Digital design and data-driven technologies are changing the face of Civil and Structural Engineering.

CIV digital code

Digital design techniques are enabling us to:

  • Consider and reduce environmental impacts of designs at the outset, embedding this in the design process.
  • Manage buildings and infrastructure throughout their lifespan, utilising ideas such as materials passports to hold key information that enable effective building maintenance and maximise the chances for material reuse at end of life.
  • Optimise structures to improve resilience, durability, and efficiency and reduce resource consumption.

Data-driven technologies that we are exploiting include urban sensing to understand everything from air pollution to what our cities are made of. We’re using techniques such as photogrammetry and multi-spectral imaging to build a digital twin of Sheffield and building in live sensing so that we can develop a dynamic understanding of city systems. From this, we are developing new models to understand the interventions that would make our cities better places to live for both humanity and the planet.

By introducing the first design-for-manufacture digital tools for 3D-printed concrete-based structural composites, we also aim to establish the University of Sheffield as a world leader in manufacturing know-how and design capability that will serve the emerging global additive manufacturing industry.


Our department has been research-led for over 100 years and our academic staff are organised into four overarching disciplines, the main ones being Water Engineering and Structural Engineering and Materials.

Water Engineering

Structural Engineering & Materials

Geotechnical Engineering

Resources, Infrastructure Systems and Built Environments

Current Research

INTEGRADDE (Horizon 2020)

Structural performance of 3D concrete printed composites (EPSRC)

Previous Research - last 5 years


UKCRIC - Urban Flows Observatories (EPSRC)

Academics Involved

Name Other Research Themes
Boxall, Prof. Joby Infrastructure, Hazards & Energy 
Burgess, Prof. Ian Infrastructure, Hazards & Materials
Densley Tingley, Dr Danielle Infrastructure, Energy & Materials
Fairclough, Dr Helen Infrastructure
Gilbert, Prof. Matthew Infrastructure, Hazards & Materials
Hathway, Dr Abigail Infrastructure & Energy
Hajirasouliha, Prof. Iman Hazards & Materials
He, Dr Linwei Infrastructure & Materials
Kesserwani, Dr Georges Infrastructure & Hazards
Liew, Dr Andrew Infrastructure & Materials
Mayfield, Prof. Martin Infrastructure, Energy & Materials
Rigby, Dr Sam Infrastructure, Hazards & Materials
Rougé, Dr Charles Infrastructure, Energy & Hazards
Smith, Prof. Colin Infrastructure, Hazards & Materials
Susmel, Prof. Luca Infrastructure & Materials
Tyas, Prof. Andrew Infrastructure, Hazards & Materials
Yun, Dr Xiang Infrastructure & Materials

Our league table rankings

Top 100 Civil & Structural Engineering department in the world and 9th in the UK according to the QS World University rankings by subject (2023).

10th in the UK according to the Times University League Table (2024).

12th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide (2024).

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.