UoA 15 General Engineering

Engineering includes activities on both our Exeter and Cornwall campuses (incorporating the Camborne School of Mines) and more than £5million has been spend on facilities across the campuses.

Key results

  • 92 per cent of the research was assessed as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
  • Ranked 15 out of 62 nationally.
  • 95 per cent of the unit's 'outputs' were rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

Impact case studies

NameSummary
Agility strategies and supply network optimisation Professor David Zhang’s research into agility strategies and the analysis and optimisation of complex supply chain networks in the manufacturing sector has led to significant economic impact. Reductions have been made in inventory and cost of goods sold for CIFUNSA, one of the world’s largest engine block and head manufacturers. The senior management team has been trained in agility strategies and techniques at China’s largest non-ferrous metals research and industry complex GRINM, leading to corporate-level restructuring and growth. The senior management of solder-specialist COMPO has been trained based on Professor Zhang’s research to help the company become a global market leader. Finally, these same strategy and analysis techniques have generated cost savings and performance improvements for UK engineering solutions company J+S Ltd.
Climate change data for future proofing building design The Centre for Energy and the Environment has created novel probabilistic weather files for 50 locations across the UK, consisting of hourly weather conditions over a year, which have been used by the construction industry to test resilience of building designs to climate change. They have already had significant economic impact through their use in more than £3billion worth of infrastructure projects, for example, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Leeds Arena, and a zero carbon Passivhaus school. The weather files are widely available to professionals and endorsed by internationally leading building simulation software providers such as Integrated Environmental Solutions.
Diagnosing malaria using magneto-optic sensors Malaria is endemic in more than 100 countries but its rapid and accurate diagnosis in locations remote from clinical laboratory facilities remains challenging yet desperately needed. This case study describes how scientific discoveries made in the field of digital data storage have been developed and applied to deliver a rapid, reliable and low cost malaria diagnosis sensor suitable for field application. Diagnostic devices have been both laboratory-tested and clinically trialled on over 900 patients under adverse field conditions in malaria endemic countries with very promising results. The health impact includes not only significantly reducing unnecessary treatments but potentially saving millions of lives.
Simpleware - novel image-based computer simulation tools for industry Simpleware is an innovative high technology spin-out company from the Engineering department. The company develops world-leading software for the conversion of 3D image data into models for computer simulation based on algorithms developed and patented by its founder, Professor Philippe Young. The company has generated significant economic impact by growing revenue and increasing staff numbers from five to 22. The company's customer base of over 1,000 users includes prestigious research institutions and ‘blue chip’ companies such as NASA, the US Naval Research Laboratory, and Siemens. In addition to its headquarters in Exeter, Simpleware has a US satellite office as well as a network of 10 resellers worldwide. The company has won numerous awards including two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
Informing best practice and enhancing business performance in the water sector The Centre for Water Systems (CWS) undertakes internationally leading fundamental and applied research in the $500billion global water sector. Engineering and Physical Science Research Council-funded research has underpinned impacts with both reach and significance in the areas of practitioner and professional services and economic impact. CWS staff have co-authored authoritative best practice guides with highly respected practitioner publishers: the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Spon Press. These have been widely used in the water sector, and construction and built environment sector. CWS software and knowhow have been used extensively by water service providers (such as Scottish Water) and their consultants (including SEAMS, originally an Exeter spinout) to enhance business performance by identifying efficiencies, saving costs and improving operation. Optimisation software has been made freely available and has hundreds of users worldwide including consultants and financial organisations.

Research groups

 GroupAbout the Group
Water and the environment

Research in this group focuses on infrastructure; notably water systems, structural mechanics, computational geomechanics, and sensing and computing for intelligent infrastructure. The group hosts the Centre for Water Systems which uses informatics to tackle problems of support, development and operationalisation of sustainable water management.

