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Heriot-Watt University’s Festival of Research – celebrating research excellence; enhancing research culture; building research capacity.

Prof Duncan Hand – Ultrafast laser technology to transform manufacturing and design.

A revolutionary new method to successfully weld glass to metal has been developed by the £5.6M EPSRC CIM-Laser Centre at Heriot-Watt University. Using an ultrafast laser system to create a miniature plasma volume inside the materials which fuses them together, the technique aims to significantly enhance manufacturing and design flexibility, and create new products in industries such as aerospace, defence, optics and healthcare. The project is co-funded by Innovate UK and partners in Industry.

Prof Gabriela Medero – Brick by brick – innovative building materials to reduce waste.

The construction and demolition sector is the largest contributor of waste globally. In the UK alone, over 30% of the UK’s landfill waste and 45% of total carbon emissions come from construction and demolition. The British construction industry is under increasing pressure to reduce waste and meet national targets of 70% of all building waste to be recycled from the year 2020. To address this challenge, Prof Medero’s civil engineering research has created a brick made of 90% recycled waste which requires just one tenth of the energy to manufacture compared to traditional bricks. It has led to the formation of a clean technology business, Kenoteq, winner of the Converge Challenge competition in 2018 and the Scottish Resources award in 2019, which is now manufacturing a commercial product called “K-Briq”.

Dr Theo Lim – Levelling up – I, Me, Mine interfaces

Game-based innovation can potentially bridge certain knowledge gaps, and the adoption of alternative modus operandi for industries. Gamers in the U.K spend an average of 7.15 hours each week on video games. Can humanity benefit and prosper when gaming meets virtual continuums? The recent EU H2020 project BEACONING is intended to explore and offer insights and understanding in problem-solving and decision-making scenarios with enhanced and immersive user experiences.

'Pioneering Research' Strand

From discovery to application, our pioneering research delivers impact, helping to transform society, stimulate economic growth, and change lives. Find out more about the award-winning, pioneering research being undertaken at Heriot-Watt University and why it is attracting academic and innovation interest worldwide.

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Research Futures Academy