Infrastructure and Environment

ERPE partner, Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Infrastructure and Environment, in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) has joined forces with Scottish Water, Glasgow Clyde College and the Open University to offer water professionals a pathway to professional educational and technical development.

On Tuesday 20 January Professor Garry Pender, Head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, and Professor Bhaskar Sen Gupta launched the new MSc in Water, Technology and Desalination at the International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh welcome the outstanding results of REF2014 for the Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE). 94% of our overall research activity is world-leading or internationally excellent. This, combined with the number of academic staff involved, makes Edinburgh the UK powerhouse in Engineering.

Dr David A Kelly, Assistant Professor within the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, was invited to give oral evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment (APPGEBE) at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 24 November.

Professor Garry Pender, Head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society within ERPE, has been elected as Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers Scottish Region.

Outgoing Chair Ronnie Hunter handed over the Chairmanship to Professor Pender on November 18 at the ICE Scotland Annual General Meeting in the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

Dr David Connolly, a Heriot-Watt lecturer within the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, has won the Rail Research UK Association’s (RRUKA) annual ‘Best young Railway Researcher 2014’ award.

Tuesday 14 October is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Ada Lovelace Day Podcast
To celebrate we have developed an Ada Lovelace Day podcast (16 mins) of staff and students sharing stories of STEM women who have inspired them.

Colleagues featured in this recording are:

ERPE would like to extend its congratulations to Professor Mike Forde, FREng, FRSE who has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was presented at the Conference Banquet in Belfast City Hall on 2nd September 2014 by Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor James McElney, on Behalf of Queens University Belfast and the Concrete Solutions-2014 Conference.

High speed is the focus as ERPE scientists and their industry colleagues feature at two stands at this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, an annual display of the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology in the UK.

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, interviewed by Dr Gabriela Medero and Dr Aruna Ivaturi, will be sharing tales of her career to date; the highs and lows, the pivotal times, people who made a difference, key events and life stages.

Research Futures has hosted the first UK national EPSRC Engineering Roadshow for Early Career Researchers at the Postgraduate Centre at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh Campus.

Every spring, prescribed burns are conducted on 15-20000 acres of forest in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, United States. Historically, fire is a natural occurrence in the Pine Barrens and is an integral part of maintaining the ecosystem. Such prescribed burns are also used as a type of ‘fuel treatment’, aimed at reducing the fuel loading, the quantity of vegetation biomass, in the forest.

The project focuses on the performance of automated trash screens in culverts. Culverts are vital links that allow rivers to pass safely under roads and developments. During periods of intense rainfall many critical culverts are not able to operate to their full capacity because of blockages to trash screens which protect their entry.

A culvert fitted with an Atlas Polar automated trash screen

The need to conserve water has long been recognised by society as a priority action that is critical to health, sanitation and wellbeing. Oftentimes, this message is rightly focused on providing clean water and sanitation in developing countries.

The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has published a report on culvert blockage based on Heriot-Watt University research.

PhD students and senior academics from Heriot-Watt University were among a list of over 50 speakers to address delegates at the Railway Track Science and Engineering International Workshop, Ballast: Issues & Challenges hosted last week at Union Internationale des Chemins de fer (UIC) in Paris.

Delegates from 17 countries outside the Railway Track Science and Engineering International Workshop, Ballast: Issues & Challenges in Paris

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society is a multidisciplinary school teaching across all disciplines relevant to the construction industry. Research is user focused and delivers solutions of practical value to industry and society.


The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering is a strategic alliance between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.
Working with academic and commercial partners we aim to deliver world leading research and expertise in engineering to the greatest commercial, social and economic impact and benefit through education and advancement in science and engineering.

Energy and Resource Management

ERPE research into shell structure design has worldwide impact in the storage and handling of granular solids. A core element of this research is to enhance and update EU design recommendations such as the Eurocodes (EN) and US (ASME and ACI) standards. With over 75% of the material feedstock industry being granular, ERPE research achieves impact in bulk materials handling across many industries.

ERPE development of new and unique design methodologies, frameworks and tools for analysing fire spread has enhanced public safety by transforming structural design for fire. Fire safety engineering research within ERPE has created an improved scientific understanding of the effect of fire on structures and materials and thus assisted the design and construction of increasingly optimised, sustainable, and economical buildings globally with significant changes in building design and regulation.

ERPE research and development of XiTRACK technology has reduced rail track maintenance by a factor of up to 40, increased maintenance intervals from 3-monthly to 10 years and increased track speeds to 125 mph in critical sections of UK, Italy and Hong Kong rail networks.

Microstructure of Cementitous Materials

Research Aims

The overarching aim of the group is to generate new understandings of materials in terms of basic science at all scale levels (nano-scale through to macro-scale) and apply this to practical applications that address societal needs in the key areas of UK government policy including climate change, sustainable construction and civil infrastructure.

Subscribe to Infrastructure and Environment