We are currently engaged in a wide range of exciting externally funded projects addressing a number of local, national and international societal challenges in collaboration with different industry and academic partners. These are organised below into the two principal themes of Built Environment and Efficient Systems

Built Environment projects

OPERANDUM (OPEn-aiR laborAtories for Nature-baseD solUtions to Manage hydro-meteo risks) 

The increasing frequency and severity of hydro-meteorological events (such as extreme precipitation, heat waves and wind storms) appears to be associated with climate change, and an increasing number of people are exposed to climate-related hazards each year.  The employment of nature-based solutions (NBS) to mitigate the impact of hydro-meteo phenomena is still sporadic and uncoordinated at the European level. OPERANDUM will address this and provide solid basis for the formulation, implementation and monitoring of NBS related policies. The project, co-ordinated by the University of Bologna, Italy, consists of 22 European and 4 non-European partners, blending together expertise in science, technology, market and policy arenas.  Academic partners will demonstrate real-life applicability of specific NBS to a wide range of hydro-meteo hazards and associated risks with practical implications for society. There are 7 European Open Air Labs (OALs) including OAL-UK, based in the coastal village of Catterline, Aberdeenshire.  GCU Team leads the OAL-UK, where we will co-design, co-develop and co-deploy NBS against landslide and flooding risks, and demonstrate the effectiveness of NBS to address hydro- meteo risks, now and under future climate change scenarios. 

Research Leaders: Professor Rohinton Emmanuel, Professor Slobodan Mickovski, Dr Craig Thomson, Dr Alejandro Gonzalez-Ollauri, Dr Karen Munro

Enhancing Ecoengineering in the Mediterranean Region

We are working with partners from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Macedonia to assess the needs of the ecoengineering sector in the Mediterranean in terms of education and professional specialisation from a background of disciplines such as civil engineering, environmental management, landscape engineering, forestry, hydrology, and agricultural engineering.  The project will deliver a range of resources and guidelines for both practical application (erosion protection, slope stability, riverine and coastal restoration) and continuous professional development at vocational and higher education level.

Research Leaders: Professor Slobodan Mickovski, Dr Craig Thomson, Dr Caroline Gallagher

Safe Water

The provision of highest quality safe water is one of fundamental tasks of water industries. We are working with Lake Constance Water Supply, an administrative union founded by 13 cities and municipalities to ensure the provision of safe water to 4m people living and working in the region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. We are investigating a number of advanced oxidation approaches such as ozonation, catalytic UV irradiation, Fenton process, and ferrate(VI) technologies for degrading emerging persistent pollutants.

Research leader: Professor Jiaqian Jiang

Managing Water Pollution in Brazil

Brazil is a geographically and demographically large country with complex epidemiological problems. Some of these are caused by or exacerbated by polluted watercourses. We are being supported by the British Council in our collaboration with the Federal University of ABC in Sao Paolo and the Pontifical University Catholic of Parana, to evaluate the water-quality standard of a number of watercourses in Brazil, investigate the causes of poor standards and recommend technical and policy solutions.

Research Leader: Professor Ole Pahl

Improving Construction Health & Safety

Health and Safety is of paramount concern in the construction industry. We are working with the Berkeley Group to develop a worker engagement maturity model that can be used by different organisations as a tool to assess their processes and practices around their management of Occupational Health and Safety.

Research Leader: Professor Billy Hare 

IOSH and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

We are also working with the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to improve how designers involved in construction projects learn about how their design influences the management of occupational health and safety once the design is implemented. This will use ‘mixed-media’ in a digital format that can eventually be incorporated into Building Information Models (BIM).

Research Leader: Professor Billy Hare

Integrating Low-Carbon and Renewable Heat Sources

We are working with Clyde Gateway to develop a range of low-carbon and renewable heat sources into an integrated thermal energy supply and demand system, incorporating inter-seasonal underground thermal energy storage in flooded mine workings.

Research Leader: Dr Nick Hytiris 

Energy Efficient Homes

We are working with the Stewart Milne Group Ltd to test the energy efficiency of new designs for residential homes. We are comparing the thermal performance of their Patented Single Skin Party Wall System (SSPW) with their existing Double Skin Party Wall System (DSPW). Thermal properties we are examining include u-value and air tightness levels, derived through whole building testing and field testing of completed homes, via heat flux testing, thermal imaging and air tightness.

Research Leader: Dr Paul Baker

Efficient Systems Projects

Cyber-Physical Systems for Industry 4.0

We are working with Artigent Robotics (http://www.artigent.cn/ ) to bring a step change towards autonomous design and manufacture for the future.  We are exploring a ‘push button’ solution through the development of a cyber-physical platform for future design and manufacture automation.  Our goals are to develop the platform via a computational intelligence aided design (CIAD) framework for design and manufacture automation and to use the platform to build a robotic system, for example a micro air vehicle (MAV) system.

Research Leaders: Professor Don McGlinchey, Dr Andrew Cowell

Efficient Management of Distributed Energy Assets

Cables and motors are essential for the safe operation of EDF Energy which produces over 20% of UK’s energy demand. With decisions to extend the life of some of the generators, condition monitoring becomes vital to these increasingly aging assets. We have been commissioned by EDF Energy over the last 7 years in research on developing new partial discharge and insulation resistance monitoring techniques which is capable of autonomous data analysis and pattern recognition, even in in extremely noising environment.

Research leader: Professor Chengke Zhou

Wireless Energy Sources

We are working with Stream Technologies to develop a self-powering sensor interface for low power radio devices, such as environmental and power sensors, eliminating the need to charge batteries. The ability to harvest Radio Frequency identification (RFID) energy enables wireless charging of low-power devices and has resulting benefits for product design, usability and reliability. Read article

Research Leader: Professor Hadi Larijani

Efficient Industrial Manufacturing Tools

An oil-injected rotary-screw compressor is a type of gas compressor used when large volumes of high-pressure air are needed, either for large industrial applications or to operate high-power air tools. Oil is injected into the compression cavities to aid sealing and provide cooling sink for the gas charge. They are complex expensive pieces of equipment often tailored to suit specific operating customer contexts. We are working with Howden to create a range of simulation tools and techniques to enhance and optimise compressor controller performance for a given set of operating conditions.

Research Leader: Dr Paul McKenna

Sensing Gas

Controlled access to liquid and gas environments has many industrial and domestic applications, such as increasing storage life of fruit and vegetables, aircraft cabins, leak detection in telecoms equipment, boiler combustion efficiency. We are working with SST Sensing, on the design and manufacture of novel fluorescent polymers for gas sensing solutions.

Research Leader: Professor Sheila Smith

Indoor location-monitoring of Dementia Sufferers

Millions of people worldwide suffer from dementia. Many of these can become geographically disoriented and then lost very quickly, causing anxiety in the sufferer and their care team. The objective of this project working with Communicare 24/7 is to develop an LED optical transmitter and receiver to enable the remote monitoring of the location of the dementia sufferer, that is small, can be worn comfortably and discreetly and has a long battery life.

Research Leader: Dr Sinan Sinanovic

Serious Games for Maths

We are collaborating with a range of European partners to construct a serious computer game for a mobile phone/tablet to enhance mathematics learning and teaching. Each game player will control the behaviour of their own avatar through the accuracy of the answers they provide to set questions. The target groups are 10-16 year old children who struggle to understand mathematics because they may have learning difficulties. The project aims to support the integration of game-based learning into the curriculum and provides materials to teachers to enhance their digital competencies.

Research Leader: David Farrell