IMPEE PhD student wins travel grant to present at International Conference

IMPEE PhD student Mr Muhammad Farooq was awarded a Travel Grant by International Scientific Advisory Committee of ICEEES to present his research findings at International Conference on Energy for Environment and Economic Sustainability (ICEEES). The Conference was held from 20-23 October 2016 in Historical City Lahore, Pakistan and the theme was ‘"To fuel the world with ecologically, economically sustainable energy." Muhammad presented his research findings titled "In-situ Regenerative Activated Carbon for Low-cost CO2 Removal for Sustainable Energy Development."

Muhammad is doing his PhD under the supervision of Dr John M Andresen and is an active member of Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS), headed by Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer. Muhammad said "It was a very significant event for me as the conference provided an excellent opportunity with a highly interactive platform for leading new energy researchers, experts and enterprisers to discuss recent advances in the technology of clean and renewable energy. Let’s make joint efforts for a clean, green, and economically sustainable world. It made me realize how our research at Heriot-Watt is contributing to the practical implications in sustainable development. I am indebted to the support of Organizing Committee of ICEEES for providing me with the opportunity to attend the conference."

IMPEE Member Awarded Engineering Scholarship By The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Neil Macdonald Wight has been awarded a 2016 J.M. Lessells Postgraduate Scholarship in Engineering by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This highly prestigious award, arising from a bequest from the eminent late Professor John Moyes Lessells is intended to allow recipients to study an aspect of their profession abroad.

This award of £3350 will enable pioneering research into defect evolution and material characterisation of silicon nanomaterials to be undertaken at Dublin City University, Ireland. DCU is a research and innovation led institute offering world leading research groups and facilities. This award by the Royal Society of Edinburgh will enable research to be undertaken in the Nanomaterials Processing Laboratory at DCU’s Dublin campus. DCU’s NPL is under the co-directorship of Professor Patrick J. McNally and part of the School of Electronic Engineering. Neil is part of the research group in the Nano Materials Lab based at Heriot-Watt’s Riccarton campus and led by Dr Nick Bennett. For more information, or to discuss any aspect of their research into energy harvesting applications please visit

Information regarding the Royal Society of Edinburgh and their research funding awards in STEM can be found at

IMPEE PhD Student Gave an Invited Talk at an International Workshop in USA

Ms Jieyu Wang gave an invited talk entitled “Multiple-mode mechanisms” at the Workshop on Software and Application of Numerical Algebraic Geometry, which was held at South Bend, USA during 23-25 May, 2016. Her travel was supported by a travel fund ($1144 plus free Hotel and breakfast as well as free workshop registration) from the workshop organizers and a £500 Neilson travel fund from the IMPEE.  

Jieyu is a first-year PhD student supervised by Dr Xianwen Kong (IMPEE) and Dr Matt Dunnigan (ISSS). By attending this workshop, Jieyu also learned recent advances in numerical algebraic geometry and its application to mechanisms and robotics, which are very useful for her PhD study.

EUCERS/KAS/ISD Energy Talks 2016

On Saturday 30th of January 2016 the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) had the pleasure to host the Energy Talk “The future of North Sea Oil” with collaboration between the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). The event counted with the participation of four speakers: Hans-Hartwig Blomeier, Director of KAS London office; Professor Friedbert Pflüger, EUCERS Director; Dr Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP for Scotland; and Dr Frank Umbach, EUCERS Research Director.

The Energy Talk was opened by Mr. Blomeier by welcoming the speakers and participants and emphasising that this activity is the first of a 4-year-long partnership taking place outside London. Mr. Blomeier acknowledged the Heriot-Watt University team for their hospitality and noted that it was a privilege to have this activity as part of a KAS-fellow seminar for scholarship recipients organised by Dr Renate Kremer (KAS) and Peter Szabo (HWU, KAS). 

