The world is changing both through natural causes and the impact of human activity. These changes affect the whole of society and there is a need to better understand them to provide advice and practical solutions to manage and mitigate their impact.

Understanding environmental change

The University of Leeds is a founding member of the Met Office Academic Partnership which aims to secure the UK’s position as the world leader in weather forecasting and climate prediction, and to provide an outstanding environment to develop the atmospheric science leaders of the future. World-leading research at Leeds spans earth sciences, environmental science and sustainability, human and physical geography and transport planning.

Addressing global challenges in food security

Food@Leeds builds on a 50-year tradition of food research at the University of Leeds. We are addressing global challenges in food security by drawing together expertise in four key areas: food and environment, animal production, food innovation technology, and diet and health, collaborating with industry to meet their needs. This expertise delivers research and innovation through a number of major collaborative programmes including: The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock (CIEL); The N8 Universities AgriFood Programme; the Global Institute for Food and Environment that focuses on food security and environmental protection through harnessing strengths in environment, agriculture, transport, food and health research; and the 317 hectare University farm will provide commercially relevant agricultural, ecological, Earth and environmental research is being developed as a Critical Zone Observatory.

Interdisciplinary approaches to tackling major water issues

Worldwide, 4.5 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation. In the global north, ageing and inadequate infrastructure and treatment systems present significant challenges: leakages from decaying water pipes, inadequate sewer systems, micropollutants invasive species, and spiralling energy costs. water@leeds was established in 2009 to tackle the local, regional and global challenges faced by the water sector. Our focus is on interdisciplinary research and innovation, bringing together researchers and practitioners from business, policy-making, charities and NGOs. Our partnerships help us ensure the approaches we develop are context relevant.

Aerial view of broken ice sheets in ocean

Designing cities of the future

Cities of the future must be socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. This requires integrated innovations in policy, technology, infrastructure and finance that we develop drawing on our expertise in the engineering, physical and social sciences. These innovations include robotics for infrastructure maintenance, new business models for heat networks, and evaluation methods for projects designed to deliver policy objectives. Working with local government, and the commercial and third-sector organisations, providing them with services to ensure that these innovations generate maximum value for all stakeholders. Leeds is a partner in one of 14 new national research centres which together form the £125 million UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC). The objective is to build effective partnerships to reduce the £50 billion-plus annual spend in the UK on infrastructure maintenance and repair.

Europe's leading city simulation capability

Underpinning our world-class transport research are fantastic simulation and visualisation technologies, enabling new understanding of the ways people move and the mobility options they choose to use in a city, with our latest development, Virtuocity, Europe’s leading simulation suite in which new technologies, data and models are harnessed to support collaboration and accelerated solutions.

Robust and timely climate solutions

The Priestley International Centre for Climate delivers research to underpin robust and timely climate solutions. We bring together capability in measurements and computational modelling; environmental sciences and sustainability research; and link expertise across climate prediction, impact, mitigation and adaptation. Our world-leading experts are developing cutting-edge innovations in climate and weather prediction; climate risk and sustainable development; low carbon transitions; and the social, political and economic dimensions of climate change.

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