Food, energy and sustainability challenges
We’re working in partnership with universities, businesses and communities across the globe to create a fairer, more sustainable future for everyone. Find out more about how we’re finding innovative solutions to global problems.
The power of language in a plastic waste crisis
Only 9 per cent of plastic in the UK is successfully recycled. With over half of UK households choosing to put one or more items in the general rubbish, researchers at Sheffield are taking a linguistic approach to change the nation’s throwaway culture.
Transforming the efficiency of wind turbines
Led by the University of Sheffield, a major collaboration between universities and energy companies aims to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels by making offshore wind energy production more efficient, more reliable and cheaper to produce.
Have we turned plants against us?
Air pollution is a growing threat to our health and climate. But research by Dr Stuart Campbell found that its effects on plants could be worse than we initially thought.
Moving beyond food banks
Inflation is at its highest level in four decades and an increasing number of British households are struggling to access basics including food. Dr Megan Blake is redefining food support in the UK by addressing the wider effects that food insecurity has on health, wellbeing, and communities.
How can we feed the world with foam?
An abandoned school isn’t where you’d expect to find researchers trying to solve the problem of feeding a world of 10 billion. Then again, neither is a refugee camp. But this team of University of Sheffield researchers are nothing short of resourceful.
How to weigh a forest from space
Set to launch in 2023, the European Space Agency BIOMASS mission will attempt to measure the biomass in the Earth's forests (and its changes) from an altitude of 600 km. Its lead scientist is Professor Shaun Quegan of the School of Mathematics and Statistics.
A groovy way to boost solar power efficiency
While solar energy is renewable, the manufacturing process for panels is wasteful. Professor David Lidzey and Power Roll Ltd have developed a solar cell design that is more efficient and cuts production costs.
Surviving climate chaos
A combination of population growth, resource scarcity and climate change have left our food supplies vulnerable. How can we produce food in a way that can withstand these challenges?
The case of the ‘missing ice’
Rising sea levels are one of the biggest challenges posed by climate change. We've been studying the melting of Antarctica, to help researchers get to the core of predicting future sea level rises.
Powering the future
In sub-saharan Africa there are more people without electricity today than there were in 2000. Thousands of people in the UK can’t afford to heat their homes in the winter. And millions of people around the world don’t have access to energy.
The pesticide paradox
Pesticides are a key part of modern agriculture, but with often unpredictable effects damaging crucial elements of our ecosystem, where does regulation draw the line?
Understanding the Arctic
The Arctic covers 14.5 million square kilometers of the earth’s surface but we know relatively little about it. So how do you connect such a vast, scientifically unknown region?
Charging towards the next generation of batteries
Batteries are everywhere, but the process for manufacturing them is expensive, energy intensive and relies on depleting resources. Our researchers are at the forefront of developing new, innovative materials to create a brighter future for batteries.