REF highlights world leading quality of USW's engineering research

Engineering Research student in SERC

Two thirds of USW’s engineering research is either world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of its overall quality, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). And three quarters of it is recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of the quality of the output.

USW's engineering research is focussed around two Centres: The Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC) and The Engineering Research Centre (ERC). The research of these two centres encompasses the areas of energy, low carbon and environmental technology, and monitoring and control.

The primary areas of interest for The Engineering Research Centre are combustion and thermo-fluids with on-going projects modelling oxy-coal utility power stations and cross and end fired glass manufacturing and the monitoring and control of energy systems including boilers, gas turbines, batteries and fuel cells.
Significant commercial collaboration has taken place with McLaren on the development of the P1 car and other major international companies such as EON, EDF, Doosan Power Systems and GDF Suez. Since 2008, the Centre has managed external research funding totalling more than £10M from bodies including RFCS, FP7, HEFCW, DTI, the Welsh Government, Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust, and industry.

The Sustainable Environment Research Centre is a multi-disciplinary team of over 40 externally funded researchers including five professors with biologists, chemists, control engineers and chemical engineers working together on the major issues facing the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

Areas of expertise within the group include Anaerobic Digestion, Analytical Technology, Bioelectrochemical Systems, Biohydrogen and Biomethane Production, Hydrogen Energy, Hydrogen Vehicles and Refuelling, Biopolymer Production, Modelling and Control, Nano Materials and Wastewater Treatment.

USW has excellent facilities including 14 new research labs dedicated to SERC’s activities, focusing on novel biohydrogen production, novel hydrogen storage, gas clean-up and utilisation systems. In addition, the USW’s Hydrogen Research Centre provides a platform for electrolytic hydrogen and fuel cell R&D, which led to designation of South Wales as the 'Low Carbon Economic Area for Hydrogen' by BIS and the Welsh Government.