Manufacturing and Materials

Female engineer working in a Research Laboratory

ERPE research in Manufacturing and Materials provides material solutions for global challenges in the manufacturing and healthcare industries to benefit society at large and the UK economy. Expanding world leadership in synthetic biology, flow systems, medical devices and technology for low CO2 technology has created applications to acquire a greater understanding of material and manufacturing processes covering a wide range of sectors.

The ERPE assess sustainability, reliability of the materials and processes used in sustainable process engineering and surface imaging. Using 32 domains of modelling, computational physics, analysis, human factors, digital engineering, visualisation and robotics, has offered opportunities for internal and external cross-disciplinary collaborations across product life cycles. The materials and structures research also encompasses the development of novel materials and their integration with electronics to make smart sensors and systems.

This research is crucial for renewable energy converters, structural engineering, separation technology and biomedical devices.

Composite Materials, Polymers, Inorganic Materials, Nanomaterials, Materials Synthesis, Snow and Ice and Materials at Extreme Conditions.

Bio-Medical/Healthcare Technology

The EPRE has outstanding expertise in micromechanics, tissue engineering, computational mechanics, micro/nanomanufacturing, thermo-fluid mechanics and digital design and manufacture to address biomedical engineering challenges, including cancer diagnostics and tissue engineering. A novel diagnostic microscale resolution tool: from structural health monitoring to tissue quality prediction, and sensing for prostate cancer diagnostics.

Multiscale Fluid Mechanics

We use experimental modelling of fluid and thermal processes and our knowledge of complex mixtures of liquids, solids, and gases to deliver innovation in sustainable materials and energy production. Our research into crystallisation, chemical looping, and CO2 capture enables techniques to manufacture novel chemical products, to enhance combustion of fuel and efficient separation of CO2. New modelling techniques for fluids are developed and applied to various challenging problems such as adapting and developing entirely new laser diagnostic techniques for sprays and chemically reacting flows undergoing heat transfer. We are now developing new work on urban pedestrian/traffic dynamics computational research in micro and nanofluid dynamic.

Reaction Engineering and Catalysis

Our research aims to contribute to today's world challenges providing real solutions in the current energy production and emission control scenario.

We believe that close collaboration with the industry is the key to identify and overcome real problems in an innovative way. Thus, our research plan's driving force is to develop an early-stage technology that can be taken to a level where commercialisation becomes an economically viable option. To pursue this research approach, we have a stimulating working environment within the recently opened £350K Catalysis Design Laboratory at the School of Engineering, equipped with state of the art facilities for synthesis, reaction testing and characterisation.

Systems Modelling: from Atoms to Processes

Our research combines fundamental physical understanding with advanced numerical methods to design better products and processes. Key to this research are techniques for modelling at each appropriate scale, and for scale-bridging so that the properties of systems at different scales can be linked, optimised and controlled.

High-Performance Computing, Digital and Smart Engineering

ERPE internal and external cross disciplinary collaborations have worked intensively on the integration of novel materials and devices with electronics to sense a range of physical properties such as heat, light, sound, radiation or chemical signatures such as pathogens or gases across for products and their life cycle. Using modelling, computational physics, analysis, human factors, digital engineering, visualisation and robotics has provided opportunities over the the complete spectrum from design through to fabrication including the in-house capability to post-process foundry wafers to create more than Moore systems and deploy them in a broad range of applications.

The term Smart Microsystem refers to micro and nano-scale devices that combine electronic integrated circuits with additional, non-electronic components on a single substrate; thereby providing additional functionality. Such microsystems can be sub-divided into a myriad of application groups, including chemical, biological, optical, mechanical, electromagnetic and fluidic.

Energy critical applications. Examples are next generation smart phones, wearable devices, as well as other type of smart, embedded, wireless devices that make up future internet of things networks.


  • Design and characterisation of nanoporous materials
  • Novel nanomaterials and processes for carbon capture
  • Thermodynamics and mesostructure of liquids, solids, interfaces and nanocomposites
  • Optimisation of;
    • Continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing
    • Food and drink bioprocesses
    • Oil and gas drilling and production
    • Fuel cell systems, tethered kites, etc


With applications in, for example, biomedical, biomimetic, quantum, energy and advanced computation.

Includes the development and optimisation of silicon carbide microsystems for operation in harsh environments.

For ultra-sensitive mass sensing applications (figure 1); the growth of zinc oxide nanowires (figure 2).

Light-emitting and light-modulating materials are developed and integrated with silicon microelectronics to form new high-performance optical systems.

  • Microdisplays
  • Liquid Crystal Lasers
  • Digital 3D holographic projection
  • Visible light data communications

The ERPE is dedicated to researching solutions that respond to the climate emergency.

The ERPE is committed to the vision that Edinburgh should be the data capital of Europe. With the breadth of knowledge across the ERPE, this target is achievable.

ERPE has been at the forefront of various transport research.

Read about PROTEUS, IMPACT, 4MD, SONOPILL and more ground breaking healthcare research

Read about how our researchers are helping to shape government decisions.