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Case studies

Follow the latest examples and outcomes of our sponsored research. Please use the filters to customise the listing on this page.

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A project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is providing real-time information on flooding in Mexico, using remote water sensing over cellular phone systems.

To celebrate International Women in Engineering day on 23 June 2021, we’ve put the spotlight on the work of Professor Eleanor Stride at the University of Oxford.

bp and The University of Manchester are leading a project to better understand and eliminate corrosion, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) Prosperity Partnership programme.

Supported by an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Impact Acceleration Account, this startup accelerator is helping students and staff at the University of Southampton change the world with their ideas.

A team of EPSRC-funded mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists are driving the development and application of topological data analysis to improve existing data science techniques and solve real-world problems.

Long before COVID-19 exploded across the globe, the world of pharmaceuticals was transforming. Medicines’ journey from bench to bedside had to change in response to new pressures and possibilities on the one hand, an ageing population, rising healthcare costs and the increasing importance of environmental sustainability; on the other, exciting opportunities are being developed in western Scotland in personalised medicines and patient-centric healthcare.

Supported by EPSRC, computer modelling and stratified-flow wind-tunnel simulation is being used for the first time to improve the efficiency, reliability and operational life of large offshore wind farms.

EPSRC funded project is developing low-cost solar technologies that can make buildings energy self-sufficient.

Cybersecurity trailblazer Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s University Belfast has sparked the emergence of a thriving local hotbed of cybersecurity excellence with a rising global profile.

Vision and commitment, fresh investment, world-beating science – these key ingredients are enabling CSconnected, the world’s first compound semiconductor (CS) ‘cluster’, to take root and thrive in South Wales.

EPSRC supported engineers have created a low-cost early warning system for communities at risk of landslides.

EPSRC’s strong relationships with researchers, and flexible funding approach, meant that it could respond quickly to support the fast-developing research area of Mathematical Biology.

The recent acquisition of Ziylo, a University of Bristol spin-out company rooted in leading-edge EPSRC-funded chemistry research, could mark a major turning-point in the drive to develop safer, more effective treatment of diabetes.

In February 2018, Lizzy Yarnold sped to gold medal success in the skeleton event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics – repeating her triumph four years earlier at the Sochi games in Russia. But her double achievement was not just a reward for her dedication and athleticism, it was also a triumph for UK engineering design.

A long-standing R&D collaboration between Professor Malcolm Smith, from the University of Cambridge, and legendary British supercar maker and Formula One giant, McLaren, has led to revolutionary suspension technology now employed in all Formula One cars, and which could have wider applications, such as in the railways of the future.

Professor Sanja Dogramadzi, from Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), University of the West of England, has led the development of a ground-breaking robotic system that enables surgeons to put joint fractures back together using a minimally invasive approach. Supported by an underpinning EPSRC investment, it is the first robot-assisted system designed to deal with this problem. 

3D-printed implant technology developed with EPSRC support has transformed the life of Peter Maggs (pictured centre), a 71-year-old man who had been operated on to remove a large cancerous sarcoma that required surgeons to remove three ribs and part of his breastbone.

Every day the sun provides enough energy to power our planet for 27 years. So why not capture that energy with everyday buildings – using coatings that generate, store and release it?

Dr Conaill Soraghan, who leads the Operations & Maintenance Data Systems team at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, describes his career trajectory.

Around 80 billion litres of the fuel bioethanol are produced annually from fermented cereals. The yeast used in the process is discarded. Now, an academic/industry partnership led by Dr Emily Burton, from Nottingham Trent University, has led to a process that can retrieve proteins from what would otherwise have been discarded as cereal ‘waste’ which can then be used in chicken feed and commercial fish feed.

Researchers have used ARCHER, a state-of-the-art supercomputer, to create a model of the river channels in the Bengal delta – the largest river delta in the world – which will allow them to predict changes in tidal water level and salinity in the Bangladesh delta region, and to advise on irrigation and crop choice.

Permasense Ltd, a company formed in 2009 to commercialise industrial process monitoring technology for use in harsh conditions, pioneered by Dr Frederic Cegla while an EPSRC-supported doctoral student at Imperial College London, has been sold to Fortune 500 company Emerson for over £30 million.

Worldwide, 25 per cent of drinking water is lost through leaking water pipelines. To tackle this problem, Talib Alhinai, a research postgraduate at Imperial College London’s Aerial Robotics Laboratory, and his colleagues created the world’s first flying drone able to plug pipeline leaks.

Jaguar Land Rover, the UK's largest automotive manufacturer, is a member of the Business Engagement Forum (BEF) set up by EPSRC.

In 2005, some years before the development of the tablet computer, an EPSRC-supported team from the universities of Dundee and St Andrews, led by Dr Norman Alm, developed a simple touchscreen aid to help people with dementia recall their memories.

EPSRC-supported researchers are leading an international project to improve the living conditions of millions of refugees by designing better shelters.

