We are a dynamic research community, producing innovative and interdisciplinary research. Our work has application in many industries, including renewable energy, medicine and security.

World-leading research

We conduct high-quality research across a diverse range of topics. Dr Stephen Lowry was part of the international team that worked on one of the most historic space missions of all time – the Rosetta spacecraft comet landing. Our Applied Optics Group was the first to acquire en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) images from the retina and developed the first combined optical coherence tomography/scanner laser opthalmoscope (OCT/SLO). 

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 99% of our Physics and Chemistry research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence. 

The research effort is led by four groups: 

World-leading experts

Our lecturers carry out research of international significance and contribute to advances in scientific knowledge.

George Dobre in a laboratory

Dr George Dobre

Research into biomedical applications of low coherence light

Our research: making a difference

Across our research groups we organise high-profile, international conferences and workshops, and our academics have secured substantial funding from sources such as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Royal Society of Chemistry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

Our areas of expertise include:

  • astrobiology
  • energy materials 
  • forensic image processing
  • galactic plane surveys
  • hypervelocity impacts
  • optical coherence tomography
  • optical sources and fast tuneable lasers
  • photoacoustic imaging
  • quantum materials and magnetism
  • stardust
  • star formation
  • theoretical astrophysics.