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IMPEE PhD Away Day

The “PhD Away Day” was organised on 8th December, 2015 by the ECR Committee with regards to valuable suggestions from Professor Maroto-Valer, Head of IMPEE.  There were three focal points of the PhD Away Day. Firstly, there was an introduction session for new postdocs and PhD students laying emphasis on the overview of IMPEE, EPS and Heriot Watt University with respect to its organisational structure. Secondly, there was a thorough evaluation done of the ECRs research needs and expectations to drive our university towards cutting edge research along with transforming our ECRs into efficient researchers of tomorrow. Last but not the least, there was discussion on an extremely crucial and important point related to research, “publication of the research work”.

Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy engineering (IMPEE) also acknowledged the 1st and 2nd year prizes winners in EPS along with the poster winners and winners from the IMPEE competition.

The event turned out to be an efficient one in terms of evaluating the individual and common needs of the ECRs, their expectations from IMPEE, EPS and Heriot Watt University in totality and major improvements required for driving university’s research at a faster pace.

Oil & Gas MSc student published in top energy journal  

Work from Mr Haitham AL-Kalbani, MSc student in Oil & Gas during his dissertation project, has been published in the latest issue of a leading energy journal Applied Energy (2016, 165, 1-13).  The work, supervised by Dr Huizhi Wang, Assistant Professor in School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, is a comparative energy and carbon emission assessment of different CO2 utilization routes.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas responsible for the climate change all over the world. How to reduce CO2 emissions is a main agenda in many countries and has received substantial research attention. Emerging emission-to-liquid (eTL) technologies that produce liquid fuels from CO2 are a possible solution for both the global issues of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel depletion. The research group led by Dr Huizhi Wang has long been leading the development of technologies for CO2-to-fuel conversion. However, whether these new conversion processes can really reduce CO2 emissions or they would actually increase the GHG effect from a life cycle point of view has become a hot debate in both academia and industrial sectors. 

Addressing this debate head-on, Mr Haitham AL-Kalbani developed during his MSc study a mathematical model to simulate and compare different eTL processes for liquid fuel production, with a special focus on life-cycle assessments of energy consumption and carbon footprint. The study concluded that negative life-cycle CO2 emissions can be achieved by these eTL processes with input of renewable energies.  This work confirms the large potential of further development of various emerging eTL processes to solve global energy and environment challenges by providing a clearer general picture of the carbon footprint of these CO2 utilization processes.

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Director of Heriot-Watt Energy Academy commented “This high-quality publication demonstrates the quality of our MSc programmes, the hard-working of Mr AL-Kalbani as well as the outstanding research leadership of our young academics”.

Applied Energy is an international journal publishing high quality energy research works. Its Impact Factor is 5.61, ranking in top 5% journal in the category of Chemical Engineering by ISI Web of Knowledge.

IMPEE PhD Researcher as Keynote Speaker at International Biomass Conference & Expo, Charlotte, United States.

The International Biomass Conference & Expo Review Committee (IBCE) invited IMPEE PhD Student Mr Muhammad Farooq as Key-Note Speaker at International Biomass Conference & Expo held from 11-14th April, 2016 at Charlotte Convention Center, North Carolina, United States.  He was one of the only four PhD students invited among more than hundred speakers.  The International Biomass Conference & Expo is one of the world largest biomass conference attracting a global participation of industry professionals and academia in the area of biomass based power, fuels and chemicals.

Mr Muhammad Farooq presented his research findings under Track-3 Biogas & Landfill gas titled ‘In-situ Regenerative Activated Carbon Adsorption for Production of Low Cost Bio-methane from Bio-gas’. “This was a prodigious opportunity for me to present my research at the world’s largest biomass event. My interaction with the gamut of bio-energy maestros at this conference contributed added new dimensions to my research and enriched my vision. It also improved my research profile and made me realize how our research at Heriot-Watt is contributing to the practical implications in the respective domain. I am very grateful to IBCE & IMPEE for providing financial support to attend the conference”.

