University of Edinburgh School of Engineering

The integrated School of Engineering was formed in 2002 from the various individual departments to address diverse and complex challenges across the entire field of engineering, at the micro- and macroscopic/global scales.  

University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Electronics

At the microscopic scale, its research supports the design and deployment of novel nanotechnology and devices for biological monitoring and medical diagnosis; at the macro/global scale, it optimises the security and sustainability of the built environment and develops engineering solutions to issues raised by climate change.

The Vision of the School is the achievement of excellence across each of its six research areas, from the science and mathematics that underpins engineering research, to its industrial and commercial applications and four teaching disciplines, all accredited by the professional Engineering Institutes. Not only was the School ranked third in General Engineering in the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise (2008), but it also has a strong track record in producing more than 50 technology spin-outs and developing industry links that enable our graduates to build relationships that last a whole career. In the last three academic years, the School has received an average of £18.5M in research funding awards.


Specifically, the School aims:

  • To provide an environment that fosters outstanding learning and scholarship across Engineering;
  • To produce graduates equipped for and inspired towards high personal and professional achievement;
  • To enhance the scientific, cultural and economic well-being of society through the discipline of Engineering, contributing to wealth creation and the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally;
  • To promote and perform research of the highest quality, motivated by both scientific curiosity and societal needs;
  • To promote multi- and inter-disciplinary, flexible research, while continuing to reflect the needs of the major Engineering professions;
  • To create efficient technology transfer to and from the School's research base.

Dimensions and Structure

The School is one of the largest in the University, comprising 100 academic staff, 80 research staff, 90 support staff, with 1,300 undergraduate students, 140 taught MSc students and 250 doctoral students. The School occupies approximately 10,000 m2 in over ten closely located buildings on the University's King's Buildings (Science and Engineering) site in South Edinburgh.

Each member of academic staff teaches in one of five engineering disciplines (including Engineering Mathematics) and is a member of one of our six Research Institutes:

  • Research Institutes
  • Bioengineering
  • Digital Communications
  • Energy Systems
  • Infrastructure and Environment
  • Integrated Micro and Nano Systems
  • Materials and Processes


The Institute for Bioengineering pursues a range of exciting topics, covering new bioprocesses for pharmaceutical production (with the School of Biosciences), image-guided assessment of skeletal robustness in elderly patients (with orthopaedic practitioners), and micro-fabricated implantable sensors for cancer therapy (with cancer researchers).

Digital communications

The Institute for Digital Communications pioneers new theories and techniques in a field that has come to power the global economy. Among recent highlights, Professor Harald Haas's 'Li-fi' system of LED-based wireless communication was named among the world's top inventions of 2011 by 'Time' magazine.

Energy systems

The Institute for Energy Systems is helping to shape tomorrow's difficult energy decisions. The Institute continues a long line of world-leading innovation by Edinburgh researchers, from the 'Duck' wave energy converter invented in the 1970s by Stephen Salter - now Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design - to direct drive electrical generators, wave generation technology and the latest hydraulic transmission systems. Our research covers machinery, electronics, power distribution, marine energy including offshore wind generation, climate change impact assessment, and policy development.

Infrastructure and environment

The Institute for Infrastructure and Environment is shaping the development of better technologies to improve the built and natural environments. The Institute hosts the world leading BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering and further state-of-the-art activities in environmental engineering, bulk materials handling, high-speed rail, non-destructive testing, and design, performance, resilience and regulation of structures and systems.

Integrated Micro and Nano Systems

The Institute for Micro and Nano Systems' research encompasses integrated circuit design, system-on-chip design, microfabrication, micro-electro mechanical systems, micro-machining, miniaturised sensors, single-photon sensors and displays.

Materials and processes

The Institute for Materials and Processes carries out world-class research into a wide range of materials, ranging from fluids and soft matter to hard materials, and its researchers study processes spanning biomedical, mechanical and chemical engineering. The physical scales involved range from nanometres (e.g. for molecular simulation of catalysts) to metres (e.g. carbon capture from coal-fired power stations).

Facilities and Centres

In carbon capture and storage (CCS), we host the £12.5M EPSRC-funded UK CCS Research Centre (UKCCSRC,, a hub that brings together leading UK researchers and acts as a two-way interface between the academic community and key stakeholders (e.g. government, industry and potential international collaborators). It aims to build strategic national and international research partnerships with industry and other user organisations to co-fund and co-deliver a range of R&D impacts linked to the growing opportunities for commercial deployment of CCS. It also coordinates and extends the activities of the existing UK CCS Community Network, open to anyone in the UK with a legitimate interest in CCS, and its Early Career Researcher programme.

The University of Edinburgh's leadership in low-carbon energy has been further enhanced through the completion in 2013 of FloWave, the £12M UK All-Waters Combined Current and Wave Test Facility for wave and tidal devices. The £6.5M Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy is led by the University of Edinburgh and will train 50 engineering doctorate students over nine years in all aspects of Offshore Renewable Energy.

The BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering hosts bespoke equipment to support ground-breaking research and consultancy with precisely controlled high temperatures and the latest image analysis techniques. The Structures Test Hall is a high-headroom lab for testing large and unusual assemblies. There are state-of-the-art lab facilities for developing and testing NDE and material handling technologies, a smart infrastructure lab and a good range of environmental engineering testing resources for the water and waste management sectors.


School of Engineering
Faraday Building, Kings Buildings