Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Our Research

Research Into Sustainability Issues

Cardiff University is internationally recognised as being among the top tier of Britain's research-intensive universities. The University is also unusual in the degree to which sustainable development research is a key strength across a wide range of disciplines. This strength is reflected in a number of major research funding awards and the establishment of leading research centres, including the cross-University Sustainable Places Research Institute.

Orangutan and its young. Picture courtesy Rudi Delveaux.

The University's Biosciences researchers use genetic techniques to help conserve rare and endangered species. Picture courtesy Rudi Delveaux.

  • The Centre for Automotive Industry Research (CAIR), based at the Business School, which focuses on the broader business, strategic, social, environmental and economic impacts of global automobility and of the sector that provides it;
  • The Centre for Research in the Built Environment (CRiBE), based at the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University, with a primary aim in the effective and sustainable design, construction and operation of the built environment;
  • The Earth Surface Processes research group, in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, which investigates the physical processes (including human activities) that create the environments and landscapes in which we live;
  • The Energy Systems Research Institute, which has been designed specifically to create an integrated energy systems approach. Drawing on diverse research expertise, the interdisciplinary Institute will aim to help meet the world’s increasing demand for energy in a sustainable and socially acceptable way.
  • The Institute of Energy, based in the School of Engineering, which is an innovative and pioneering research centre with a mission to advance energy technology and play a key role in addressing the increasing demand for sustainable and low carbon technologies;
  • The Institute of Environment and Sustainability, also based in the School of Engineering, which is is a multidisciplinary research group comprising: the Geoenvironmental Research Centre and the Hydro-Environmental Research Centre.
  • The Institute of Green Electronic Systems - Communications, Sensors and Materials, based in the School of Engineering, which is 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;
    Cartoon representation of abrupt climate change showing opposing temperature responses in either hemisphere of the planet

    Researchers at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences are investigating the mechanisms behind abrupt climate change. Image courtesy Dr Stephen Barker.

  • The Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI), based at the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University, a £50M world-leading initiative; which will develop capacity and facilities around the existing areas of low carbon and energy expertise in Wales, whilst being international in its outlook, developing a strategic long term programme of research;
  • The Organisms and Environment research division, within the School of Biosciences, whose aim is to understand the ecological, health and genetic consequences of environmental change on biological diversity;
  • The Paleobiology Research Group, based in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, which has a strong core theme on the phylogeny and systematics of invertebrates, plants and algae, and related research interests;
  • The Palaeoclimate & Climate Systems Research Group, within the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, whose objective is to study and better understand the response of the ocean-climate system to various types of forcing, such as changing greenhouse gas concentrations or ocean circulation patterns;
  • The Risk, Science, Health and the Media group in the School of Journalism, which researches the media coverage of topical issues including sustainability;
  • The Sustainable Places Research Institute, a meeting place for world-leading sustainability science, focussed on exploring innovative solutions for a more sustainable future;
  • The Understanding Risk research group, a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary group which includes members of the School of Psychology. The group examines risk in real-life situations including public perception of climate change risks and related technologies.

and many other research groups.

For more information on the University's world-leading research programme, please see the University's Research homepage.