University of Glasgow showcases science and engineering excellence

Issued: Mon, 02 Jul 2012 13:00:00 BST

The University of Glasgow’s groundbreaking science and engineering research was showcased today (Tuesday 3 July) during a campus visit by Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages Dr Alasdair Allan.

Dr Allan visited the College of Science and Engineering to find out more about University scientists’ work in the areas of computing, sustainable energy and sensor systems.

Professor Stephen Brewster, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computing Science, discussed how technology can support independent living and enable people to manage their own health and wellbeing. Professor Brewster is involved in the Bupa-funded StarFish project which brings together computing science, physiotherapy and sociology to increase older peoples’ exercise levels through a mobile phone app which tracks physical activity.

Solar Energy Research Fellow Dr Mark Symes demonstrated the development of solar fuels, a radical new approach to meeting the planet’s ever-increasing demand for energy. Led by Professor Lee Cronin of the School of Chemistry and Professor Richard Cogdell of the Inistitute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, the Glasgow Solar Fuels Group is working to harness the power of the sun to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuels, chemicals, and materials which could replace our dependence on oil.

Finally, Dr Allan visited the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre for an insight into the University’s fast-growing expertise in sensor systems from Professor of Environmental Statistics Marian Scott and Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering postdoctoral research associate Dr James Grant. Sensor development, manufacture and sales currently contribute £2.1bn to Scotland’s economy and the University works closely with businesses, government and healthcare providers to ensure continued growth.

Dr Allan said: "The University of Glasgow makes a vital contribution to Scotland's world-renowned research base and its science, technology and engineering work is at the cutting edge in several areas. I was interested to learn more about solar energy and sensor systems, such work will be of importance in finding new ways to tackle the big issues facing the world today. Closer to home, but no less important, the work on how technology can support independent living has the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives."

 “Much of Glasgow University’s research is collaborative and involves scientists in a number of different disciplines. This creative approach will become increasingly important as we seek to keep Scotland at the front of global scientific research."

Professor John Chapman, Head of the College of Science and Engineering, said: “The University of Glasgow is one of the world’s top 100 research-intensive universities, and we were pleased to welcome Dr Allan to the campus to discuss some of the pioneering research work being undertaken across the College."

“Our research has huge practical implications for the daily lives of people around the world, from monitoring their health and wellbeing to the devices they use at home every day and how the power for those devices is generated.”

For more information on the University of Glasgow’s College of Science and Engineering, visit



For more information contact the University of Glasgow's media relations team on 0141 330 3535 or email

<< July