Introducing Research Institutes
Professor Geoff Rodgers, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
"I am delighted to introduce Brunel's recently formed Research Institutes, unique in UK higher education, and testament to Brunel's ambition to build its profile as a world leading, research intensive institution.
Since the launch of the university in 1966, research has been at the very heart of Brunel's academic activities. In the past 50 years, Brunel has provided almost continuous intellectual academic leadership in a range of research fields including, for instance, computational mathematics, health economics, materials, metallurgy and environmental sciences.
Today, we have three Research Insititutes covering most of these areas. The research groups within them are world leading, with highly cited papers, substantial grant income, established reputations for particular methodological approaches, and a community of PhD graduates pursuing successful careers in industry and academia. The Brunel style of research is apparent. Established to address the technological challenges of the age, this was always a different type of institution in which, from the beginning, students and staff would understand the relevance of their academic activities to the wider world.
Thus, in the last half-century our major research programmes have been developed in partnership with the potential beneficiaries, and staff and students have grown accustomed to working in that way. This has placed Brunel at a competitive advantage in the last decade as what became known as the impact agenda unfolded, and more government funding was focused on research with explicit societal benefits and projects with industrial collaborators embedded as partners.
This convergence of government policy with our own mission has served us well. We have risen in the research league tables, with currently the 33rd largest share of HEFCE research funding, the 34th largest share of EPSRC income and the 13th largest share of income from Innovate UK.
We are also well-established as a top 40 institution for research, a remarkable achievement for such a young institution - and one that gives considerable cause for optimism as we embark on our next 50 years."