Our research in this challenging field aims to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our infrastructure in terms of energy efficiency and optimisation of resources and materials.

Mappin infrared

We also investigate how our urban environments operate as systems, how they can generate and store low-carbon energy, and what operational methods they can use to reduce energy demand.

Our Geotechnical Engineering group works on fundamental civil engineering infrastructure that underpins the construction of renewable and low-carbon energy generating systems, such as foundations to support offshore wind energy structures and thermally active underground infrastructure for heat exchange. At the operational end, our RISE research group aims to develop novel control systems for our buildings to maintain comfort and create a high standard of living, while simultaneously reducing energy demand.

Our Structural Engineering & Materials research group investigates the embodied carbon and energy in the materials we are building with and the construction processes used in their aim to drive down the operational use of carbon resources.

Through interdisciplinary collaboration with other academic research groups, as well as industry and other relevant stakeholders, we also work to consider societal issues connected to energy demand, such as health and wellbeing, and fuel poverty.


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)

Multi-scale, circular economic potential of non-residential building stock (EPSRC)

Previous Research - last 5 years

Particle-Scale Investigation of Seepage Induced Geotechnical Instablility (EPSRC)

Academics Involved

Name Other Research Themes
Arbabi, Dr Hadi Infrastructure
de Borst, Prof. René Infrastructure, Hazards & Materials
Boxall, Prof. Joby Infrastructure, Digital, Hazards & Materials
Densley Tingley, Dr Danielle Infrastructure, Digital & Materials
Hathway, Dr Abigail Infrastructure & Digital
Mayfield, Prof. Martin Infrastructure, Digital  & Materials
McLaggan, Dr Martyn Hazards & Materials
Rougé, Dr Charles Infrastructure, Hazards & Digital
Schellart, Dr Alma Infrastructure & Hazards
Tait, Prof. Simon Infrastructure & Hazards

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.