Engineering Systems

The Engineering Systems Area of Strategic Research Importance brings together activities from across the University where a Systems approach to technological challenges can facilitate the development of healthier and more sustainable means of wealth generation. The ASRI is divided into six strands of activity each of which currently have Research Institutes and Centres associated with them. However, these associations are not exclusive with all of the strands actively collaborating with researchers across the University.

The ASRI is comprised of:

  • Precision Measurement
  • Engineering Efficiency and Performance
  • Chemical and Thermal Engineering
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Transport Engineering
  • Industrial Internet of Things and Systems Engineering

The Precision Measurement activity is fronted by the Centre for Precision Technologies  and has been working for many years with industrial collaborators to develop innovative solutions to industrial measurement problems. These range from nano scale surface measurements of optical lenses to in process measurement on the machine tools used to make aeroplane wing components. Cutting edge techniques in the measurement of wear on medical implants have also been established. This activity is currently being extending to incorporate research in Biometrology and Biofilms.

The Centre for Efficiency and Performance Engineering is, appropriately, the focus for the Engineering Efficiency and Performance activity. The key area of research here is the diagnostic and performance engineering required to ensure that mechanical systems operate efficiently and reliably with minimal environmental impact. Systems studied have included large marine transmissions, turbochargers and vehicle suspensions. An expanding area of activity is the development of the next generation of sensors required to deliver the data required by ever more sophisticated diagnostic systems.

The Chemical and Thermal Engineering activity is concerned with Biorefinery Engineering, led by the Biorefinery Engineering and Bioprocessing Research Centre and the more general area of thermal fluids. Key areas of research include bioprocess technologies (e.g. fermentation, extraction), and biorefinery integration. Other research in this area includes multiphase flows and control valve flow dynamics. Within this latter area, there are strong links with local and national industry through the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme.

The Advanced Manufacturing activity is supported by two principal groups: The Centre for Precision Technologies and the Centre for Industrial Analytics. The drive behind this strand of activity is to improve the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of manufacturing activity. This can be by bringing intelligence into manufacturing through the use of advanced data analytics, the implementation of advanced robotic and mechatronic systems and the development of ultra-precision manufacturing systems.#

Within Transport Engineering we aim to develop systems that can transport people and goods in a sustainable and efficient way. A key area of activity is led by the Institute of Railway Research (IRR) where several major research projects are helping to develop the next generation of railway systems. This includes the key areas where rail vehicles interface with the infrastructure, such as the wheels, suspension and pantograph and elements of the infrastructure such as the overhead electrical supply system. The IRR also directly supports the railway industry through strategic partnerships with the major stakeholders. Substantial projects have also been carried out within the area of diesel engine turbochargers to ensure that the last generation of these systems operate as efficiently as possible. This area has strong links with national and multi-national corporations and has developed partnerships with local SME’s through Innovate UK’s KTP scheme.

The Industrial Internet of Things and Systems Engineering activity is a diverse grouping running across a number of research Institutes and Centres. Areas of activity include the Industrial Internet of Things, Wireless Comms and Systems Integration. A key development for this activity is the new Huddersfield Smart House Research Facility which is being developed as a collaborative hub for industry, academia and government organisations. This will facilitate research which will allow smart technologies to more effectively manage internal environments to achieve greater energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and support more intelligent and flexible management of energy supply and demand.