EPSRC-supported researchers at the University of Southampton won the £30,000 first prize at the British Gas Connecting Homes Start up Competition for a system that aims to improve energy efficiency in the home.

EPSRC is the largest investor in doctoral training in the UK, providing young engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle evolving issues and future challenges.

Every time you make or receive a mobile phone call, or send a picture from your phone, you have Professor Joe McGeehan to thank for developing the technology that made it possible.

EPSRC-supported researchers at Loughborough University have developed an industry-first technology with the potential to significantly cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in diesel engines.

An EPSRC-supported doctoral student has developed pioneering technology to enhance mood music in film. The research is focused on enriching the musical experience of film audiences and might also help the hard of hearing.

EPSRC-funded research at the University of Leeds has resulted in a software product that helps car manufacturers improve the quality of their products.

One of the UK’s most famous bridges, Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, has been turned into a musical instrument, capable of playing music composed from its own structural data.

An innovative and award-winning urban farming facility is creating energy-efficient growing conditions in tunnels 120 feet below the busy streets of Clapham in London. Micro greens and salad leaves are thriving with the help of a smart monitoring programme that records temperature, humidity and CO2 levels.

A team of EPSRC-supported researchers from the University Defence Research Collaboration in Signal Processing at the University of Strathclyde have developed an award-winning ‘silent lookout’ Passive Bistatic Radar (PBR) system that uses low-cost sensors and satellite navigation technology for the early detection and tracking of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Fibre optic sensing methods developed by researchers at the EPSRC-supported Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) are being used on a major London Underground line extension project, improving safety levels and reducing costs.

The EPSRC-supported Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton is acknowledged as a world leader in photonics, optical telecommunication, optical materials and high-power lasers, and is testament to the value of long-term investment in blue-skies and application-driven research.

EPSRC-supported researchers at Loughborough University have developed a new fault-tolerant points mechanism that could revolutionise the global rail industry.

EPSRC-supported researchers at the University of Bristol, with international partners, have harnessed the strange world of quantum mechanics to ensure that online data – from bank transactions and internet shopping to the data used in systems that maintain critical infrastructure – is safe at all times.

An EPSRC-supported research team have developed a safer, greener method for conserving waterlogged wooden artefacts, such as those recovered from Henry VIII’s ship, the Mary Rose.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a new type of MRI scan to predict the risk of having a stroke.

University of Edinburgh scientists have unlocked the secret of slower-melting ice cream, thanks to a new food ingredient.

Consequential Robotics, an award-winning University of Sheffield spin-out company, is developing companion and assistive robotic systems that will enhance quality of life as people age.

Research by EPSRC-supported scientists at the University of Sheffield has shed unprecedented light on the behaviour of blasts produced by landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and could aid the development of enhanced protection for UK soldiers on military, peace-keeping and humanitarian missions.

Research into data mining and statistical analysis by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), has created more competitive insurance products while pioneering key advances in computer science and statistics for industry.

A University of Salford research project has found clear evidence that well-designed primary school classrooms boost children’s learning progress in reading, writing and maths.

Radical sound-absorbing technology reuses 95% of production waste

Researchers at the EPSRC Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) at the University of Cambridge, working with leading supermarket chain, Waitrose, have developed a more aerodynamic trailer design for articulated vehicles – cutting fuel consumption and pollution by around seven per cent.

Scientists and preservation experts joined forces to help save historic York Minster Cathedral from decay and erosion.

A global leader in a sector synonymous with rapid technological evolution, BT is firmly at the forefront of communications innovation in multiple markets.

As the world's largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger is continuously engaged in developing new capabilities designed to deliver increased value for customers while ensuring cost-effective, environmentally sensitive exploitation of oil and gas reserves.

'Servitization' unlocks the secrets of long-term business success. How can UK manufacturers survive and thrive in a ferocious global business environment?.

Without innovative research, medical breakthroughs that help people live better for longer would not be possible. Moreover, finding new ways of tackling healthcare challenges increasingly depends on closer collaboration between different disciplines and between different research and funding organisations.

Partnership provides space for success.

Professors Miles Padgett and Lee Cronin, from the University of Glasgow, have joined forces once again to design, build, and test a new type of high resolution 3D printer system – capable of creating complex shapes at microscopic levels.

Professor Paul Newman leads the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group (MRG), which is at the cutting-edge of UK research into mobile autonomy.

Researchers at the ITRC have developed a national model to aid long term planning and to provide the intelligence to adapt the UK infrastructure.

Potholes, cracked roads, and flooded railway lines cost the country millions in delays, repairs and compensation - but science can reduce the costs and the adverse impacts.

EPSRC / Rolls-Royce - the power of partnership.

EPSRC / P&G - UK research opens the road to growth.

With buried water pipes costing millions to replace being able to maintain them is vital. An EPSRC-sponsored research team at the University of Sheffield have been working with water companies to find ways to maximise performance of the UK water system that includes pipes over 100 years old.

