World-class research

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 named Heriot-Watt in the top 25% of UK universities, with 82% of our research ranked as world-class.

Our REF results firmly place us alongside the UK’s best in our core disciplines of science and engineering, business and management, languages and design.

Over 80% of our academic staff are currently engaged in research at internationally recognised levels, allowing Heriot-Watt to deliver research impact as diverse as providing greater equality for deaf people, helping to manage risk in the insurance industry and enhancing oil extraction from the North Sea.

World-leading expertise

Our expertise in science and engineering is world leading and we are renowned for our applied and technological research and for our industry-oriented collaborative work. We also work hard to share this expertise and participate extensively in Knowledge Transfer which helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity.  

Recent research in marine conservation for example has focused on marine habitat mapping for conservation purposes in the UK, Galapagos, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama alongside work to understand the impact of climate change (e.g. ocean warming and acidification) on marine species and habitats. Similar projects are being set up in Malaysia.

A platform for partnerships

Our new Putrajaya campus creates a platform for the creation of partnerships with other local universities through which we can deliver research studentships and other funded research activities. We also hope to work with Universities and other Higher Education Institutions in the surrounding region, particularly with those from ASEAN countries.  

First research grant awarded

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia was one out of five recipients awarded research funds by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) at the start of 2015.

Funds will be channelled to explore the topic of Internet addiction, and to develop a manual that provides an intervention programme to address excessive internet use by secondary school children.

Key areas we expect to engage in

Examples of other areas we expect to engage in include sustainable development, biotechnologies, energy, water resource management, smart textiles and interior environments. It is likely that our research and knowledge transfer activities in Malaysia will reflect the six themes of the University's core strategy which are:  

  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • Physical and Life Sciences Interface
  • Modeling and Risk
  • Creativity, Design and Innovation