Professor Maroto-Valer gives talk at prestigious LIYSF

LIYSF 2015 which attracted an audience of nearly 500 students from 65 countries, focused this year on the global endeavour of science, calling for international collaboration and discussing the global issues that face the world today. Professor Maroto-Valer's talk entitled 'The Energy Trilemma' looked at the inextricable link between energy, water and food and the formidable triple challenge faced by the global community to develop technologies that can address energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability.   Commenting on her participation, Professor Maroto-Valer said: "It was a privilege to speak at such a high profile and well attended event which is aimed at students of science, the next generation of scientific leaders, innovators and pioneers. "The forum is an excellent opportunity for these young people to gain knowledge and expertise from leaders in the field as well as from their own peers at what is an important stage in their educational development."

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Two students selected for the final round of International Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition

Two Heriot-Watt students were selected for the final round of the 2015 ASME (America Society of Mechanical Engineers) Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition, which took place at the ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE 2015) in Boston.

Guochao Bai, a first-year PhD student, reached the sixth place in the Graduate category with his project entitled 'Transforming Wheel'. Nguyen Hao Le, a final year BEng Robotics & Cybertronics student, reached the fourth place in the undergraduate category with his project entitled '3D printed underactuated anthropomorphic hand utilising modular design and flexible compliant joints'.  

Both students were supervised by Dr Xianwen Kong. Guochao and Nguyen had done extremely well to reach the final round of this prestigious intentional competition and the organizer provided them each with $1300 travel fund for them to participate the conference in USA.

IMPEE PhD student Xiuyun He was awarded the Best Student Paper Award at The 3rd IEEE/IFToMM International Conference on Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots held in Beijing, China during 20-22 July, 2015.

Xiuyun He is currently a final year PhD student supervised by Dr Xianwen Kong and Prof J.M. Ritchie from the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering at Heriot-Watt University and Dr Anca Mustata from School of Mathematical Sciences at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Her research is about the design and analysis of novel reconfigurable mechanisms and robots.

IMPEE Researcher awarded by Royal Society of Edinburgh

Dr. Manuel Ojeda from IMPEE is recently awarded the International Exchange Programme Grant from The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Dr. Ojeda joined Heriot-Watt in Feb 2015 and is currently a research associate in Dr. Jin Xuan’s group.

With the support from the Royal Society, Dr Ojeda will visit and conduct collaborative research in the National Institute of Chemistry Slovenia on October 2015 for two weeks. During his stay, he will work together with the host, Prof Nataša Zabukovec Logar, to synthesis and characterize a new family of functional mesoporous materials for carbon capture and utilization.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh International Exchange Programme aims to enhance the research capabilities of individual researchers, develop international collaborative links, and enable participation in international research programmes.

Dr Ojeda says “Starting collaboration with one of the strongest Research Institute in Slovenia gives us the opportunity to stablish a solid and fruitful network between both countries and, also to visit a beautiful city with magnificent buildings, such as the Dragon Bridge”. 

IMPEE PhD Student presented at UK AD & Biogas Conference - 2015

The UK Anaerobic Digestion & Bio-resources Association (ADBA) provided speaking opportunity to Mr. Muhammad Farooq at UK AD & Biogas 2015 – R&D Hub, where he presented his PhD research findings. The conference held from 1stJuly - 2nd July 2015 at NEC Hall Birmingham, UK. The conference was the perfect place to find out the latest development the field of Bio- energy across the world. Industry experts were on hand to offer guidance on Biogas from production, planning to financial incentives. This year UK AD & Biogas opted the theme ‘’ Time to step on the gas’’.

Mr Farooq shared his views about UK ADBA that “This was a prodigious opportunity for me to showcase my research to experts from the world. My interaction with the gamut of bio-energy connoisseurs at this conference contributed towards enriching and broadening my vision giving new perspectives to my research. It also upgraded my research profile and made me realize the extent our research at Heriot-watt is in the vanguard of the technological advancement

E-finger pitch points way to success

A joint project by Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh and the NHS has won the Elevator Pitch round of the 2015 Converge Challenge. The winning pitch was for the e-finger, a probe which can measure the stiffness of the prostate gland in men which determines diseased areas of the prostate and aids screening and diagnosis of prostate cancer and benign growth.