As microorganisms become resistant to antimicrobial treatments, including antibiotics, there is a very real possibility that the drugs we have come to rely upon may become obsolete. The UK Research Councils support research, capability and training to pursue a range of strategies to tackle this global problem.

An automated system which allows the culture of a large number of stem cells has been developed and systems worth £20.1 million sold, as the result of research undertaken with Loughborough University

The UK economy loses £24 billion (1.6 per cent of the country's GDP) every year because of problems with friction, wear and lubrication in transport, manufacturing, energy and life sciences.

Wireless signal coverage inside buildings is often poor because the building materials absorb much of the external signal.

Spin-out company formed from EPSRC-sponsored research is to transform industry’s ability to electronically monitor extreme environments.

Intelligent Energy, an independent fuel cell company has received £38 million from the Singapore Government’s sovereign wealth fund.

An internet service which allows scientists to find antibodies is now the largest antibody search engine in a $2billion industry

Technology developed at the University of Aberdeen is contributing to the ‘big data’ revolution.

National energy grids occasionally suffer from catastrophic events leading to large-scale blackouts that impact on millions of people creating costly and dangerous disruption

Ground-breaking research into strained layer quantum well lasers by Professor Alf Adams in the 1980s helped shape the modern world.

Pioneering software that could help trains get to the right place at the right time.

It is estimated that almost 2.4 million battery-electric vehicles will be sold worldwide in 2020

It is forecast that there will be a £930 billion global investment in building new reactors and £250 billion in decommissioning.

It is estimated that every £1 spent on increasing resilience to extreme weather across Europe could yield £4 in potential damages avoided.

EPSRC-funded technology has been used in a mobile phone scheme that allows Oxfam customers to find out the stories behind its second-hand goods.

Drug influenced driving is on the rise with recent figures showing that nearly one in five motorists have driven while using illegal or prescription drugs.

Pioneering engineering to test whether the foundations of buildings under demolition or reconstruction can be reused.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a sensing system for use in rapid, low-cost DNA sequencing.

Running shoes that meet individual athletes’ needs - delivering more comfort, better performance and improved protection from injury - are being produced as a result of groundbreaking EPSRC-funded research at Loughborough University.

With 85 percent of the world’s online population sending their details when shopping and banking on the World Wide Web, an EPSRC-sponsored research team have discovered a weakness in encryption software.

3D computer software that can create and test automation systems before they’re even built is set to save manufacturers millions of pounds, while increasing their global competitiveness.

A mobile phone App designed to give people in Africa the power to improve sanitation in their communities could help prevent the spread of diseases, which contribute to the high rates of child mortality.

Prefab houses suffer from a bad stigma but a new modular house building system which reduces the construction time by three weeks could help the construction industry keep up with the high demand of building new houses.

The internet industry is worth an estimated £100 billion to the UK. EPSRC is investing £7.2 million in research that could revolutionise the internet, making it much faster and more efficient.

Technology developed by an EPSRC-sponsored research team at the University of Sheffield could lead to more efficient car engines - and huge fuel savings for motorists.

Being able to extend the shelf life of packaged food by just one day could substantially reduce the seven million tonnes of food which are discarded in the UK every year.

Lower back pain affects 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives, costing billions to the NHS and the wider economy through sickness leave.

EPSRC-sponsored researchers are tackling how to reduce the demand for carbon emission intensive materials.

EPSRC-sponsored researchers at University of Leeds have created a ‘non-invasive’ dental treatment which could help the 31 percent of adults affected by tooth decay.

EPSRC-sponsored engineers at Loughborough University have developed an innovative 3D printing technique to create customised panels for large-scale buildings.

A software tool which protects the functionality and security of computer systems has been developed by EPSRC sponsored researchers at University of Oxford.

Award-winning technology developed by Syrinix, a company set up to commercialise EPSRC-sponsored research at the University of East Anglia, has developed ‘listening’ technology that can help reduce treated water lost every day in the UK.

In 2011, Demon, an unmanned aircraft developed through EPSRC’s Strategic Partnership with BAE Systems, became the first aircraft in the world to fly without the use of flaps - and into the Guinness Book of World Records

Wonder material graphene, the strongest, thinnest material there is, has a host of amazing potential applications - from flexible electronics to superlight aircraft.

Aquamarine Power, a hydro-electric wave energy company set up to commercialise EPSRC-funded research, has installed two unique Oyster wave energy converters at its offshore Orkney site.

Cheap solar power might soon be possible thanks to a new type of flexible, organic solar panel developed by an EPSRC-sponsored research team at the University of Warwick and Molecular Solar Ltd.

OXEMS, a company created to commercialise EPSRC-funded research, has developed a unique sensor device to detect underground assets such as water pipes, sewers and cabling without the need for excavation.

The European Space Agency’s Galileo satellite navigation system is being launched with technology developed by British satellite manufacturers Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

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