Research in the School of Engineering

Engineering Research

Research in the School of Engineering covers a wide span of applications and is driven by a vibrant mix of academic curiosity and industrially focussed investigation. Read about our activities below and the successful impact of our research.


Activities are focussed in a number of Research Centres and Institutes:

Advanced Digital Engineering

Advanced Digital Manufacturing Technology (ADMT) Research Centre

ADMT works closely with world leading technology providers and regional industries on future ICT-enabled manufacturing execution. By focusing on data-driven digital-integrated manufacturing execution and exploiting the geographical position in one of the most important manufacturing regions in the world, ADMT has developed the world’s first Tele-immersive Digital Manufacturing platform (TiM) as its vision for the affordable and autonomous factory of the future through its close links with the regional prime manufacturing companies in aerospace, automotive, food, nuclear, and submarine sectors, and has brought in various world leading technology providers. In terms of communication infrastructure, TiM is the first and the only laboratory in the education sector having the latest industrial fault-tolerant networking system with adaptive security provided by Cisco. In terms of information technology, TiM is supported by an extensive range of innovative technologies in signal and image processing, 3D/4D computer vision, as well as interactive and immersive visualisation, which have been developed by ADSIP from synergistic research in the aerospace and medical sectors since the late 1990s.

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Applied Digital Signal and Image Processing Research Centre

Applied Digital Signal and Image Processing Research

The Applied Digital Signal and Image Processing Research Centre (ADSIP) is unique in research and development of innovative signal and image processing, 3D/4D computer vision, radiation effects and instrumentation, as well as interactive and immersive digital environments through cross-fertilisation of ideas, exchange of results, and integration of approaches among multiple academic disciplines and application sectors. Funded extensively by a diverse range of grant bodies and industry, ADSIP has led and collaborated with top research centres and world leading companies in a wide range of cutting edge research projects for various sectors such as aerospace, environment, manufacturing, medical, nuclear and submarine.

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UCLan Energy Group


UCLan Energy research reflects a multi-disciplinary approach between the natural, engineering and social sciences and our links to employers. UCLan Energy is a leader in UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Technology (CASE). These awards provide funding for PhD studentships where businesses take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice for PhD research We have researchers working on intelligent energy management systems and energy storage but also energy demand behaviour and the relationship between energy infrastructure and local communities. In addition, we have recently been successful in Horizon 2020 – the largest of the EU Research and Innovation programmes. The History of Nuclear Energy and Society project (HoNESt) will seek to explain the historical and social experience in a variety of EU countries and comprises23 partner institutions across Europe. UCLan Energy are leading the social science work packages.

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Jost Institute for Tribotechnology


The Jost Institute for Tribotechnology provides a centre of excellence of international standing for industrially relevant research, teaching and knowledge transfer within the area of tribology and tribotechnology. The Institute provides executive support for the International Tribology Council (ITC) to facilitate communication between tribologists on an international basis and its research is conducted in association with national and international partners, such as the European Space Tribology Laboratory (UK), KTH - Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden), VTT - Technical Research Centre of Finland), etc. The main thrust of its current work is the integration of intelligence and autonomy into tribological components and systems, an area called “tribtronics”.

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Plane in sky

Research Centre for Sustainable Transitions (CST)

The UCLan Research Centre for Sustainable Transitions (CST) is a cross-disciplinary centre with the aim of becoming trans-disciplinary and impactful, within academic and real-world contexts.  It is through trans-disciplinarity that we will address the intellectual and very practical challenges of a warming planet and the social impacts this will generate.

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UCLan is committed to maintaining and growing a productive, well-resourced and internationally competitive research community. In late 2007 the John Tyndall Institute for Nuclear Research was launched with an investment of £0.75M, bringing together researchers in nuclear science/engineering from across the university with diverse specialisms. The first two heads of JTi were both academics with a track record of success in attracting research funding from EPSRC and the nuclear industry. Both came from and were submitted with an existing research group that achieved a proportion of world-leading (4*) research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008). In 2010, UCLan expanded its nuclear team with the employment of two professors – one post aimed at strengthening UCLan’s materials science research for the nuclear industry (particularly decontamination and waste processing) and the other post has quickly established a leading provision in nuclear safety, security and safeguards arena (with an emphasis on Regulation but with a complementary interest in related science/engineering).

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The Civic Drone Centre


The Civic Drone Centre works with companies, individuals and organisations that are using, or planning to use, remotely operated vehicles across a wide range of scenarios. These span search and rescue activity, journalism and media and humanitarian aid. It seeks to provide technology and know-how to these organisations, and collaborate with a range of partners – locally, nationally and internationally – to explore and develop new technologies and knowledge in this sector.

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The Computer Vision and Machine Learning (CVML) Research Group emerged as a result of a cross-disciplinary interests in research and applications related to Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Medical Image Computing. The main focus of the group is to research, develop and deploy novel methods for analysis of visual information for medical and industrial applications. 

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83% of published output arising from research in the School of Engineering was rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Much of our research work has an interdisciplinary foundation and is conducted with industry and other international partners across the world. Impacts include:

  • Improved the safety and competitiveness of European aircraft through the development and deployment of innovative signal and image processing technology to increase defect detectability and assessment reliability at reduced inspection time and costs
  • A comprehensive set of algorithms and software tools for improved radiation therapy planning and delivery
  • One of the most comprehensive dynamic 3D databases of human facial expressions for the research community and a novel statistical surface deformation model for facial articulations
  • Dynamic 3D facial scan for face based health monitoring
  • A Joint Acoustic Analysis System (JAAS) as a new clinical tool for dynamic knee joint assessment and a breakthrough discovery of acoustic emission based biomarker linked to knee ageing and degeneration
  • Patented technology on a novel neutron spectrometer
  • The highest ever resolution images of the solar corona
  • The development of computer models to predict the friction of skis on artificial dry slopes
  • The development of protocols to prevent vibration-induced loosening (“self-loosening”) of threaded fasteners

  • Better understanding of the performance of solid and liquid lubricants used for mechanisms in spacecraft
  • Characterisation of advanced materials and coatings for touch screens
  • Computer models to predict the lubrication conditions for piston-rings packs operating in internal combustion engines
  • Improved understanding of the mechanism of bio-fouling of marine structures
  • Improved knowledge of the friction performance of materials for seat belt release mechanisms in passenger cars
  • Better knowledge of the performance of materials for fuel delivery systems for passenger aircraft
  • The development of patents for systems to reduce emissions from large marine diesel engines
  • The development of world leading technology to measure the thickness of lubricant films within contacts

Contact Us

For more information please contact Professor Ian Sherrington at