University of Strathclyde: Global powerhouse in Engineering research
Image courtesy of the University of Strathclyde

“I decided to stay at Strathclyde following an enjoyable and rewarding experience on my MSc course. Having come from industry I appreciated the focus on practical research and strong links with industry and real world problems. I have enjoyed the complete process of my PhD studies, focusing deeply on a problem and working, not always smoothly and directly, towards a solution.”  – Graeme Flett, Strathclyde Engineering PhD student

Standing among the UK’s top 20 research-intensive institutions, the University of Strathclyde’s many experts are constantly pushing the bounds, developing innovative and practical solutions to the many problems of today and tomorrow. In fact, its Faculty of Engineering is recognised as a leading global centre for highly-focused engineering research, and with seven of its eight specialised departments ranking in the UK top 10 in terms of research power, it’s not hard to see why.

Delving into diverse research fields that include (but of course aren’t limited to) Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; Civil & Environmental Engineering; Electronic & Electrical Engineering.  Strathclyde’s experienced scientists work at the forefront of today’s most complex issues. These renowned international experts collaborate on everything from life changing medical technologies to be used in heart surgery, to the widespread installation of sustainable energy systems, to satellite applications, and everything in between.

“The Faculty of Engineering offers great support to postgraduate research students in the way of funding, scholarships and opportunities to get connected with industry,” says Shangkun Li, a Strathclyde student originally from China.

Image courtesy of the University of Strathclyde

“I am involved with the MAE Invited Seminar Series, where speakers who are recognised and experienced in their research area attend to talk to us,” Shangkun explains. “Every month we get to meet a new scholar and talk to them about their research and experiences. We often keep in touch with them afterwards,” he says, “so this has really helped to build up my professional network during my studies.”

Strathclyde Engineering’s extensive industry connections stands as another of the institution’s key strengths. Co-operative and synergistic, industry relationships help inform all research courses and taught programmes, ensuring every Strathclyde provision remains at the leading-edge of future discovery and development. These long-established networks also help students refine skills that are increasingly sought by employers, helping hone knowledgeable, powerful and confident engineering graduates who find themselves sought-after on a global scale.

“Strathclyde also appreciates the value of incorporating business and entrepreneurship into your studies,” Shangkun adds. “I am taking the Enterprise Pathway Programme, which allows participants to develop, enhance and test their transferrable skills and business understanding,” the budding student concludes.

Image courtesy of the University of Strathclyde

The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering conducts research via its award-winning, internationally-recognised research centres in fluids, energy, aerospace and materials science. Research outcomes that have derived directly from Strathclyde have already influenced projects surrounding the use of marine turbines for clean energy, to the development of lightweight materials for efficient transportation. Every one of Strathclyde’s research activities positively impacts society in one form or another, but let’s take a closer look at some of the factors involved…

  • The James Weir FLUIDS Laboratory exists to explore the fundamental flow physics that facilitates new fluids technologies underpinning energy, sustainability, nanotechnology, health, and transport. The academic expertise and experience is applied to solve industrial problems including complex flows in porous media, the production of semiconductor materials and metal alloys, microdroplet technologies, fuel-cells, particle-fluids systems including erosion/corrosion problems, granular flows with application to additive manufacturing, chemical processes, rarefied gas dynamics related to aerospace applications, micro/nano flow systems, and environmental applications. To do this, the close synergy between numerical simulations and experimental measurements is exploited.
  • Research into ENERGY is carried out via the institution’s Energy Systems Research Unit (ESRU), delving into the challenge of energy demand and supply as the global population grows and becomes more and more connected. From bolstering the accuracy of numerical methods used to represent heat, mass and power; to evolving software engineering techniques to boost research efficiency; to the formulation of knowledge-based design support environments that promote the most conducive work environments; Strathclyde’s comprehensive research into energy is primarily focused on improving current systems for the benefit of society.
  • MATERIALS SCIENCE at Strathclyde is all about the performance of engineering components at the frontiers of what is possible in energy conversion applications, conventional thermal, nuclear and renewable etc. and emerging fields such as bio-mechanics. It’s about performance and design but also whole life management and researchers also set the pace in recycling and re-use especially in composite structures. Through its state-of-the-art Advanced Materials Research Laboratory, the institution examines material behaviour from nano to macro-scale providing unique insights into performance under extreme environments such as high temperatures and loads, chemical reactions, corrosion/erosion or radiations. With complimentary research in sensors and condition monitoring and risk management, Strathclyde has world leading capability across the whole spectrum of asset integrity and life cycle management challenges.

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  • Strathclyde’s AEROSPACE Centre of Excellence seeks to expand the knowledge frontier on creative concepts and innovative solutions involving both current and future air and space systems. Through its Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory (ASCL), a revolutionary research centre that strives to support brand-new technologies for space exploration, as well as the Future Air-Space Transportation Technology Laboratory (FASTT), a multidisciplinary research unit that seeks to advance and innovate the aerospace engineering field not to mention the Intelligent Computational Engineering Laboratory (ICElab), an essential division that delves into advanced research on artificial intelligence design, on top of machine learning for data analytics and engineering design; Strathclyde’s unparalleled facilities and comprehensive research strategies place the institution at the cutting-edge of global aerospace research.

The University’s Aerospace R&D centre ultimately seeks to metamorphose the international air-space industry, driving current systems and infrastructure towards better performance, safety and sustainability of the most elite form, while broadening the horizons of aerospace discovery.

“The University of Strathclyde and its Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering are widely recognised for the high quality of their research,” says Marilena Di Carlo, a Strathclyde Engineering student, originally from Italy.

Image courtesy of the University of Strathclyde

“During my MSc studies, the University of Strathclyde was recommended to me by my professors as one of the best places to apply for Aerospace Engineering,” she adds. “I enjoy the stimulating and challenging environment and the possibility to have exchanges of ideas with many other PhD students, both from my group or from one of the other research groups in my Department.”

“I also greatly appreciate the opportunities that I have had during my PhD to attend conferences and present my work to the international community and get an insight into the state-of-the-art research in my field,” she concludes.

Are you keen to drive positive change in a lucrative, global profession? With the unparalleled opportunities on offer at Strathclyde’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, you can make it happen.

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