College of Science & Engineering

News & events

News and Events from the College of Science and Engineering.

Academics Unplugged talk - Dr Murray Collins

Putting Edinburgh in Space: developing the University's Space and Satellite innovation programme.

Evolving deer give birth earlier as climate warms

Red deer on a Scottish island are providing scientists with some of the first evidence that wild animals are evolving to give birth earlier in the year as the climate warms.

New telescope instrument sheds light on Dark Energy

Edinburgh scientists are taking part in the most detailed survey of the Universe ever undertaken.

Cutting-edge robot makes short work of gardening

A gardening robot has been developed that can self-navigate and automatically prune roses and trim bushes.

Robotics hub unveils latest offshore advances

Edinburgh scientists have demonstrated their latest robotics technology developed for the renewable energy sector as part of a multimillion-pound collaboration.

Warmer nights prompt birds to lay eggs earlier

Rising night-time temperatures are causing woodland birds to build nests and lay eggs earlier in springtime, research shows.

Artificial Intelligence versus Us - lunchtime talk

The School of Informatic's Dr Vaishak Belle will deliver the first in a new series of 'Academics Unplugged' talks entitled Artificial Intelligence versus Us: building explainability and ethical responsibility into automated systems.

£2.75 million spinout deal offers dialysis hope

An Edinburgh spinout whose innovative products could save kidney patients’ lives has raised £2.75m in a new funding deal.

£1.4M hydrogen project could help cut carbon

Edinburgh scientists have been awarded £1.4 million to carry out pioneering work on a technology that could aid efforts to decarbonise the UK’s energy sector.

New Engineering building gets go ahead

At a cost of £33.5m, work on Engineering Module 1 will commence in spring 2020 and is due to be completed in summer 2022.

Wild animals’ immune systems decline with age

It is well established that weakened immune systems in old age affect people’s health and fitness, but a study suggests that it is also an issue for wild animals.

Eminent scientist’s theories aid light wave find

A previously unknown type of light wave has been discovered by researchers, based on the pioneering work of a 19th century Scottish scientist.

Doors Open Day at King's Buildings

On Saturday 28th September 2019, visitors can find examples of architectural developments across the King’s Buildings campus and discover more through our information panels.

TB technologies to help millions around the world

Affordable technologies for tuberculosis (TB) testing could help millions of patients in poverty or remote settings.

Hi-tech bacteria gene tool could prove productive

Bacteria could be used to produce large quantities of medicines and fuels using a new gene programming technique, research suggests.

Satellite data reveal African CO2 emissions

A vast region of Africa affected by drought and changing land use emits as much carbon dioxide each year as 200 million cars, research suggests.

Diet change needed to save vast areas of tropics

One quarter of the world’s tropical land could disappear by the end of the century unless meat and dairy consumption falls, researchers have warned.

Oil rigs could pump emissions below North Sea

North Sea oil and gas rigs could be modified to pump vast quantities of carbon dioxide emissions into rocks below the seabed, research shows.

Bubbles hold clue to improved industrial structures

Insights into how minute, yet powerful, bubbles form and collapse on underwater surfaces could help make industrial structures such as ship propellers more hardwearing, research suggests.

Space mining kits set to blast off for tests in orbit

Astronauts are to test the world’s first space mining devices, in an advance that could open up a new frontier in exploring the universe.

Experiential AI research agenda to bring together scientists and artists

Researchers from Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities have proposed a new research agenda in which artists and scientists come together, called Experiential AI.

Data Science Education Centre of Excellence launched

The Centre supports the delivery of data science education, data skills development training, and data understanding across the University

Cycling success may hold key to land savings

Making minor changes to how food is produced, supplied and consumed around the world could free up around a fifth of agricultural land, research suggests.

Synthetic skin could aid wound healing

Artificial skin produced using nanoscale technology could improve wound recovery for patients with burns or skin grafts.

Solving the mystery of ‘Oumuamua

New analysis suggests a natural origin for our first observed interstellar visitor, ‘Oumuamua

Science on a Summer's Evening 2019

The College of Science and Engineering presents an evening celebration of two distinctive research areas including public lectures, displays and interactive activities, as well as live music.

Spacecraft mission to intercept a new comet

The European Space Agency's latest mission will visit a comet from the very edge of our Solar System.

Engineering academic joins search for water on Mars

Dr Antonis Giannopoulos from the School of Engineering is part of an international team of scientists that will advance the search for water on Mars.

Gas fields show carbon storage is secure

Carbon dioxide emissions can be captured and securely stored beneath deep-seated and impermeable underground rocks, new research shows.

Chemists mark glove waste recycling milestone

Students and staff in the School of Chemistry are marking having saved one million pairs of disposable gloves from landfill.

€10 million Atlantic survey to assess ocean’s health

Uncharted regions of the Atlantic will be mapped for the first time as marine scientists assess its health.

NASA Valkyrie interactive experience installed at Bayes Centre

An interactive touchscreen display has been installed in the Bayes Centre foyer, providing further information about the NASA Valkyrie.