The team comprised Steven Hammer, a post-doctoral researcher at Heriot-Watt and Daniel Good, a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.  Following their win Daniel said, "It has been a very insightful three days Converge Challenge entrepreneurial training as we try to bridge the gap between academic research and a spin out company. The pitch was nerve racking but gave us a great platform to present our business idea to a large group of interested parties. We were delighted to win the pitch and hope this spurs us onto further success in the Converge Challenge. Thank you very much to all the speakers, sponsors and organisers for putting together such a great few days."

The team has also won the Edinburgh BioQuarter Innovation Competition.

IMPEE PhD Student Selected for the Final Round of International Competition

Guochao Bai, a first-year PhD student supervised by Dr Xianwen Kong, has been selected for the final round of the 2015 ASME (America Society of Mechanical Engineers) Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition in the “Graduate Mechanisms” category. The finals will take place at the ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE 2015) in Boston, USA between 2nd and 5thAugust, 2015.

In his project entitled "Transforming Wheel", Guochao developed a unique reconfigurable wheel that can be used for novel amphibious vehicles. The competition organizer will provide financial support to cover most of his travel, registration and hotel expenses for attending the conference in USA.

Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards

Dr. Jin Xuan won in the category for Energy Materials and Storage for his work in the creation of international multidisciplinary networks for fuel cell technology and hybrid low carbon energy innovation and to connect the Scottish and overseas industrial sectors in order to promote renewable energy in Scotland. In 2013 he was honoured by the American Chemical Society with the ENVR Certificate of Merit Award. He took up his current position at Heriot-Watt University as Assistant Professor in 2014 and is now leading an independent research team at Heriot-Watt.

IMPEE academic receives RSE recognition

Professor Mercedes Maroto Valer, Robert Buchan Professor of Sustainable Energy Engineering in IMPEE joins the RSE in its work to place the advancement of learning and useful knowledge at the centre of public life in Scotland.

RSE President Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, said, “I am delighted to welcome such a wide range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship. Each of our new Fellows is elected on the distinguished merit of their work. In joining the RSE, they strengthen our capacity to support excellence across all areas of academic and public life, both in Scotland and further afield.”

The RSE now has around 1600 Fellows from a wide range of disciplines. The work of the RSE includes awarding research funding, leading on major inquiries, informing public policy and delivering events across Scotland to inspire knowledge and learning.

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IMPEE PhD Student Awarded Travel Grant to UK Energy Storage Conference

The Energy Storage Research Network (ESRN) awarded Mr Muhammad Farooq a TravelScholarship to attend the UK Energy Storage Research Conference, UKES-2014 held at University of Warwick (25th-27th November 2014) to present his PhD research findings. The conference aimed to provide a networking platform for all researchers in Energy, including PhD students, early career researchers and senior scientists, across academia, industry, research institutes and Government, where they could present their work through talks and poster sessions.

Mr Farooq stated that “This was a great opportunity for me to present my research to experts from across UK. This conference has helped me to improve my research profile, as I have got an opportunity to get valuable opinions from the wider energy community that has helped me to realize that our research at Heriot-Watt University is cutting-edge.”

Visit to Borregaard Biorefinery

Dr. John Andresen was amongst a delegation of eleven who visited Borregaard based in Sarpsborg, Norway. The trip was organised in collaboration with the Norwegian IB Network, Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) and Scottish Development International (SDI).

Borregaard is a Norwegian company, established in 1889. The company operates the world's most advanced biorefinery. By using natural, sustainable raw materials, Borregaard produces advanced and environmentally friendly biochemicals, biomaterials and bioethanol that replace oil-based products. The Borregaard Group has 1050 employees in 16 countries.

