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Engineering Research (UoA12)

Introduction to the School

The School of Engineering at Newcastle University has a long history, founded in 1871 as Armstrong College.

We remain committed to the vision of using interdisciplinary research to tackle global challenges. Those challenges have evolved over the past 150 years and so have we.

In 2017, we created an integrated School of Engineering. We recognised that the challenges we face today are not the province of any single engineering discipline.

We work together alongside industry and other partners.

The four disciplines provide research excellence at every scale. This covers:

  • nano
  • micro and microbial
  • urban, industrial and marine assets
  • all sciences (physical, biological and social)

Our achievements

Since 2014 we generated over £110M in new research awards and £24M in consultancy from more than 800 different projects.

We published over 2500 papers in refereed journals, and with authors from 87 countries. We invested over £130M in infrastructure projects, and increased contracted researchers from 55 to 152. Our research also won more than 20 major awards, including fellowships and prestigious prizes.

In the last four years our proportion of female professors increased from 7.8 to 12.5%. In the same period, our proportion of BAME colleagues has increased from 11% to 22% of our total.

Postgraduate research students

An outstanding team of doctoral researchers is central to our research vision and culture.

We have graduated over 600 research students since 2014. We attract large numbers of students through Centres for Doctoral Training. This is also true for our international scholarships and industrial sponsorships.

The School holds an annual research conference organised and led by research students. It also provides a platform for students to learn about current research in the School.

They'll also gain experience in technical writing and presentation skills. The event attracts keynote speakers and financial sponsorship from industry.

With our enhanced mentoring and management of research students, graduations increased since 2014. This rise saw 77 per year in 2014-15 to 91 per year in 2019-20. This includes more than 60 funded students who completed during the REF period.

Since 2014, we have recruited to five major cohort-based PhD programmes. Some of which involve the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC):

  • EPSRC Engineering Doctorate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development
  • NERC Doctoral Training Partnership in Science of the Natural Environment (Iapetus)
  • Stream, the Industrial Doctoral Centre for the Water Sector
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Diamond Science and Technology
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacture and 3D Printing

We also lead three ongoing cohort-based programmes:

  • Sustainable Electric Propulsion (EPSRC-funded)
  • Geospatial Systems (EPSRC-funded)
  • One Planet (NERC-funded)


To invest in growth areas, we are building a new flagship building for the School of Engineering.

This £65M project will provide new state of the art facilities to upscale and accelerate our research in:

  • bioengineering
  • digital manufacturing
  • propulsion

Patents and consultancies

We have made 97 patent applications since 2014, leading to seven start-up companies in:

  • electric motors
  • aerogel insulation
  • ultrasonic imaging

Other patents are progressing with industry too. 145 colleagues have had important industrial links or consultancies over the assessment period.

Collaborative research

Significant EPSRC activity in multi-partner collaborative research includes:

  • 'Achilles' research on long life transport infrastructure assets
  • Centre for Energy Systems integration
  • SynFabFun on membrane materials
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Therapies Centre versus arthritis

Research case studies