Nano Engineering Science and Technology Group Research in the design and fabrication of novel materials, the understanding, via modelling and experimental characterisation, of their physical properties and their exploitation for a range of real-world applications; from electronic, magnetic and optical memories, to energy storage, to medical diagnosis, to high-strength composites and much more.
Materials and manufacturing Research activity in multi-functional materials, additive manufacturing, low-carbon manufacturing and sustainable technologies, biomedical engineering, and manufacturing systems, supply chains and logistics.
Renewable energy Research spans marine renewable energy, power conditioning and grid interconnection, solar energy, energy storage, carbon capture and storage and biomass. Energy policy research is focused on renewable heat, marine energy and technology innovation.
Structures and dynamics This group is equipped to tackle a range of fundamental problems in infrastructure, aerospace, and biomedical systems. It has international leads in vibration serviceability and structural health monitoring that it will apply to meeting the challenges of managing the performance of new-build and ageing critical infrastructure, in particular bridges.

Research centres

CentreAbout the Centre
Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) CALM is an industry facing business technology centre which provides technical expertise in Additive Layer Manufacturing to businesses across all sectors.
Centre for Business and Climate Solutions A business technology centre, which will help businesses in the south west of England to adopt a more sustainable way of working.
Centre for Energy and the Environment An interdisciplinary team who conduct applied research into sustainable buildings, energy policy and the impacts of climate change on the built environment.
Centre for Graphene Science The Centre for Graphene Science brings together the Universities of Exeter and Bath in internationally leading research in graphene. Our high-quality research environments and state-of-the-art equipment are bridging the gap between the scientific development and industrial application of this revolutionary new technology.
Centre for Water Systems The internationally-leading Centre for Water Systems provides vital research into water systems planning, design and operation
Exeter Advanced Technologies (X-AT) X-AT is a multi-talented team dedicated to commercially orientated research in the core themes of advanced manufacturing and materials development.
Exeter Manufacturing Enterprise Centre (XMEC) XMEC is a multi-disciplinary research centre carrying out advanced research in manufacturing technology, systems, and management.

UoA 15 General Engineering

Engineering includes activities on both our Exeter and Cornwall campuses (incorporating the Camborne School of Mines) and more than £5million has been spend on facilities across the campuses.

Key results

  • 92 per cent of the research was assessed as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
  • Ranked 15 out of 62 nationally.
  • 95 per cent of the unit's 'outputs' were rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

Impact case studies

NameSummary
Agility strategies and supply network optimisation Professor David Zhang’s research into agility strategies and the analysis and optimisation of complex supply chain networks in the manufacturing sector has led to significant economic impact. Reductions have been made in inventory and cost of goods sold for CIFUNSA, one of the world’s largest engine block and head manufacturers. The senior management team has been trained in agility strategies and techniques at China’s largest non-ferrous metals research and industry complex GRINM, leading to corporate-level restructuring and growth. The senior management of solder-specialist COMPO has been trained based on Professor Zhang’s research to help the company become a global market leader. Finally, these same strategy and analysis techniques have generated cost savings and performance improvements for UK engineering solutions company J+S Ltd.
Climate change data for future proofing building design The Centre for Energy and the Environment has created novel probabilistic weather files for 50 locations across the UK, consisting of hourly weather conditions over a year, which have been used by the construction industry to test resilience of building designs to climate change. They have already had significant economic impact through their use in more than £3billion worth of infrastructure projects, for example, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Leeds Arena, and a zero carbon Passivhaus school. The weather files are widely available to professionals and endorsed by internationally leading building simulation software providers such as Integrated Environmental Solutions.
Diagnosing malaria using magneto-optic sensors Malaria is endemic in more than 100 countries but its rapid and accurate diagnosis in locations remote from clinical laboratory facilities remains challenging yet desperately needed. This case study describes how scientific discoveries made in the field of digital data storage have been developed and applied to deliver a rapid, reliable and low cost malaria diagnosis sensor suitable for field application. Diagnostic devices have been both laboratory-tested and clinically trialled on over 900 patients under adverse field conditions in malaria endemic countries with very promising results. The health impact includes not only significantly reducing unnecessary treatments but potentially saving millions of lives.
Simpleware - novel image-based computer simulation tools for industry Simpleware is an innovative high technology spin-out company from the Engineering department. The company develops world-leading software for the conversion of 3D image data into models for computer simulation based on algorithms developed and patented by its founder, Professor Philippe Young. The company has generated significant economic impact by growing revenue and increasing staff numbers from five to 22. The company's customer base of over 1,000 users includes prestigious research institutions and ‘blue chip’ companies such as NASA, the US Naval Research Laboratory, and Siemens. In addition to its headquarters in Exeter, Simpleware has a US satellite office as well as a network of 10 resellers worldwide. The company has won numerous awards including two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
Informing best practice and enhancing business performance in the water sector The Centre for Water Systems (CWS) undertakes internationally leading fundamental and applied research in the $500billion global water sector. Engineering and Physical Science Research Council-funded research has underpinned impacts with both reach and significance in the areas of practitioner and professional services and economic impact. CWS staff have co-authored authoritative best practice guides with highly respected practitioner publishers: the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Spon Press. These have been widely used in the water sector, and construction and built environment sector. CWS software and knowhow have been used extensively by water service providers (such as Scottish Water) and their consultants (including SEAMS, originally an Exeter spinout) to enhance business performance by identifying efficiencies, saving costs and improving operation. Optimisation software has been made freely available and has hundreds of users worldwide including consultants and financial organisations.

