The North East has a long and proud tradition in mechanical engineering. From the roots laid down by pioneers such as Stephenson, Armstrong and Parsons, we now draw on a number of subject disciplines such as bioengineering, engineering mathematics, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), mechatronics, manufacturing, power and transmission systems, railway research, robotics, smart materials, thermal systems and multiphase flows to meet the mechanical engineering challenges of the twenty-first century.
The School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering is one of the top 10 mechanical engineering departments in the UK, based on research quality. During the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 95 per cent of our research was rated as ‘internationally recognised’ or better, with 15 per cent as ‘world leading’.
Our main research activities can broadly be categorised into four main fields, which are: Bioengineering; MEMS and sensors; Design, Manufacture and Materials; and Multiphase flow and Thermal Systems. The Bioengineering research group has strong collaboration with NHS, medical charities, and the British Equine Federation, in addition to strong links with the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Medical School, the Tissue Engineering Centre and the Joseph Swan Institute for Energy Research. Strengths in this area include biotribology, musculoskeletal modelling, tissue engineering, and motion analysis.
The MEMS research group has been engaged in multidisciplinary collaborative research with the nanoLAB research centre, the Institute of Cellular Medicine, and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The specialist expertise of this research group contributes to the multidisciplinary research combining MEMS, nanotechnology, smart materials and robotic solutions.
The Design, Manufacturing and Materials research group focuses on the design, rapid prototyping, development, analysis and modelling of novel materials, structures and processes.
The specialist expertise of this research group lies in the analysis of composite structures, mechanical power transmission (with an emphasis in gear systems), and railways research with particular focus on rail freight and logistics, rail infrastructure, rail systems, and rail vehicles and provides consultancy services in a number of these areas.
The strengths of the Multiphase Fluid Flow and Thermal Systems research group include simulation and modelling of turbulent reacting flows, turbulent heat and mass transfer in multiphase flows, heat transfer in complex non-Newtonian fluids, and quantum turbulence in superfluids. The group has expertise of theoretical, computational and experimental analysis of fluid flows and thermal transport. The research group has strong industrial links with nuclear, automotive, gas turbine and conventional power plant industries.