The following academic units formed the submission to UoA 7:
- School of Biology
- School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
- School of Marine Science and Technology
- Following a reorganisation in 2017, the contributing units are now in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
All three schools are central stakeholders in the Institute for Sustainability which promotes and provides an umbrella for cross-disciplinary research, University wide.
Research areas and staff
- Marine biogeochemistry
- Applied and environmental microbiology
- Applied marine science
Our research in this area is making a positive impact on a global scale:
- Opening up untapped oil reserves
The following case studies demonstrate the impact of our research:
Risk reduction in petroleum systems and pore pressure predictionRisk reduction in petroleum systems and pore pressure prediction
Major companies from across the petroleum exploration sector have used algorithms, concepts and software generated within the research programme to enhance their protocols for:
- estimating and predicting pore pressure
- basin/fluid flow modelling and
- risking of seals to petroleum reservoirs
The research has resulted in financial savings and the reduction of drilling risks.
Changing how coral reef restoration is carried out in the face of climate changeChanging how coral reef restoration is carried out in the face of climate change
Through the provision of internationally adopted guidelines on best practice research at Newcastle University between 1993 and 2008 has impacted on how coral reefs are managed by industry, government, marine park authorities and communities.
Research led by Professor Alasdair Edwards has addressed knowledge gaps which hindered coral reef restoration and then communicated findings to decision makers to change policy and improve the success of restoration projects. In the face of climate change, a key impact has been to expose the risks of failure of short-term active interventions and the cost-effectiveness of longer term management approaches that increase resilience.
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Improved production from biodegraded heavy oil reservoirsImproved production from biodegraded heavy oil reservoirs
Our research on biodegraded petroleum systems has had a number of broad reaching impacts on the oil industry. Major international oil companies and related service companies use the output of our research which has provided:
- new approaches to well-placement, targeting lower viscosity areas in biodegraded oil fields
- oil viscosity determination using geochemical proxies rather than rheological measurements that can be challenging in heavy oil
- modelling oil composition and properties in biodegraded oil fields to identify production sweet spots (using fundamental insights, models and software tools that the research generated)
- a biodegradation module for a widely used basin modelling software package and proprietary in house, oil company software tools
- a spin out company Gushor, which provides services to the heavy oil sector
Collectively these have saved money for oil companies who have used our research by avoiding poorly producing viscous zones in biodegraded heavy oil reservoirs, contributed to the success of a basin modelling software company (Permedia, subsequently acquired by Halliburton) and generated a spin-out fluids characterisation company (Gushor, subsequently acquired by Schlumberger).
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Find out about all our REF 2014 results.