Quality of Research
Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering
Cardiff School of Engineering & Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC)
Research Assessment Exercise (2008)
|Unit of Assessment||Staff submitted (FTE)||By percentage, research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard|
|Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering (G28)||25.60||4||3||2||1||UC|
(Overall quality profile in blocks of 5%)
Research Profile: Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering
|Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering|
|Institution||Grade Point Average|
|Imperial College London||3.05|
|University of Sheffield||3.00|
|University of Bristol B||3.00|
|University of Nottingham||2.95|
|University of Bristol A||2.95|
|University of Greenwich||2.95|
|University of Leeds||2.90|
|University of Birmingham||2.80|
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Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering research at Cardiff has a reputation for excellence and a strong record of collaboration with industrial partners. It is conducted within the vibrant environment provided by the Cardiff School of Engineering and the Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC). The Unit of Assessment is at the forefront of research in key areas including: energy, waste and environment; performance of machines, structures and systems; medical engineering and medical physics; and advanced manufacturing and information technology.
The Cardiff School of Engineering’s research facilities in mechanical engineering have benefited from substantial investment of £5.9M from the Science Research Infrastructure Fund (SRIF) in recent years. The funding has supported the development of state-of-the-art laboratories in performance engineering, sustainable energy research and environmental engineering. This has resulted in the emergence of a new research theme, aerospace, under which researchers are addressing challenges to enable a step change in aircraft system design that will reduce weight and fuel consumption (and hence CO2 emission) for the benefit of the aircraft industry and society itself.
Mechanical engineers are at the forefront of research in energy, waste and the environment, the performance of machines, structures and systems, and medical engineering.
Another major development, supported by £7.8M of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, EU, QinetiQ and industrial partners, is the Gas Turbine Research Centre at Port Talbot, where researchers are conducting detailed investigation of combustion and emissions in gas turbines.
Energy research within the School received a further boost from an award of £3.8M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and HEFCW to establish the Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply. The Centre will address the challenges of integrating large amounts of renewable energy and distributed generation into electricity networks and is committed to researching innovative and cost-effective solutions.
In the field of medical engineering, researchers are working on the application of mechanical engineering principles to solve wide range of problems in medicine and health care, from orthopaedic and forensic work through to sports injuries. There are also links with the School of Dentistry through collaborative work on bone cements and injection moulding techniques.
The School has excellent links with industrial partners such as Airbus, Rolls Royce, Corus, Network Rail, Carillion, Messier Dowty and Ove Arup, plus a host of smaller companies in sectors ranging from the automotive industry through to healthcare and software companies.
Established as a separate Research Centre in 2005, the award-winning MEC conducts world-leading multidisciplinary R&D in key areas of advanced manufacturing and information technology, using the output to develop/adopt knowledge-based technologies for competitive manufacturing. The MEC has multi-million pound state-of-the-art facilities in micro, nano and rapid manufacturing.
Through collaborative industrial partnership with leading manufacturers and research centres, e.g. KERN, AGIE, DMG, Mikrotechnik and Battenfeld, Carl Zeiss, Cambridge University, CEA, CNRS, Warwick Manufacturing Group, DTU, FZK, IMTEK, IAO, IPA, IPK and KTH, the MEC has gained wide recognition for its micro tool making and replication research. This is further evidenced by its leadership of major international initiatives including the two EU-funded I*PROMS and 4M Networks of Excellence, each totalling €7.5M and assembling thirty centres of research excellence from across Europe.