John was joined by colleagues from Sasol, HEI, The Forestry Commission, University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews, University of Strathclyde, CMAC (Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation), & SDI were very impressed by the IB investment, strategy, and scale of operations during their visits to the industrial and research establishments. In particular the history, scale and complexity of the Borregaard Biorefinery was extremely impressive.

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IMPEE PhD awarded Outstanding Student Award at international summer school

Luc Steel, PhD student at Heriot-Watt University, was awarded the Most Outstanding Student Award at the 8th Interdisciplinary Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Summer School which was held in Austin, Texas from the 6th-11th of July 2014.

Luc is doing his PhD in Chemical Engineering and jointly supervised by Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Prof Eric Mackay from the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences) and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering. He is studying CO₂-brine interactions using North Sea oil well data with respect to geological storage of CO₂ and enhanced oil recovery. Luc is a member of the Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS) which was formally opened by the Chancellor in June last year.

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IMPEE PhDs won prizes at EPS PGR Poster Event

IMPEE PGR students, Hannah Persson, Behnam Esfandiar Jahromi and Nur Adilah Abd Rahman, won the 'best poster prizes' at EPS PGR Poster Event held on Wednesday 8 Oct, 2014. These were judged on the quality and presentation of the research work.

Rosario Porrazzo, Konstantinos Kiousis, Odin Du Plessis and Obinna Onuoha also won the 2nd year EPS research prizes, announced by Head of School, Prof Steve McLaughlin, and the Director of Postgraduate Research, Prof Alan Welch.

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Chinese delegation visits the CICCS

The Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS) at Heriot-Watt University welcomed a Chinese delegation of the Euro-China Near Zero Emission Coal (NZEC) project on 24 September 2014.

The delegation included key Chinese policy makers from the Administrative Center for China's Agenda 21 (ACCA21), top scientists in carbon capture and storage and project managers energy companies Sinopec and China Huaneng Group. The visit aimed to encourage international collaboration for a cleaner and low carbon future. The delegation was very impressed by the depth and breadth of research activities in CICCS. Dr Peng Sizhen, Deputy Director General of the ACCA21, who visited CICCS in March 2009, praised the significant development of the centre during the last five years. It was mutually agreed that the visit has enhanced the understanding of the development of CCS technologies in both countries and potential collaborations were identified in several key areas in CCS.

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WISE Women in Engineering event hosted by Babcock at Rosyth

IMPEE PhD student Caroline Graham was recently invited to speak at the WISE Women in Engineering event hosted by Babcock at Rosyth. The theme of the day was "Celebrating Women in Engineering". One hundred gathered stake holders were joined by HRH The Princess Royal. Caroline is pictured here on the day, far right, with other speakers from Thales, Atkins and Pelamis Wave Power. Representing the Daphne Jackson Trust, Caroline spoke about her successful return to Engineering following a parental career break highlighting that this could not have been achieved without vital support received from the Daphne Jackson trust, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Heriot-Watt University. The day ended with a guided bus tour of Rosyth Dockyard and the Aircraft Carriers. Caroline said "Hearing Her Royal Highness address the often overlooked challenges that women in engineering experience and meeting her in person was very special. The diversity and seniority of many of the attendees reflected the respect with which women are held in the sector and a widespread willingness to look at these long-standing barriers." Caroline has worked and studied in engineering since 1989 with over 12 years experience in structural materials research. Caroline has been asked to share some of the lighter moments of her career at the Glasgow University fem eng/WES event "Inspiring the Future" on the 1st of October 2014.

IMPPE PhD Student Won Poster Award

Rosario Porrazzo, a PhD student in IMPEE won a poster competition at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the International Fine Particle Research Institute (IFPRI) which was held in Edinburgh on 22-26 June 2014. The IFPRI was founded in 1979 to meet the research challenges in the field of particle technology. The IFPRI is constituted by an international consortium of companies that pool resources to fund industrially relevant research in areas of particle technology. Only invited researchers can attend the IFPRI meetings and participation is very limited thus prestigious. Rosario’s work, under the supervision of Prof Raffaella Ocone, is focused on the application of chemical looping technology to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and it is sponsored by the EPSRC.

