At Manchester more than 600 academics and researchers are working on solutions to today's energy challenges. We're involved in research across the entire energy journey – from generation for power, transport and heat, through to consumption.
What's your area of interest? Choose from the below categories.
We have more than £80 million of ongoing energy projects, covering the entire energy journey – from generation and storage through to systems and use.
With such scale and scope, there are a wide range of opportunities to work together with partners and collaborators across varied disciplines to help deliver a brighter and more sustainable world for future generations.
Our expertise enhances the efficiency and viability of sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and bioenergy. We also undertake research across the nuclear fuel cycle – covering nuclear physics, reactors, fuels, recycling, decommissioning and environment and waste – and support partners in the bridging fuel sectors, such as oil and gas, to continue to meet demand.
Energy efficiency, reliability and sustainability is key. We’re working on systems that will help keep the energy supply constant, and finding ways to persuade people to use energy at the best times. Our work looks at integration challenges for decentralised energy, improving grid flexibility and the development of microgrids, smart energy networks and community-based energy schemes.
We work closely with our local region on projects such as the UK’s largest ever trial of heat pumps. We’re finding out more about how today’s urban society uses energy, blending expertise from engineering and the social sciences to learn more about demand and how it can be met.
"The size of the University and the sheer range of knowledge here allows us to bring people together from a huge range of research areas. This helps us to find innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s biggest energy challenges."Ian Cotton / Professor of High Voltage Technology
At Manchester, our energy academics work across boundaries.
The University is home to globally-renowned research institutes and centres that cover the full spectrum of energy investigation, including:
- Dalton Nuclear Institute
- Henry Royce Institute
- Manchester Environmental Research Institute
- Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
- Manchester Urban Institute
- National Graphene Institute
- Power conversion and electronics
- Productivity Institute
- Sustainable Consumption Institute
- Thomas Ashton Institute
- Tyndall Manchester
The groundbreaking work of these communities influences local authorities, industry and international partners to deliver real-world energy and environmental solutions.
Energy: Research breakthroughs
Research driving policy changes in shipping and aviation.
Research is helping Sellafield improve industrial treatment processes and site safety.
A new mapping tool provides a practical way to measure climate disadvantage and identify vulnerable groups.
Research has enabled Rolls-Royce plc to better predict the performance of their jet engine components.
Podcast: Shining a light on solar PV
Scientists at The University of Manchester have solved a key flaw in solar panels after 40 years of worldwide research. The majority of solar cells only achieve 20% efficiency – for every kW of equivalent sunlight, about 200W of electrical power can be generated. Now an international team of researchers have resolved a key fundamental issue of material defect which limits and degrades solar cell efficiency. The problem has been known of and studied for over 40 years, with more than 270 research papers attributed to the issue, but the cause of the degradation, and hence the route to a solution, has been undiscovered until now. The new research shows the first observation of a previously unknown material defect which limits silicon solar cell efficiency. In this podcast Tony Peaker, Matthew Halsall and Iain Crowe discuss their research and how the discovery came about.
Research paper: ‘Identification of the mechanism responsible for the boron oxygen light induced degradation in silicon photovoltaic cells’ by Michelle Vaqueiro-Contreras, Vladimir P. Markevich, José Coutinho, Paulo Santos, Iain F. Crowe, Matthew P. Halsall, Ian Hawkins, Stanislau B. Lastovskii, Leonid I. Murin, Anthony R. Peaker, published in the Journal of Applied Physics. DOI: 10.1063/1.5091759
Our academics, collaborators and partners have unprecedented access to a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art and bespoke experimental equipment and powerful computing infrastructure, all supported by specialist technical experts. Facilities include the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (offering the world’s highest energy dual ion beam accelerator system), a six-rack RTDS real-time power system simulator, fully-programmable AC grid-connected energy storage system, world-leading X-ray imaging systems and 1MW energy storage test bed. The University campus itself is a living laboratory, with our 339 buildings providing a test bed for tomorrow’s energy systems.
Find out more about some of our flagship facilities in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Energy Innovation Agency launches to accelerate Greater Manchester's net zero transition
The Energy Innovation Agency brings together world-leading academic, private and public sector expertise to help Greater Manchester achieve its net zero goals.
New roadmap published for live music sector
The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change and Massive Attack have published a roadmap for the UK live music sector to play its part in tackling the climate crisis.
Universities combine to address energy resilience
The University of Manchester and the University of Chile are expanding their science and engineering partnership with a dual award PhD programme.
Sustainable aviation fuel emissions study takes off
A team of aerospace specialists has launched the world’s first in-flight emissions study using 100% sustainable aviation fuel on a commercial passenger jet.
Coordinated drought planning is essential for new Ethiopian Dam
Research suggests that drought preparedness will require careful coordination for The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Researcher wins Foundation Award
Professor Steve Liddle has been awarded a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Sustainable Futures September Seminar Series
28 September 2023, 2pm-3pm
Our September edition of the monthly Sustainable Futures Seminar Series will be held on Thursday 28th September 2-3pm. This event will be a One Bin to Rule Them All Project Specia..
Engaging Stakeholders in Building Climate Resilience
25 October 2023, 3.30pm-5pm
The Sustainable Futures Challenge Area, Resilient Futures, and Creative Manchester present this special event exploring how the arts and sciences can collaborate in addressing the..