Institute of Materials and Investigative Sciences (IMIS)

Our research and knowledge exchange institute brings together researchers in archaeology, fire, forensics and smart materials to address global and national challenges posed by Fire-related Disasters, Disease Management, Climate Change, Migration History, and Cadaver Identification and Recovery.

We're a multidisciplinary institute engaged at the leading-edge of research addressing complex and transdisciplinary challenges that involve scientific application. Researchers publish their work in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific Reports and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our research community is supported by three Research Centres:

  • Field Archaeology and Forensic Taphonomy.
  • Fire and Hazards Sciences
  • Smart Materials

The Institute carries out teaching and research in Archaeology, Chemistry, Materials Science, Forensics and Fire with researchers contributing to teaching in a number of Schools.

The Institute comprises of over 30 academic staff, and members include research fellows and PhD students. Our members are internationally recognised, generating institutional visibility and reputation.

The aim is to generate high impact research publications and global impact by fostering a collaborative, high energy research community.

  • Research

    12 Professors and other researchers in our Institute have submitted research bids of £250,000 this year.
  • Knowledge exchange

    Our research has involved the testing of over 10,000 firefighters across the UK for carcinogens.
  • Involving the public

    Our Institute has been involved in the research of over 450 ancient humans remains.
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Our academics

Professor Duncan Sayer
School of Law and Policing

Professor Duncan Sayer is a leading expert in historical archaeology and has a particular interest in early medieval cemeteries, migration, death, burial and ethics. Duncan has lead field work projects for over 20 year, most recently these have included Oakington early Anglo-Saxo…

Professor Anna Stec
Professor in Fire Chemistry and Toxicity
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Anna Stec is Professor in Fire Chemistry and Toxicity at the University of Central Lancashire. She has extensive experience and a portfolio of research in identifying and quantifying toxic hazards (acute and chronic) in and from fires and understanding the factors that affect fir…