IMPEE PhD Student Awarded DAAD Academic Exchange Research Grant

Heriot-Watt University/EPS/IMPEE PhD Student Caroline Graham was awarded a DAAD German Academic Exchange short term research grant to conduct material characterisation tests at the Technical University of Berlin (TU-B). The physical tests made use of TU-B equipment not available at Heriot-Watt University and were designed to compliment Caroline's PhD: A numerical study using finite element analysis to model the behaviour of unleaded solder joints under thermo-mechanical, creep-fatigue loading.

It quickly became apparent that the grant was for the researcher and did not include expenses incurred by dependents. EPS and IMPEE management were able to move quickly and provide required support. This support contributed towards renting an apartment large enough for three generations (Caroline, her Mother and her two children), close to both schools and a short bus/underground journey to TU-B. The Daphne Jackson trust also provided financial support towards the children's travel expenses. Without this supplementary support the research trip would not have been possible.

Caroline said "To live and work in Berlin was an amazing experience, for myself and my family. Having been aware for some time of their published work on similar material, it was a privilege to work with academics and staff at TU-B. Everyone was very welcoming and provided complete support ensuring that my brief four weeks yielded successful results. My Children attended the Nelson Mandela Schule. A German-English bi-lingual school where they were also made very welcome. My Mother is not able to get about as much as she would like to, but at weekends we took several bus trips to explore the city. One highlight of our trip was the Hertha Berlin 0-3 Hannover 96 football match at the Olympiastadion."

Parallel CPU & GPU training workshop in IMPEE

Two high performance parallel computing workshops on the use of CPUs and GPUs will be held on the 1-3 September 2014 at Heriot-Watt University. The event is sponsored by ARCHER and co-organised by the EPCC at University of Edinburgh and CADE in IMPEE. This course will introduce the background of GPU hardware and common methods for programming GPUs. It will also introduce optimisation of GPU programs.

To register for these courses, please visit

IMPEE in Carbon Capture and Storage Funding announcement

Scientists from the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) research partnership, of which Heriot-Watt is a member, have competitively won a 20% share of a £2.57 million funding pot to carry out targeted research that will support the commercial deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK.

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, of Heriot-Watt’s Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage, is the Principal investigator in a £185,000 collaborative project between Heriot-Watt University and KROHNE Ltd which addresses a key knowledge gap for the commercialisation of CCS technologies and will provide a complete assessment of meters for accurate flow measurement of CO2 within CCS streams.

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IMPEE students scoop £500 bursaries at Heriot-Watt University

Four PhD students were each presented with £500 bursaries for their work at the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE) conference, held recently at Heriot Watt University.

This was the second IMPEE conference, held to stimulate networking and enhance research within the Institute. The conference, largely attended by early researchers and academics, promoted the scale of cross-disciplinary research being conducted by the Institute, particularly in the areas of energy, chemical and process engineering and product design and manufacturing.

The winning students were Mr. Ademola Odunsi ,Mr. Javier Palacio Torralba, Ms. Najah Battik and Mr. Peter Szabo. They are pictured above (from left) with Prof. James Ritchie (Dean of Science and Engineering) and Bob Reuben (Professor at IMPEE).

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IMPEE Researcher participated in 2014 World Science forum for young researchers

Judith Abolle a PhD researcher with the IMPEE was one of the two recipients of a grant to represent her home country (Nigeria) at this year’s world science forum for young researchers where she presented her PhD research Acoustic emission monitoring of pipelines using finite element analysis to selected research ambassadors, Nobel laureates and other prominent scientists from various parts of the world.

The selection process for the grant which was very tight with over 1000 PhD applicants, had new challenges in the world science: joint approaches of young scientists as its main topic. The Baku World Sciences Forum 2014 for young researchers was held in Baku Azerbaijan from the 28th -31st of May 2014 and was sponsored by the Azerbaijan government in conjunction with the European Council of doctoral candidates and junior researchers (EURODOC) and the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI ).

