The Engineering & Materials Research Centre (EMRC) comprises three distinct research groups, working in the general areas of engineering and materials science.

EMRC researchers are a mix of full and part-time academics, postdoctoral researchers, research degree students and visiting fellows and professors from academia and industry. The research centre is multi-disciplinary in make-up, containing researchers from the School of Engineering, the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology, the School of Healthcare Science and the School of Science and the Environment, within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Our diverse expertise is applied to a wide spectrum of problems. 

The EMRC exists to support and encourage research and researchers and provide a strategic overview of global challenges that research must address, such as, security, sustainability, transport, energy and health. Within the Centre, we are fortunate to have world-class research being conducted in surface engineering, advanced materials, computational fluid dynamics and millimetre-wave imaging and remote sensing. Strong areas of research growth include Communications, Smart Systems, Bioengineering and Transport Engineering.

Engineering is a highly applied science and the groups that make up the Research Centre all conduct research supported by, and in collaboration with, local, regional and international companies of all sizes. This collaboration, in the form of Knowledge Transfer  Partnerships, industry-led projects, consultancy and supported research council bids demonstrate the desire we have to engage with the commercial world, translating our research from the laboratory or workshop to the commercial world to the benefit of society.  

Centre Contacts

Our Departments, Research Centres and Groups

Research Group

Surface Engineering and Advanced Material Research Group

The group focuses on the production and characterisation of novel materials and the modification of surfaces for a wide range of applications. Our research brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers with world-leading expertise in nanotechnology, electrochemistry, polymer technology, surface engineering, biosensors, microbiology, advanced materials and catalysis.

It provides a forum for unique collaborative research activities within the materials, chemistry and surface science fields. We also have strong collaborative relationships with industry and academic groups both within the UK and worldwide.

We have a sustained record of RCUK funding, REF contributions, high-quality outputs and PhD completions. Research areas in which we are outstanding include:

  • Plasma Surface Engineering
  • Graphene and related 2D materials engineering
  • 3D printing/engineering energy storage devices
  • Biosensors and chemical sensors
  • Catalysis
  • Nanotechnology

Research Group

Engineering Modelling, Simulation and Design Research Group

Group Lead

We apply our expertise to a range of areas, including Sports Engineering and Marine Renewable Technology. The group has particular strength in computational fluid dynamics modelling of fluid flows and finite element analysis. The group has been the cornerstone of strong submissions in the previous RAE/REF submissions.Our main strength is that we can establish a diverse discipline group with expertise in biomechanics, health, apparel, materials and engineering.

The EMSD Group has been engaged in a number of collaborative research projects with leading research institutes and is one of the lead partners of the EPSRC Collaborative Computational Project in Wave-Structure Interaction consortium and a partner of the new UK Fluid Network. Specific research interests and expertise of the EMSD Group include:

  • Prediction of wave impact and interactions    
  • High-performance computing in CFD
  • Industrial multiphase flow, heat transfer and hydrogel drug delivery.
  • Applied computational and experimental mechanics
  • FEA of sports equipment      
  • Injury prevention methods in sport
  • Design, development and analysis of materials and equipment for sport

Research Group

Communications and Signal Processing Research Group

The Group has a well-proven record of accomplishment and expertise in the field of smart cities, energy, Internet of things, community and culture, transport, and environment. We engage in multidisciplinary research, including:

  • cancer biomarker detection,
  • food/waterborne pathogen detection;
  • characterisation of nanocomposite biomaterials;
  • micro/nano fabrication;
  • sensor interface
  • biomedical device development.

We are internationally recognised for our work on the remote detection of weapons and explosives carried by individuals and engaged in pioneering work in many other areas that involve:

  • RF and Microwave Technology
  • Computer Vision systems 
  • AI and Neural Networks
  • Condition monitoring
  • Signal processing.

Our Industry partners include Siemens, Jaguar Landrover, Xsilion LtD, PhotonStarLED Ltd, Manchester City Council, and funding bodies include Horizon 2020, Innovate UK and EPSRC.Specific research interests and expertise of the CSP Research Group include:

  • Smart grid and IoT
  • Big data and cloud-based analysis
  • Energy harvesting and management
  • Advanced communication systems
  • Applications of radar for security screening
  • Digital millimetre wave imaging systems for security applications
  • Condition monitoring and non-destructive testing.


Research Group

Transport Engineering

Group Lead

TERG focuses on automotive and railway related research in the School of Engineering. The areas of research include: Vehicle Dynamics and Active Control, Fault Tolerant Control, Sensing and State Estimation Techniques, Vehicle structural analysis and Crashworthiness studies, Passive safety enhancement in vehicles and Impact biomechanics of a human body in vehicle crashes, Brake Noise Vibration and Harshness Arterial Injury related to car crash, Finite element modelling for the damage performance, Sustainable Transport, Alternative Fuels for Internal Combustion Engines and Light to Heavy Powertrain Engineering.

