are planned to test two new technologies that have the potential to reduce costs by increasing the lifetime of chemical interventions and reducing surface wear in the moving parts of well infrastructure.

High speed rail and system integration

Our new Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration will house a full-scale track infrastructure and high-speed vehicle test facility, connected digitally to mimic the full range of rail systems and their interactions on track and rolling stock performance as well as enabling world- leading transformative research in the full range of issues affecting high speed and conventional rail. Research will address challenges such as regenerative breaking, power system delivery, internet of trains, asset management, human factors in operator and passenger experience, legislative issues, transport economics and real-time simulation.

Terahertz frequency electronic and photonic devices

Terahertz frequencies lie between the microwave and infrared ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, and have applications in the pharmaceutical, electronic, climate and planetary science, medical, and non-destructive testing in electronics, pharmaceutical and automotive industries. The University of Leeds has an international reputation for terahertz frequency electronic and photonic devices and developed the terahertz quantum cascade laser - the only compact laser source operating at these frequencies with a world-record for the highest output power performance.

Close up of yellow engineering machinery

Human-centred robotics and autonomous systems

Transformative research in human-centred robotics, building upon our expertise in design, modelling and fabrication of robotic systems, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and robotic manipulation, combined with a suite of state-of-the-art facilities for multi-scale manufacturing and rapid prototyping, is enabling world-class innovation in a broad range of applications. These include robotic endoscopy, surgical robotics, assistive and rehabilitation robotics, robots for exploration and maintenance, and collaborative robots for advanced manufacturing.

Surface engineering across the length scales

Interdisciplinary research underpinned by scientific and engineering excellence in corrosion, tribology, crystal growth, surface engineering, computational modelling, multiphase flow and nanotechnology. Unique facilities enable development of innovative solutions to technology challenges across multiple sectors including; automotive, biomedical, manufacturing and oil and gas.

Chemical and process engineering from molecules to products

The manufacture of complex chemical products requires a multi-disciplinary approach to navigate the journey from a selected molecule, or molecular system, through to the final product that delivers the desired structure and hence, required performance. This nationally leading group of researchers works with a range of companies within the speciality chemicals, home and personal care (HPC), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), food and beverage, and pharma/biopharma sectors.

Bionanotechnology for disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention

For a sustainable healthy nation, we require a step change in the way we understand, diagnose, treat and prevent disease. Science and engineering capability in Leeds is focussed upon the development of smart bio-materials, diagnostic platforms, therapeutic delivery systems, and advanced imaging and measurement modes. Development of these healthcare technologies requires multi and transdisciplinary teams, made possible by a strong and long-standing collaborative culture in Leeds involving close working partnerships of scientists, clinicians and industry.

Engineered materials at the atomic level

The Bragg Centre for Materials Research is enabling the discovery, characterisation and exploitation of materials engineered at atomic level, for application in sectors such as biomedical, electronics and manufacturing. Its focus is on: Soft matter, including liquid crystals, polymers and biopolymers, glasses, and colloids; Analytical tools and methods with a focus on analysis of soft matters, which have in the past been difficult to subject to such techniques; Friction, wear and lubrication for improved functional surfaces; Bionanotechnology, including biologically-inspired materials and electronics, and novel methods of drug delivery; Electronic and photonic materials, including III-V semiconductors, optoelectronics, and magnetic, spintronic and piezoelectric materials.

To find out more about a potential research collaboration with us, get in touch.