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Size matters – engineering and design research among London's biggest and best

Brunel has been recognised for its quality of research in engineering – recording the third largest submission among London universities in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Across all engineering and design submissions, Brunel submitted the 12th largest volume of work among the 112 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to enter research in the discipline.

Meanwhile, the submissions meant Brunel ranked 18th among the UK’s Higher Education Institutes (HEI) for research power – a rating that combines the university’s average research quality rating and number of submissions.

Professor Geoff Rodgers, who led Brunel’s submission, said: “This was a rigorous selection process and to be able to say such a high proportion of engineering and design research was submitted to the REF is an exceptional achievement in itself. To then be placed so highly for the actual quality of this work is even more impressive.”

Among the submissions from engineering and design was work by Professor Savvas Tassou, Director of the Institute of Energy Futures, in collaborating with the UK’s food manufacturers, retailers and scientific and technical providers to establish the Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains.

Examining the complexities of energy use in society, the centre will establish the university as an expert in energy and food sustainability-related research.

Overall, the volume of world-leading and internationally excellent research being carried out at Brunel University London has increased by more than half in the past six years.

The REF placed 61% of Brunel’s submitted work in the top two categories, compared to just 43% in its precursor, 2008’s Research Assessment Exercise.

The university was particularly strong in demonstrating the real-world impact of research, brought into the assessment for the first time, with two-thirds of its 78 submissions classified as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Five areas of study, including public health; sports science; art and design; politics; and environmental and earth sciences, had 100% of their submissions recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent for research impact, placing them among the best in the country.

Further information and analysis is available here