Research themes and challenges

Our world-class research is grouped around five different themes that overlap and support each other. Activities in these themes enable us to tackle the wider quality of life challenges.



Sustainable Industrial Engineering

Sustainable Engineering

Research in this theme explores the challenges that arise for industry from the drive towards sustainable development. Read more >>

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Process Development and Integration

Research in this area takes a holistic approach to the process, rather than focusing on individual unit operations, and includes pilot scale experimental work. Read more >>

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Molecular Systems and Biomaterials

This theme has a cross-disciplinary approach to molecular level engineering, spanning complexity levels from bioorganic soft matter to biological systems and integrating predictive molecular modelling. Read more >>

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Multi-Scale Modelling

This theme addresses industry-relevant research challenges across length scales from atomic to macro by developing and using a full range of modelling methodologies including quantum mechanical, molecular dynamical, coarse graining and bulk scale modelling. Read more >>

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Instrumentation and Analytical Science

This theme is concerned with research into new instruments and analytical techniques for the measurement of a wide range of phenomena from nano-scale molecular processes in biological cells through to macro-scale chemical processes in industrial reactors. Read more >>


Challenge areas



Access to a plentiful supply of cheap, clean energy, along with a need to minimize impact on our environment, are amongst the foremost challenges of the 21st century. Read more >>

Food and Nutrition

Food and Nutrition

The combined pressures of a growing population and improved living standards in the developing world means that there is a demand for more food that is water and land-intensive. Read more >>

Life and Health

Health and Well-being

Chemical engineering processes support the design and manufacture of a wide range of materials that make durable and safe homes, consumer goods and other lifestyle products. Read more >>



Water is fundamental to life but it is a limited resource. Ensuring that people have access to clean water is a major global challenge requiring chemical engineering input. Read more >>

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