College of Science & Engineering


A listing of news and events for the year 2018.

Antarctica’s hidden landscape shaped by rivers

Antarctica’s mountainous landscape was shaped by rivers rather than carved by glaciers as previously thought, a study has revealed.

Intense tests reveal elusive form of element

An unusually complex form of one of the most abundant chemical elements on Earth has been revealed in the lab for the first time.

Nano-scale process may usher in cheaper products

An inexpensive way to make products incorporating nanoparticles – such as high-performance energy devices or sophisticated diagnostic tests – has been developed by researchers.

Prof Andy Dugmore - Academics Unplugged

Professor Andy Dugmore from the Institute of Geography (School of GeoSciences) is the latest speaker in our lunchtime research talk series.

Academics Unplugged Talk - Prof Neil Robertson

Professor Neil Robertson, of the School of Chemistry stars in the first of our new series of our Academics Unplugged lunchtime talks.

Chinese President learns about University LiFi

The leader of the world’s second-largest economy has been given a presentation of LiFi – the high-speed wireless data transmission technology created by Edinburgh Professor Harald Haas.

Cancer drug insight could lead to new therapies

A new way of identifying potential cancer drugs could streamline the development of therapies, following a discovery by scientists.

Renowned scientist Professor Aubrey Manning dies

Professor Aubrey Manning, a leading authority on animal behaviour, has died aged 88.

Royal visit gives seal of approval to data science and AI centre

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has officially opened a world-leading centre of expertise in data science and artificial intelligence (AI).

Smart systems give edge to battlefield decisions

Technology that can process vast streams of information from military intelligence sources is being developed by scientists and engineers.

Dandelions reveal newly found form of flight

The extraordinary flying ability of dandelion seeds is possible thanks to a form of flight that has not been seen before in nature, research has revealed.

Centre of expertise to tackle forest challenges

Experts are joining forces to address issues facing the world’s forests, which are under increasing pressure from changing climates and growing demand for resources.

Findings could help manage lupus in Africans

Two variants of a disease that affects thousands but is hard to diagnose are relatively common among black Africans, research shows.

Murchison House open

A new building has opened at King's Buildings and will house new study facilities and several university services .

Power of tiny vibrations could inspire novel heating devices

Ultra-fast vibrations can be used to heat tiny amounts of liquid, experts have found, in a discovery that could have a range of engineering applications.

Doors Open Day at King's Buildings

On Saturday 29th September King's Buildings will open its doors to visitors as part of Doors Open Day 2018.

Fossil teeth show how reptiles adapted to change

Marine predators that lived in deep waters during the Jurassic Period thrived as sea levels rose, while species that dwelled in the shallows died out, research suggests.

International research fellowships launched

The University has announced 25 new fellowships for talented international researchers.

Emissions in savannas triple previous estimates

Widespread tree felling in African savannas is producing at least three times as many carbon emissions as was previously thought, research suggests.

A third of fruit and veg crop too ugly to sell

More than one-third of farmed fruit and vegetables never reaches supermarket shelves because it is misshapen or the wrong size, research suggests.

World’s largest laser lends insight into giant planets

Experiments with the world’s biggest laser are giving scientists fresh insights into the giant planets of our solar system and beyond.

Edinburgh students win driverless race car competition

A team of Edinburgh students has won the UK’s first driverless race car competition.

Satellite system to improve weather forecasts

Experts are developing a satellite-based system to vastly improve monitoring and forecasting of extreme weather and natural disasters anywhere in the world.

Shared parenting better for young, beetles show

Animals who share the task of parenting do a better job than parents who do so on their own, according to a study of insects.

Predatory corals team up to feed on jellyfish

Cave-dwelling corals in the Mediterranean can work alongside one another to catch and eat stinging jellyfish, a study reveals.

Life on Earth in the dark for much of history

Tiny creatures that lived in the dark – either underground or below the sea floor – were the dominant life forms on Earth for much of the planet’s history, a study suggests.

Laser experiments shed light on Earth’s core

Scientists have discovered fresh insights into the metallic core at the centre of our planet.

Erupting volcano probe to shed light on link to earthquakes

Scientists are monitoring one of the world’s most active volcanoes to study the link between earthquakes and eruptions.

Inbred animals at risk from environmental change

Animals that are inbred make mistakes in response to changes in their surroundings, which threatens their survival, research has found.

Volcano expert helps create Fuego crisis map

A leading volcanologist from the University's School of GeoSciences is working with authorities in Guatemala to produce a crisis hazard map in the wake of the Fuego volcano eruption.

Fresh insight into how stars are formed

A study of intense starbursts is changing researchers’ ideas about cosmic history.

Scientists aid development of warehouse robots

University researchers are helping to develop smart robots to quickly shift goods in warehouses or assembly lines.

Mars rocks may harbour signs of life

Iron-rich rocks near ancient lake sites on Mars could hold vital clues that show life once existed there, research suggests.

3D simulation shows benefits of brain cooling

Fresh insight into how the brain responds to medically induced cooling could inform treatments for head injuries and conditions such as stroke.

Science on a Summer's Evening 2018

On Tuesday 4th September, the College of Science and Engineering presents a special evening of lectures and hands-on science, showcasing exciting research at the University of Edinburgh.

£1.4m upgrade is focus for new research

Edinburgh scientists are to benefit from a £1.4 million investment in leading edge technology to study materials and molecular structures.

Missing link in crocodile family tree discovered

A 180 million-year-old fossil has shed light on how some ancient crocodiles evolved into dolphin-like animals.

Glacier collapse is focus of Antarctic study

Edinburgh researchers are part of a £20 million project to understand how quickly a massive Antarctic glacier could collapse.

