The University of Edinburgh’s work in architectural design includes extensive work in the field of social housing.

Dealing with data of unprecedented sizes has become increasingly prevalent within the industry and with the development of BIM has become an issue that must be addressed. The University is well equipped to handle a range of issues surrounding big data in construction.

We offer expertise in the conservation and technology of historic buildings including the preservation of the Georgian building fabric, the design and strengthening of medieval stone vaulting and the stability of prehistoric drystone structures.

The University of Edinburgh offers expertise into the research, design and development of building materials and building systems.

Professor Remo Pedreschi

The University of Edinburgh has a number of academics that operate in the area of construction management, with particular reference to health, safety and wellness in construction. A combination of expertise between those within the School of Engineering and the Business School ensure a broad range of issues from people management, to earthworks are addressed in detail. Expertise lies in areas from site management to concreting, to the management of construction waste.

Our BRE Fire Laboratory is one of the leading centres for research into fire safety and the impact it has on structures. How to maximise the design of buildings, construction materials and structures to withstand fire with the ultimate aim of saving lives is vital research and we are at at the forefront of research into this topic. The BRE Fire Laboratory is home to a range of facilities which can be made available to business for product design and materials testing. We conduct mechanical, material and thermal tests on a wide range of subjects under varying conditions and loads.

The University of Edinburgh comes well equipped to deal with issues of governance within the construction industry. The University holds academics experienced in the delivery of major infrastructure projects within both the Business School and The School of Engineering.

Our expertise in infrastructure is vast, combining academics skilled in all aspects of infrastructure planning, design and delivery. The Institute for Infrastructure and Environment carries out research on a diverse range of topics contributing to efficient, sustainable and resilient infrastructure in the built and natural environments. The Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture holds design professionals running innovative projects related to the design and implementation of infrastructure in urban and rural contexts.

Garscube Landscape Link Underpass Project


Luke Bisby
Alistair Borthwick
Rory Hadden
Gordon Masterton

Our expertise in landscape architecture includes the design of schools, hospital and health facilities, urban renewal, housing and historic landscape regeneration, as well as the relationship between landscape and health. The latter has included the exploration of how urban environments can make active and healthy living easy and enjoyable for older people and the effects of woodland interventions on mental wellbeing in deprived urban communities in Scotland.

Our expertise and experience in landscape design encompasses real estate developments, cycle networks, waterfront regenerations and private properties.

The University has a variety of academics who can specialise in operational efficiency and risk with regards to the construction industry, dealing with the practicalities of implementing and delivering large scale construction projects in the industry.

The University’s structures group conducts advanced research, consultancy and design code development for all types of civil engineering structures and construction materials.

  • Structures in fire and at elevated temperatures
  • Advanced composites and emerging structural engineering materials
  • Strengthening and repair of infrastructure
  • Silos and thin-walled structures
  • Dynamic effects in structures and materials
  • Structural health monitoring and non-destructive testing
  • Biomechanical applications of structural engineering
  • Prototype testing and development before a structure is built
  • Coupon tests to determine material strength
  • On-site structural testing and assessment
  • Computational modelling for design and assessment
  • Forensic investigation of failures
  • Design code development
  • Courses and seminars relating to our areas of expertise

The University has substantial expertise in the area of robotics across both the School of Informatics and Engineering. The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics opened in 2015, represents a major investment into developing robotics expertise for a range of markets from defence to renewable energy, healthcare and assisted living, oil and gas, transport, and manufacturing. This is a collaboration between scientists and engineers from both the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University.

Sethu Vijayakumar

Zhibin Li

Michael Mistry

The University is involved in interdisciplinary research on continuous monitoring, on-site assessment, and safe operation of civil engineering structures and systems.

Our research is used to ascertain real behaviour and devise optimal maintenance strategies to increase useful life and reduce life-cycle cost. Our work also involves the development and application of advanced numerical simulation and data analysis tools.

The University’s expertise is improving the application of Non-Destructive Testing and shallow depth Geophysical techniques used for condition assessment and inspection of key infrastructure elements such are buildings, roads and railways. We have applied these methods in complex engineering site investigation problems through to the prospecting of archaeological sites and monuments.

One of our key research strengths is the development of advanced simulation tools and data interpretation schemes particularly for Ground Penetrating Radar where we are leading the development of GprMax the most widely used Ground Penetrating Radar simulator.

Examples of Current Projects:

  • Vibration sensing and data interrogation for structural identification and monitoring
    Development and application of fibre-optic sensors for structural applications
  • Theoretical and experimental study of piezoceramic (PZT type) sensors for damage detection in concrete structures
  • Development of integrated monitoring system for smart homes incorporating energy usage measurement, simulation, and building health monitoring and analysis components
  • Advanced numerical modelling of Ground Penetrating Radar for antipersonnel landmine detection
  • Development of efficient absorbing boundary conditions for finite-difference time-domain full wave solvers
  • Enhancement and development of GprMax the Ground Penetrating Radar simulator

The University of Edinburgh is committed to developing innovative solutions for the sustainable design of buildings. This includes the WholeLife House design for Scotland’s Housing Expo. It introduced the concept of an adaptive strategy as a generator for sustainable designs that address both environmental performance and changing patterns of occupancy. The project won House of the Year in the Scottish Design Awards in 2011.