Arctic coast erosion revealed by drone images

Extreme erosion of Arctic coastlines in a changing climate – up to a metre a day – has been revealed with drone surveys.

Researchers awarded Future Leader Fellowships

A view of Old College quad
Four University scientists have been awarded government fellowships to help them become leaders in research and innovation, three are from the College of Science and Engineering.

Rocks lift lid on dangers of rare eruptions

Unusual rocks discovered on a remote mountainside have alerted Edinburgh scientists to the dangers posed by a little-studied type of volcano.

Software study joins Google mentoring scheme

Software developed by researchers from the School of Engineering is to be included in a prestigious mentoring programme.

Chemistry workshop in partnership with Nagoya University, Japan

First joint workshop will strengthen existing links between Edinburgh and Japan

Global Alliance of Biofoundries launched to boost synthetic biology

A new network has been launched to bring together the world’s leading biofoundries to drive forward synthetic biology research.

Bid to improve health and tackle inequality

A major research collaboration is to investigate key factors that limit people’s chances to live longer, healthier lives.

Immune system discovery could aid stem cell therapy quest

A discovery of how stem cells are protected from viruses could inform the development of therapies for use in medicine, research suggests.

Great chocolate is complex mix of science, study finds

The science of what makes good chocolate has been revealed by researchers studying a 140-year-old mixing technique.

Newly found dinosaur is smaller cousin of T. rex

A new relative of Tyrannosaurus rex has been identified by a team of palaeontologists including Edinburgh researchers.

Air pollution levels could impact on heatwaves

Measures to reduce air pollution could affect the severity of heatwaves in coming decades, a study suggests.

Major new building approved for King's Buildings

graphic of Nucleus Building
On 29 April, the University of Edinburgh Court gave the approval for a major new £48m development at the heart of the King’s Buildings Campus.

Leukaemia finding points toward new therapies

New findings about a fatal form of blood cancer could aid the development of new drugs with significantly less harmful side effects than existing chemotherapy.

Early melting of winter snow advances Arctic spring

The early arrival of spring in parts of the Arctic is driven by winter snow melting sooner than in previous decades and by rising temperatures, research suggests.

90th birthday celebrations for Professor Peter Higgs

Professor Peter Higgs will celebrate his 90th birthday in May this year, and the School of Physics and Astronomy is planning a year of special events to mark this occasion.

DNA managed like climbing rope to avoid knots

A process that cells use to unravel knotted strands of DNA – resembling a method used to control climbing ropes – has been uncovered by scientists.

Diet in development affects insect mating habits

An animal’s choice of mate can be influenced by its diet as it reaches sexual maturity, research has shown.

Dinosaur specialist awarded Tam Dalyell Prize

The University’s annual prize for engaging the public with science has been awarded to palaeontologist Dr Steve Brusatte.

Genome lab awarded international quality stamp

The University of Edinburgh’s DNA sequencing facility has received an internationally-recognised accreditation to mark the quality of its genome analysis services.

Tobacco shops on rise in poorest Scottish areas

Young people in Scotland’s poorest neighbourhoods are increasingly likely to encounter tobacco products in their area, a study suggests.

Conservation aims set out ahead of UN summit

Conservationists broadly agree on goals for protecting the natural world – but not how to move towards them, a survey shows.

Elements can be solid and liquid at the same time

Scientists have discovered a new state of physical matter in which atoms can exist as both solid and liquid simultaneously.

Jurassic crocodile sheds light on family tree

A newly identified species of 150 million-year-old marine crocodile has given insights into how a group of ancient animals evolved.

Researchers play key role in Science Festival

Experts from across the University are sharing their knowledge with audiences at the annual Edinburgh Science Festival.

Edinburgh’s forgotten astronomer, Charles Piazzi Smyth

A fascinating free new exhibition – part of a year-long series of events - opens in Edinburgh aiming to establish Charles Piazzi Smyth’s place in Edinburgh’s history.

Amazon rainforest could become trade war casualty

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could accelerate as a result of the US-China trade war, researchers have warned.

Smartphone test spots poisoned water risk

A smartphone device could help millions of people avoid drinking water contaminated by arsenic.

Supercomputer sheds light on how droplets merge

Scientists have revealed the precise molecular mechanisms that cause drops of liquid to combine, in a discovery that could have a range of applications.

Male fish can thank genes for colourful looks

Striking traits seen only in males of some species – such as colourful peacock feathers or butterfly wings – are partly explained by gene behaviour, research suggests.

Academics Unplugged - Dr Amy Wilson

Dr Amy Wilson from the Centre for Statistics, School of Mathematics delivers our next Academics Unplugged talk looking at traces of cocaine on banknotes.

IPCC panel discussion being hosted by the University

The University is to host a panel discussion with members of the world’s leading group of climate scientists on Wednesday 3 April 2019.