Research Group

Sensing and Imaging

The Sensing and Imaging Group is home to several groups of experts with very broad-ranging expertise and experience in acquiring, measuring, analysing and interpreting data from a diverse range of sources.

Although the group is internationally recognised for its work on the remote detection of weapons and explosives carried by individuals, it is also engaged in pioneering work in many other areas that involve skills and expertise that spans RF and Microwave Technology, Computer Vision systems, AI and Neural Networks, condition monitoring, signal processing.

Our research into the next generation of security scanners has been attracting media attention from across the globe. The group have created a revolutionary radar scanner which scatters harmless millimetre waves through crowds of people to detect if someone is carrying hidden weapons such as knives and bombs – even the new phenomenon of 3D printed guns.

Research Group

Power, Renewable and Sustainability

Technology has enabled the human race to harness power from nature for many generations – starting with windmills, sailing ships and biomass fires. During the industrial revolution, the use of coal fired steam locomotion encouraged society to view fossil fuels as cheap, convenient and readily available and consequently the demand for energy increased, both in industry and at home.

As our understanding of fossil fuels, their limited availability and detrimental effects on the environment increases, society is increasingly motivated to develop alternative energy sources and make better use of that already generated.

The PRS group focusses on green energy, renewable and hybrid power systems (wind turbines, solar power plants and fuel cell technologies). Their work has applications in many sectors including: renewable and hybrid power systems; oil and gas; automotive and rail, marine and aerospace.

Research Group

Manufacturing and Production Engineering

The activities in the Manufacturing and Production Engineering Research Group involve advanced metal machining, continuous improvement in manufacturing operations, Supply chain Engineering, Sustainable Industrial Systems, Product-service Systems / Service Engineering and Manufacturing/Business Process simulation.

The research group brings together researchers from the School of Engineering and Business School. The group has developed strong relationships with the academic institutions and industries through collaborative research, KTP projects and consultancy.

Our main research interests are in the following areas: Surface Engineering, Metal Cutting Machining, Evaluation of Cutting Tool Performance, Finite Element Modelling and Lean Manufacturing and six sigma.


Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Flow Analysis

Centre Director

CMMFA was formed in 1993 and undertakes research in the area of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and specialises in the development of CFD techniques for marine/coastal engineering and other industrial applications. 

Ongoing research, which is mainly funded by the EPSRC and supported by a number of industrial partners, underpins the development of a generic and integrated numerical wave tank (NWT) CFD package for modelling wave structure interactions.

Specific research interests of the group includes: Marine renewable technology through the development of computational fluid dynamics methods and tools, Prediction of wave impact forces on coastal and marine structures, Modelling of wave interactions with fixed and floating bodies including the development of associated software components and HPC implementation, Multiphase flow, heat transfer and hydrogel drug delivery, Flow stability over high-speed rotating bodies.

Research Group

Communications and Smart Systems

The CSS Research Group has a proven record of accomplishment in Smart Grid, M2M, Internet of Things (IoT), Enabling the IoTs in industrial environments through the use of Service orientated Architecture (SOA) and WSN, Big Data and Cloud based analysis, Cyber Physical Systems, Energy harvesting for IoTs devices, Building Energy Systems, energy management, occupancy detection, and advanced communication systems.

Our Industrial partners include Siemens, Jaguar Landrover, Xsilion LtD, PhotonStarLED Ltd, Manchester City Council,  and funding bodies include Horizon 2020, Innovate UK and EPSRC. CSS are partners of the Corridor project and Triangulum consortium, an EU H2020 ‘Smart Cities and Communities project’.

Our expertise and network of international partners in the field of smart cities, energy, Internet of things, community and culture, transport, and environment is far-reaching and impactful. We engage in multidisciplinary research interests including cancer biomarker detection, food/waterborne pathogen detection; characterization of nanocomposite biomaterials; micro/nano fabrication; sensor interface and biomedical device development.

Research Group

Sports Engineering

Group Lead

The Sports Engineering Research TEAM specialises in the Technology of Equipment, Apparel and Movement. Sports Engineering is an exciting interdisciplinary field and our team has members in the School of Engineering, School of Healthcare Science, Department of Exercise and Sports Science and Department of Apparel.

We aim to get the population more active, which is one of the UK government’s priority areas in order to improve public health. Engineers can help by ensuring sports equipment and clothing is well-designed and accessible to help beginners and novices. Injuries and safety can also cause a barrier, with a number of high profile injuries making it in to the news recently, including cricket, skiing and American football accidents.

Our applied industry-focussed works looks to improve the performance of athletes, while reducing injury risks. We collaboration with a number of organisations, such as the bfu – Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, Para-Swimming and World Rugby.

Our Research