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Over 90% of engineering research at Warwick recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent by the Research Excellence Framework

The high quality of engineering research at the University of Warwick has been recognised within the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), which were made publicly available today.

The University’s engineering research has been ranked 20th out of 89 UK institutions by the THELink opens in a new window, with over 90% of engineering research outputs being identified as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Colleagues from research, technical services, teaching and professional services at the School of Engineering and WMG combined to create a strong submission within the ‘B12 Engineering’ category, augmented by related research from the Department of Physics. This collective research strength ensured that 93% of the total submission was rated as 3* or 4*.

Reflecting on the results, Professor David Towers, Head of the School of Engineering, said: "The results show strong positive progression in research outputs and impact case studies. Most notably, we have – and are continuing – to invest in research infrastructure, in clean energy technologies, biomedical engineering and sustainable cities with a core strength in predictive modelling, the majority of which is ranked as world-leading. Hence, we are optimistic of our potential to further expand our academic and societal impact over the coming years together with our industry partners".

Professor Paul Jennings, Director of Research at WMG added: "Our research constantly evolves to address the needs of our industry partners across many sectors. So, to achieve this recognition for its quality and impact, especially during a period of significant growth and change, is testament to the capability and hard work of colleagues across the whole of our department."

The collective submission acknowledged the work of the University’s engineering-based researchers, spanning key areas such as: Embedding sustainability through energy innovation; helping people live longer and healthier lives through biomedical engineering; realising visions for future cities; maximising the potential of technology and society; and embedding innovation throughout materials and manufacturing.

As part of this, a series of case studies were submitted to illustrate the breadth and depth of impact generated throughout engineering research at the University. Over 60% of these impact submissions have received the highest rank of ‘world-leading’.

The REF is the UK’s system designed to evaluate the quality of research across higher education. The assessment is conducted by Research England (as well as equivalent funding bodies for institutions across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) through a process of expert review by academics, international members and research users.

The School of Engineering spans Civil Engineering, Mechanical, Materials and Process Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Systems and Information Engineering, embedded within a single unified department to enable cross-fertilisation in research.

WMG’s contribution within the submission has involved significant partnership with industry and public bodies. The technical focus has evolved since REF 2014, to cover key themes such as vehicle electrification; sustainable materials; resilient manufacturing; and opportunities from improved use of data and connectivity.

Read more about the School of Engineering’s research impact here and more about their REF submission here.

Read more about WMG’s research impact here and find out more about WMG’s REF submission here.

Read more about the University’s research excellence hereLink opens in a new window.