Deep-water coral reef faces growing threat from plastic pollution

Marine pollution, including fragments of fishing equipment and tiny pieces of plastic, have been found inside animals living on Scotland’s only inshore deep-water coral reef.

Test centre to bring tidal technology on stream

A £2.4 million engineering research facility will seek to speed the development of materials and structures for tidal energy, transport and other industries.

Scientists shed light on make-up of Earth’s core

Experiments conducted at extreme conditions are giving scientists new insights into the chemical make-up of the Earth’s core.

£79m supercomputer set to boost UK capability

The University is to host a £79 million national supercomputer that will be five times quicker than the UK’s current capabilities.

Academics Unplugged - Dr Job Thijssen

Dr Job Thijssen, from the School of Physics & Astronomy will present his talk - Soft materials for energy applications: how squidgy materials can help make better batteries.

Records prompt rethink of evolution milestone

Scientists are rethinking a major milestone in animal evolution, after gaining fresh insights into how life on Earth diversified millions of years ago.

Cell mechanism linked to healthy development

Scientists have shed light on how healthy cells develop by identifying the role of key molecules involved.

Scientists to investigate how volcanic activity is affected by obstacles inside the Earth

Dr Lara Kalnins leads a interdisciplinary study investigating how warm materials, rising from deep in the Earth's mantle, negotiate subducted tectonic plates and how this affects the volcanic events we see on the surface.

Support for AI boosts postgraduate researchers

Postgraduate programmes in artificial intelligence at the University are being supported as part of a package of funding announced by the UK Government.

Smart home systems need to improve security

The security of smart domestic appliances that can be managed remotely must be improved to better protect users’ privacy, research suggests.

Academics Unplugged - Prof Evelyn Telfer

Professor Evelyn Telfer, from the Institute of Cell Biology and CDBS at the School of Biological Sciences will present her talk - Lab grown human eggs: a new way to preserve fertility.

Engineering students compete at world's largest ice and snow sculpture competition in China

This January, two students from the School of Engineering travelled to Harbin Engineering University in China to compete in a world-famous ice and snow sculpture competition as part of a multidisciplinary University team.

Land use delays could hamper climate efforts

Global climate change targets are unlikely to be met because of delays in changes to land use, Edinburgh researchers say.

Device could deliver wave energy to thousands

A wave energy technology is being developed that could help generate low-cost electricity for thousands of houses.

Electronic owls to monitor park use

Model owls roosting in parks are to be equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots to help experts better understand how the spaces are used.

Student YouTube star makes DIY robotics look easy as Pi

A first-year University student has become an online sensation, offering expert advice on DIY robotics and computer programming.

Physicists play key role in nuclear project

A study of the Universe involving Edinburgh physicists could help to improve global security.

Innovation in Education award for China-UK Low Carbon College

China-UK Low Carbon College (LCC) won the award for Innovation in Education at the China-Scotland Business Council Awards. 

Iron-rich planet formed after worlds collided

A head-on collision between distant worlds led to the formation of an iron-rich planet nearly ten times as heavy as Earth, a study shows.

Innovation focus for PhD training centres

Three training centres are to equip PhD students with skills to tackle key challenges in engineering and the physical sciences.

Academics Unplugged Talk - Prof Jason Reese

The latest in our series of lunchtime research lectures will see Professor Jason Reese from the School of Engineering deliver his talk: 'A World in a Grain of Sand': why the particular matters.

Our Health - Interdisciplinary Community-University Research Programme

Our Health projects create community-based research that invites local communities to set real-world research questions and agendas around health and wellbeing.

North Sea rocks could act as energy stores

Rocks in the seabed off the UK coast could provide long-term storage locations for renewable energy production, new research suggests.

AI scientists team up with Japanese experts

University scientists are to collaborate with three major Japanese research institutes on artificial intelligence and robotics.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability Workshop for Staff and Students

The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability are running an afternoon workshop for interested staff and students within the College of Science and Engineering

City gardens help pollinating insects thrive

Gardens and allotments in towns and cities are a haven for insects that help plants to flourish, research has shown.

Scans reveal how world’s first dogs caught prey

Analysis of the skulls of lions, wolves and hyenas has helped scientists uncover how prehistoric dogs hunted 40 million years ago.

Academics Unplugged

Academics Unplugged is an opportunity for researchers to introduce their work to staff and students from across the College. These short talks provide the opportunity for University staff and students to engage directly with cutting-edge researchers.

Science on a Summer's Evening

Each year the College of Science and Engineering presents a special evening of lectures and hands-on science, showcasing exciting research at the University of Edinburgh.

Doors Open Day at King's Buildings

Every year on the last Saturday of September, visitors can find examples of architectural developments across the King’s Buildings campus and discover more through our information panels.

Campus News

King's Buildings campus news can be found on the Estates section of the College Intranet


Current information is available from our individual schools.

Inaugural lectures

Information on upcoming inaugural lectures in the College of Science and Engineering.


Archive of news items from the College of Science and Engineering