Scientists building 3D map of our galaxy

Edinburgh researchers are helping to create the most accurate map of the galaxy to date.

Less food for forest birds as springs get warmer

The hatching of woodland birds is falling out of sync with availability of insects on which they feed as springs become increasingly warmer, research shows.

Under-fives should be priority for snail fever

Infants in some of the world’s poorest regions are vulnerable to a common worm parasite infection and their treatment should become a priority, according to a study.

RAEng Chairs in Emerging Technologies

Following an international competition, Jason Reese, Regius Professor of Engineering and Susan Rosser, Professor of Synthetic Biology have been awarded prestigious Chairs in Emerging Technologies by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

Emoji skin tones promote diversity on Twitter

Emoji characters with adapted skin tones are used positively and are rarely abused, a study of Twitter posts has shown.

Dwarf galaxies lend insights into dark matter

Scientists have created a new method to measure the amount of dark matter at the centre of tiny dwarf galaxies.

Rare Scottish dinosaur prints give key insight into era lost in time

Dozens of giant footprints discovered on a Scottish island are helping shed light on an important period in dinosaur evolution.

Students take UK cyber security prize

A team of Edinburgh students has won the top prize in a UK-wide cyber security skills competition.

Academics Unplugged - Dr Jonathan Gair

As part of the Adacemics Unplugged series, Dr Jonathan Gair from the School of Mathematics will deliver a short lunchtime talk entitled 'Catching Cosmic Cataclysms: the new field of gravitational wave astronomy'

Physical disability boosts parenting in beetles

Animals that carry a physical impediment can work harder to rear their young as a result, a study of insects has shown.

Research in China may unlock CO2 storage plans

A new approach by Scottish and Chinese scientists could enable large-scale storage of carbon dioxide emissions in China.

Academics Unplugged - Dr Korin Richmond

As part of the Adacemics Unplugged series, Dr Korin Richmond from the School of Informatics will deliver a short lunchtime talk entitled 'Seeing speech: ultrasound imaging for child speech therapy'

Sensors in city park sound out how people and nature coexist

Innovative sound technology is set to reveal how city dwellers might better tune in to the natural world around them.

Waterfalls show how rivers shape their surrounds

How much water flows through a river has little influence over long-term changes to its course and the surrounding landscape, a study of waterfalls shows.

Meal times may be key to managing malaria

Malaria infections might be brought under control by managing the eating habits of infected people or animals, according to a new study.

Warming seas could put at-risk seabirds out of sync with prey

Seabirds may struggle to find food for their chicks as they are unable to shift their breeding seasons as the climate warms, a study suggests.

Painting with light-powered bacteria

Researchers use genetically modified bacteria to produce light-induced patterns as a potential route for engineering smart materials.

IIG Grants of up to £5000 available

Donor-funded small project grants of up to £5000 available to students and staff to support innovations in teaching, research and student life.

Lightning less likely as planet warms, study finds

Lightning may strike less often in future across the globe as the planet warms, a scientific study suggests.

Academics Unplugged - Prof Mark Bradley

Optical Imaging: From Glass to Humans

Global air pollution highlighted in ozone study

Potentially harmful levels of the air pollutant ozone are present in many regions around the world, a widespread study has shown.

Image analysis project opens the way to personalised radiotherapy treatment

A research project funded by the Chief Scientist’s Office (Scotland) is to investigate the effectiveness of image analysis techniques in predicting side effects of radiotherapy treatment for patients with head and neck cancer.

Breeding quirks of head lice offer insight into effective treatments

New insights into the unusual way in which lice reproduce could be key to managing outbreaks of the common pest.

Bitcoin wallet devices vulnerable to security hacks, study shows

Devices used to manage accounts on the innovative payment system Bitcoin could be improved to provide better protection against hackers, research suggests.

Solving a century-old mystery in cell division

It has been a biological mystery for over 100 years and stimulated fierce debate amongst scientists. How do cells package long, tangled strands of chromosomes into tightly compact structures before cell division. A remarkable new study published in Science has revealed the answer. Professor Bill Earnshaw explains how he tackled this problem and why collaboration was the key to success.

Blight on Scottish forests - Overseas pine threat to native species

Exotic pine tree species planted next to native Scots Pine forests should be removed to limit the risk of disease to native trees, new research suggests.

Lab-grown eggs could aid fertility treatments

Human eggs have been fully grown in a laboratory, in a move that could lead to improved fertility treatments.

Academics Unplugged - Prof Francisca Mutapi on TIBA

Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA): Why all the hype?

Rogue waves find could aid offshore platform design

New understanding of unusually large ocean waves could help inform the design of oil platforms and other offshore structures.

Jon Oberlander 1962-2017

It is with immense sadness that we have learned of the passing of our dear colleague, Jon Oberlander.

Waste treatment costs could limit UK fracking plans

A lack of specialist waste treatment facilities could limit the development of fracking in the UK, research suggests.

£3.8m brings pioneering lung imaging devices closer to clinic

A £3.8 million funding boost will advance the development of next generation medical devices that monitor disease deep inside the lungs.

Algae could feed and fuel planet with aid of new hi-tech tool

Vast quantities of medicines and renewable fuels could be produced by algae using a new gene-editing technique, a study suggests.

530m-year-old fossil has look of world’s oldest eye, study suggests

A 530-million-year-old fossil contains what could be the oldest eye ever discovered, a study reveals.

Team from Informatics wins national Cyber Security Challenge again

Joshua Green, Harvey Stocks, Wojciech Nawrocki and Antonio Guterres have won the Scottish University Cyber Challenge.