Research groups

 GroupAbout the Group
Water and the environment

Research in this group focuses on infrastructure; notably water systems, structural mechanics, computational geomechanics, and sensing and computing for intelligent infrastructure. The group hosts the Centre for Water Systems which uses informatics to tackle problems of support, development and operationalisation of sustainable water management.

Nano Engineering Science and Technology Group Research in the design and fabrication of novel materials, the understanding, via modelling and experimental characterisation, of their physical properties and their exploitation for a range of real-world applications; from electronic, magnetic and optical memories, to energy storage, to medical diagnosis, to high-strength composites and much more.
Materials and manufacturing Research activity in multi-functional materials, additive manufacturing, low-carbon manufacturing and sustainable technologies, biomedical engineering, and manufacturing systems, supply chains and logistics.
Renewable energy Research spans marine renewable energy, power conditioning and grid interconnection, solar energy, energy storage, carbon capture and storage and biomass. Energy policy research is focused on renewable heat, marine energy and technology innovation.
Structures and dynamics This group is equipped to tackle a range of fundamental problems in infrastructure, aerospace, and biomedical systems. It has international leads in vibration serviceability and structural health monitoring that it will apply to meeting the challenges of managing the performance of new-build and ageing critical infrastructure, in particular bridges.

Research centres

CentreAbout the Centre
Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) CALM is an industry facing business technology centre which provides technical expertise in Additive Layer Manufacturing to businesses across all sectors.
Centre for Business and Climate Solutions A business technology centre, which will help businesses in the south west of England to adopt a more sustainable way of working.
Centre for Energy and the Environment An interdisciplinary team who conduct applied research into sustainable buildings, energy policy and the impacts of climate change on the built environment.
Centre for Graphene Science The Centre for Graphene Science brings together the Universities of Exeter and Bath in internationally leading research in graphene. Our high-quality research environments and state-of-the-art equipment are bridging the gap between the scientific development and industrial application of this revolutionary new technology.
Centre for Water Systems The internationally-leading Centre for Water Systems provides vital research into water systems planning, design and operation
Exeter Advanced Technologies (X-AT) X-AT is a multi-talented team dedicated to commercially orientated research in the core themes of advanced manufacturing and materials development.
Exeter Manufacturing Enterprise Centre (XMEC) XMEC is a multi-disciplinary research centre carrying out advanced research in manufacturing technology, systems, and management.