Our advanced modelling capabilities and materials are improving the sustainability and resilience of infrastructure across the UK and the globe.
We work on developing sustainable and resilient total lifecycle solutions across a wide range of domains including construction, structures, energy, geoenvironmental and water infrastructure systems. From creating new nano-scale smart materials to macro-scale urban interventions.
We aim to improve the sustainability and resilience of the built environment and to tackle the problems caused by the effects of waste on the environment. We also solve problems related to water treatment, waste disposal and provide new solutions to help create a sustainable hydro and geoenvironment.
Using computer modelling we investigate flow, water quality, sediment and contaminant transport processes in coastal waters, estuaries and river basins and manage flood and storm risk.
One of our key research areas involves the development and testing of biomimetic materials and intelligent structures including the life-cycle assessment and the development of methods for evaluating the in-service and long-term performance of these materials and structures.
Our industrial partners include BRE, Costain, Lucas, WS Atkins, and the Highways Agency.
Our researchers have specialist expertise in:
- applied and computational mechanics
- artificial intelligence in the built environment
- biogeotechnics and biogeochemistry
- built environment resilience
- coastal, river and estuarine systems
- coupled flow behaviour in soil and cementitious materials
- digital transformation and digital twinning
- flood risk management
- life cycle assessment and circularity
- natural system resilience
- numerical modelling
- performance management in the built environment
- self-healing (biomimetic) construction materials
- smart engineering
- structural resilience engineering.
Recent highlights and investments
Our Materials for Life Research Group are leading a £4.8M EPSRC Resilient Materials for Life programme, which will develop a new generation of unique, versatile and robust construction materials, including a self-diagnosing and self-healing concrete.
Highlights from our Geoenvironmental Research Centre include leading the £1.3M NERC funded INSPIRE project, that is contributing to the development of the emerging research field of resource recovery from waste repositories and the £1.5m EPSRC funded ASPIRE (Accelerated Supergene Processes in Repository Engineering) project which is looking at the fundamental science, engineering and policy required for formulation of next-generation self-cleaning waste repositories.
The BRE Trust Centre for Sustainable Engineering Group has collaborated with Atkins Global on a wide range of R&D and Industry projects and initiatives. The group also leads the Digital Compliance Network, a body that reports on the UK’s current state of automated regulatory compliance, and how the sector can best achieve and take advantage of digitisation of built environment regulations, enabled by BIM.
Further successes include the Hydro-environmental Research Centre securing a Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Fellowship considering sediment dynamics of instream wood jams and managed installations which have led to a subsequent RAEng Research Fellowship (£499k) and Sêr Cymru Industrial Fellowship (£150k) award.