UoA 15 General Engineering

The positive impact our research has had on the environment, the economy, employment and healthcare is reflected in our GPA score of 3.31 and rank of joint 7th in the UK. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 80% of our research has been deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance, ranking us top in the UK.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 36.0% 61.0% 2.0% 0.0% 1.0%
Outputs 18.8% 76.7% 3.6% 0.0% 0.9%
Impact 80.0% 20.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 55.0% 45.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

General Engineering research at Cardiff University has a strong reputation for excellence, innovation and deep-rooted international links with industry.

Research in this area spans three of the School of Engineering's research themes – Energy, Mechanics, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing and Health, Security and the Digital World – each founded on our research strengths and underpinned by a strong, multidisciplinary research culture.

Our researchers benefit from high-quality facilities and equipment including the £1.4M Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory, being used to investigate the effects of lightning strikes on aircraft, and our multi-million pound Gas Turbine Centre, which is at the heart of our research into safe, low-carbon power and emission reduction. 

During the REF period our researchers have achieved major research grant success from a wide range of sources including £10.1M from Research Councils UK. This has enabled new developments in the areas of offshore wind, surgical simulation and power amplifiers for future wireless systems.

Our strong links with industrial, commercial and public partners such as Rolls Royce, EADS and Tata Steel have resulted in 92 new awards with a value of £6.2M.

Case studies

Making bridges safer

Providing solutions for bridge inspection without the need for costly shutdowns.

Research themes

EnergyResearch work carried out under the Energy theme is innovative and pioneering, with a mission to advance energy technology in the global quest for a sustainable energy economy.
Mechanics, Materials and Advanced ManufacturingThis wide ranging research theme incorporates cutting edge research which fosters innovation and sustainability, supports social and economic development, and contributes to improvements in health and quality of life.
Health, Security and the Digital WorldResearchers working within this theme are engaged in world class research in the fundamental science and engineering applications of magnetic and electronic materials, wireless communications systems, sensor technologies, signal processing and microfluidics.

Centres and groups

Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS)Established in 2008 as a multidisciplinary engineering group with international expertise in both generation and supply of renewable energy. It aims to meet the challenges of moving towards more extensive use of renewable energy resources.
Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre (AHIVE)Research focuses on systems and phenomena related to very high voltage electricity. Our unique expertise has been strengthened by an extended framework agreement with National Grid (one of four in the UK). A new high current laboratory (the Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory) was founded in partnership with EADS, to investigate lightning strikes on composite materials.
Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC)Created through funding of £7M from QinetiQ and the EU, the Centre has become world-renowned. Research highlights include evaluation and model validation of turbulent combustion for unconventional fuels at raised ambient conditions.
Wolfson Centre for MagneticsResearch focuses on several areas related to the production, characterisation and application of magnetic materials. The Centre has an established international track record in research on aspects of soft magnetic materials and research and consultancy projects are carried out for organisations ranging from world leading multinationals to local small companies.
Centre for Research into Energy, Waste and the EnvironmentThe Centre's focus is to provide efficient, reliable heat and power generation, whilst moving towards a lower carbon economy. Research work involves mitigating the effect of carbon-based heat and power generation (coal, gas, oil) systems, for example, through carbon capture technologies, while developing and improving the efficiency of renewable power sources such as biomass, marine power and solar power.
Advanced Materials and Computational Mechanics GroupEstablished in 2009, specialising in advanced computational models and methods for simulating natural and engineered materials and processes, over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Its research is supported by a prestigious ERC independent research fellowship award (£1.1M) and an EU Marie Curie training network award.
Tribology GroupA major research aim of the Group is to improve understanding of the gear distress phenomena of micropitting, scuffing and wear. Also, at the nano scale, research into the problems of contact and adhesion is being aided by pre-fractal representations of surface geometry.
Mechanical and Structural Performance GroupResearch in the Group focuses on the design, validation, analysis and inspection of a wide range of advanced materials and structures, with the aim of offering operators of high-value structures and systems the potential to increase usage, reduce maintenance costs and improve safety.
High Value Manufacturing GroupThe High Value Manufacturing Group conducts research across a range of areas including intelligent and knowledge-based systems, smart systems, sustainable manufacturing, advanced manufacturing technologies and micro/nano manufacturing .
Biomedical Engineering GroupWorks to understand how the body responds to trauma, implants and other medical technologies. Our research allows us to engineer solutions that will have positive benefits for patients and the health care industry.
Centre for High Frequency EngineeringResearchers are carrying out cutting edge, industrially relevant research in the areas of communications, sensors and materials. The Centre aims to conduct world-leading, interdisciplinary research using high-end electronics technology to solve tomorrow's engineering challenges.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1University of Oxford3.51
2University of Cambridge3.48
3University of Sheffield3.40
4Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine3.39
5King's College London3.37
6University College London3.36
7Cardiff University3.31
7University of Dundee 3.31
9University of Bristol3.30
9Heriot -Watt University3.30
9University of Edinburgh3.30

Table continues to 62