#ThisMatters - Engineering and Physical Sciences research

Leading-edge research is the core of what we do at the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. From atoms to astronomy, computers to cars and robots to robust materials, our goal is to transform our understanding of the world to make life easier, healthier and more sustainable. 

#ThisMatters - research in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences has a real impact on our lives. Find out more below, from Healthcare Technologies and Gravity Sensors to Critical Materials and Quantum Clocks.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence gives us the power to analyse vast amounts of image and video data
  • Powerful data analysis allow us to understand a range of phenomena, from the early growth of cancer to discovering new planets in solar system
  • By better understanding processes, we can develop new solutions to major challenges  

Professor Ales Leonardis is developing new methods for modelling and understanding visual data.   



Healthcare Technologies

  • Advances in medicine mean we are living longer
  • How do we maintain patient quality of life?
  • We are developing new methods to repair and regenerate tissue

Professor Liam Grover is developing new solutions to these problems.


Gravity Sensors

  • Engineers can't see deep into the ground to detect problems
  • Therefore finding broken pipes and cables can take significant time and money
  • We are developing new quantum gravity sensors which can be 100 times more accurate, saving time and money

Dr Nicole Metje is working on solving these problems with gravity sensors.


Critical Materials

  • Our mobile phones and cars rely on rare earth magnets and materials
  • Currently these are difficult to recycle and reuse and vunerable to supply risks, dominated by one producer
  • We are developing new processes to break down and recycle rare earth materials, improving supply and sustainability

Dr Allan Walton and colleagues in the Magnetic Materials Group are working on recycling critical materials, improving the sustainability of the supply chain.


Quantum Clocks

  • Broadband connections and GPS depend on accurate clocks
  • More precise clocks mean faster, more reliable connections
  • We are creating new quantum clocks to meet future technology needs, surpassing current technology

Dr Kai Bongs from the Cold Atoms Group is working to make smaller, more accurate clocks.


Our research themes

Modern-day living is possible only because of inventive designs and revolutionary discoveries made by engineers and physical scientists. How we will live in the future is being shaped now by researchers in Birmingham. Our research is trail-blazing in three key areas: Advanced manufacturingResilience, energy and sustainability and Science frontiers.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences research brochure (pdf 1MB) is available as download.