Transport systems

The transport sector is one of the world’s largest consumers of energy, and at present is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Researching alternative energy sources and optimising efficiency in the use of fuels are two significant challenges we face.


The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education is one of the world’s leading interdisciplinary centres for railway research, with groups focusing on the full range of railway and infrastructure issues, including power and traction and optimising efficiency in all parts of railways.

The Vehicle Technology Research Centre in our School of Mechanical Engineering is researching ever more novel ways to optimise the combustion engine  and understand the emissions that come from using new fuels in new ways. We have more than fifty dedicated on site staff working with some of the biggest names in the automotive industry in collaborative research projects.

Our school of Metallurgy and Materials is leading in research into novel materials for aerospace applications, to minimise energy use in the manufacturing process, and reduce weight and fuel consumption of aircraft whilst in the air.

Our engineers and environmental scientists are taking a leading role in a project to investigate the resilience of the UK transport network to climate change.