Robotic arms in the Digital Innovation Facility


6th in the UK for outstanding (4*) impact and 17th in the UK for world leading (4*) overall quality.

Engineering spans a wide range of research areas, including Aerospace, Civil, Electrical Engineering and Electronics, Eye and Vision Science, Industrial Design, Materials and Mechanical Engineering.

Digital is one of seven University-wide key research themes and significant progress includes the development of a £12 million Digital Innovation Facility (DIF) which has recently became operational. The DIF expands our research in autonomous systems, robotics, virtual engineering and design, and supports external collaboration and impact.

Sensor City is a joint initiative between the University and Liverpool John Moores University, and is a flagship University Enterprise Zone. This global innovation hub applies fundamental research to SMEs, enabling industry and academic partners to translate novel and innovative sensor concepts into commercially viable solutions through rapid prototype development and laboratory testing facilities.

Societal impact is evident in so much of our research. Our research spanning biomaterials and tissue-engineered products has led to improvements in managing an array of clinical eye conditions, our virtual engineering research has reduced development times in the nuclear and aerospace industries, and our modelling and simulation work has supported UK naval ship design and aircraft operations.

Through our Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), the £10 million LCR 4.0 knowledge transfer project is addressing regional challenges, having supported over 300 SMEs in the Liverpool City Region with access to expertise, technology and collaboration opportunities to boost productivity and drive innovation.

Meanwhile, our expertise in the design and development of reliable, and verifiable, autonomous systems is being used to improve efficiency and reduce human exposure to extreme and hazardous environments through the development of future generations of autonomous robotic systems for use specifically in nuclear facilities, offshore and outer-space. In addition, our specialised research in risk assessment and security threat modelling – an ever increasing national and international challenge – has led to the development of a next-generation network security technology, SpriteGuard™, which allows automatic attack detection and prevention.

We are incredibly proud of our research collaboration, translation and partnership activity. Leading a strategic drive to increase national and international collaborations, our experts include the UK Chair of the flagship Jiangsu-UK 20+20 World-Class University Consortium, which boasts over 30 leading universities from the UK and Jiangsu province. Collaborating to strengthen international academic research partnerships, and includes a multi-party Doctoral Training Centre in Dependable Autonomous Systems.

Our expertise in developing ground-breaking, translatable algorithmic solutions across applications in industry and government has led to a current research portfolio of over £15 million in Signal Processing and Data Science, including a £7 million EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Distributed Algorithms, and the establishment of an interdisciplinary Liverpool Big Data Network. Through collaboration with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), our researchers work at the cutting edge of nuclear engineering, developing ground breaking techniques for reactor safety and nuclear materials handling for the sector, as exemplified by our RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies.

Finally, our research in additive manufacturing has driven collaboration with internationally-leading biomedical companies. Investment in a newly refurbished laboratory for additive manufacturing has provided a focal point for facilities funded through EPSRC and from industrial partners.

Back to: Research Excellence Framework 2021