Skip to main content

UoA 14 Civil and Construction Engineering

Ranked as 1st in the UK with a GPA of 3.44 we are at the forefront of finding solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges related to the built and natural environments. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 100% of our research has been deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance. 75% of our research environment was rated as conducive to producing research of world-leading quality in terms of its vitality and sustainability.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 47.0% 50.0% 3.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Outputs 24.6% 70.1% 5.3% 0.0% 0.0%
Impact 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 75.0% 25.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

Our world-leading civil engineers are applying their research to meet industrial and societal needs, providing news ways of constructing and managing national infrastructure as well as understanding, protecting and exploiting the environment.

Through multidisciplinary research we're playing a vital role in reducing environmental impact and increasing sustainable practices in a wide range of areas including construction, fuel, energy, waste disposal, water quality and flood protection.

Over the REF period we've secured 110 new research awards with a total value of £16.5M and published more than 800 papers. We also maintain strong industrial links, undertaking 30 research contracts with industrial sponsors in recent years, including seven knowledge transfer partnerships.

Our research is underpinned by high-quality infrastructure including the £2.4M Cardiff University Structural Performance Laboratory and the £2.5M Characterisation Laboratories for Environmental Engineering Research.

Case studies

Two houses completely flooded

Saving lives and safeguarding water

We are developing accurate and reliable models to safeguard people against global water risks.

French nuclear power plant.

Research rethinks disposal of nuclear waste

Our pioneering computer simulations are helping engineer safer ways to store nuclear waste.

Research themes

Environment and SustainabilityThe Environment and Sustainability research theme represents a multidisciplinary approach to some of the biggest challenges that face a society moving towards more renewable energy use and increased need for sustainability.
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.

Centres and groups

Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC)Shaping the future by tackling the problems caused by the environmental effects of waste, regionally and around the world, and is providing new solutions to energy generation.
Hydro-environmental Research Centre (HRC)Has the aim of of pursuing research into the development and application of computer models for investigating flow, water quality, sediment and contaminant transport processes, in coastal waters, estuaries and river basins.
BRE Trust Centre for Sustainable EngineeringAims to pave the way for a new generation of digital buildings that have lifelong resilience and adaptability to their environment, usage and occupancy. This will be made possible by smart materials and products, integrated design and manufacturing systems, and total lifecycle approaches.
Advanced Materials and Computational Mechanics GroupThe Group carries out internationally recognised research into engineering materials and processes which can be applied to improve the economics, efficiency and efficacy of construction materials, and the design of safer and more resilient structures.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1Cardiff University3.44
2Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine3.42
3University of Dundee3.31
4University of Sheffield3.20
4University of Manchester3.19
6Newcastle University3.18
7University of Leeds3.04
8University of Strathclyde2.98
9Queen's University of Belfast2.84
9University of Birmingham2.69

Table continues to 14