Division of Chemical Engineering and Renewable Energy

  • Artificial Morphogenesis
The Division of Chemical Engineering and Renewable Energy combines one the most sought after STEM disciplines with cutting edge research to prepare leaders for tomorrow’s world. We integrate chemical engineering with a focus on renewable energy and materials in both our teaching and research to help solve key climate and sustainability challenges. Our research is focussed on cutting edge technologies for renewable energy and materials, for example: energy storage, solar and biomass energy, renewable carbon materials, energy harvesting and catalysis. We investigate topics from artificial morphogenesis and molecular manufacturing, to designing theoretical tools to navigate the formulation of surfactant mixtures, to turning waste into sustainable materials, to designing alternative fuels with reduced emissions, to batteries and thermoelectric generators that could reduce our carbon footprint. The academics in the division are world-leading researchers in their fields, designing methods for harvesting solar and thermal energy, developing functional materials sustainably for applications in sustainability particularly in energy conversion and storage. Our overarching aim is to find practical solutions to some of the currently most pressing issues such as access to clean energy and water for everyone in the world.
Chemical Engineering has one of the highest starting salaries across all fields (BEng. £28.5K, as well as later career-averages - £72K for CCEs - Chartered Chemical Engineers). The Chemical Engineering programme provides our students with the right blend of core knowledge and modern skills needed to do the job. By incorporating research and hands-on problem solving in our classes, our students are best prepared to enter the workforce. Many of them find placements and internships in companies even before graduation. The preparation to work in a multi-disciplinary environment makes the degree ever more valuable. The students have the opportunity to be involved in world-class research as undergraduates and solve problems no-one has ever solved before, individually and in groups. This is one of the qualities best sought in both industry and academics. Our degree programme is interdisciplinary in nature, and students have opportunities to interact and work with those from other Engineering and Materials disciplines. Topics on renewable energy, materials and sustainability continue through the years in our BEng and MEng programmes, giving our students a unique skillset to become world-leading and forward-thinking engineers in industry, academia, or elsewhere.

We focus on renewable energy and sustainability. The applications from our research include creating fuel additives and catalysts on a molecular scale, sustainable manufacturing in space without waste, as well as designing artificial muscles for robots in dangerous (radioactive) environments. In its most fundamental level the research tries to solve deep mysteries - the geometrical rules of chemical reactions, the nature of quadruples of molecules affecting their macroscopic behaviours, as well as the potential origins of artificial morphogenesis, the future of robotics and life.