In Baku, Judith was also invited for various press interviews where she not only discussed her PhD research work but also provided solutions to the different ways of advancing on scientific challenges after the conference within participants’ home country and their academic institution.

The BWSF is an annual event and is open to PhD researchers below the age of 35.The main purpose of the forum is to bring together young researchers and scientists concerned in the constant search of solutions to world’s problem including adequate and professional dialogue as well as new experience and new ideas.

IMPEE academic crowned elevator pitch champion

Dr. Steven Hammer, Research Associate at Heriot-Watt, has won the Converge Challenge 2014 – Ready, Steady, Pitch competition which took place on 3 June at The Royal Society of Edinburgh. The judges awarded best pitch to Steven for his idea for a non-invasive diagnostic tool for prostate cancer.

This event is seen as one of the highlights of the Converge calendar providing all applicants that have progressed to the second phase of the competition with an opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of expert judges made up of leading entrepreneurs and business people from across the country, the only twist being they must do this within 60-seconds with no notes or visual aids! The event was attended by around 130 guests from industry and academia all of whom were very impressed by both the standard of the pitching and the business ideas themselves.

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Dr Kong's book published in three languages: English, Russian and Chinese

The Chinese translation of Dr Kong's book entitled "Type synthesis of parallel mechanisms" (with C Gosselin) by Springer has recently been published by the China Machine Press. The book is so far the only monograph in the area of parallel mechanisms that is published in three languages in the world. The Russian translation of Dr Kong’s book was published in November 2012.

Dr Kong’s book is about the creative design of multi-arm parallel mechanisms, which is a fundamental and key issue in the design of innovative devices based on parallel mechanisms such as parallel robots, motion simulators, haptic devices and nano-manipulators. This work also provides a solid foundation for the creative design of disassembly-free reconfigurable parallel mechanisms with multiple operation modes for rapid changeover.

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IMPEE strengthens its research in Carbon Capture and Storage

Dr. Susana Garcia, assistant professor in Renewable Energy, recently joined IMPEE from Spanish National Coal Research Institute, Oviedo.

Her research expertise and interests include the following energy and engineering fields: clean coal technologies; deployment of adsorption technologies with solid sorbents for CO2 capture; new materials for CO2 capture; simulation of gas-phase adsorption processes; CO2 storage by different trapping mechanisms; experimental and modelling studies on the mineralogical changes and fluid chemistry derived from the injection of CO2 and co-injection of gas mixtures into saline aquifers; CO2 transportation for CCS and CO2 utilization.

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UK and Canada strengthen their collaboration on biochar research

Current collaboration between the UK and Canada in the area of biochar as an effective way to capture CO2 has been strengthened by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Professor Raffaella Ocone at Heriot-Watt University (UK) and BioFuelNet Canada (BNF) and Bio-Char Network (Bio-Char) in Canada.

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12 PhD scholarships available in our recently-launched CDT

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical Resource Catalysis (CRITICAT) is a newly established research hub in Scotland for catalysis training and research. It comprises the combined chemistry and chemical engineering Schools of St Andrews, Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt Universities and encompasses training and research in all aspects of catalysis.

We are pleased to announce 12 PhD scholarships that are available in CRITICAT that strategically brings together expertise across three Scottish universities. Potential candidates are encouraged to submit applications directly to Prof. Andrew Smith ( by Friday 23rd May 2014.

Find more PhD scholarships available at IMPEE...

IMPEE member takes his research to Parliament

Dr Nick Bennett attended Parliament at the House of Commons on Monday 17 March to present his engineering research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain. Nick’s poster on research about harnessing waste heat and converting it into electricity via the thermoelectric effect was judged against dozens of other engineers’ research in the final of the national competition. Nick was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

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IMPEE members awarded 'winning project' at Heriot-Watt Crucible VI

Dr. Nick Bennett and Dr. Kokou Dadzie were selected as participants for Heriot-Watt Crucible VI. They worked together with other 4 participants from Heriot-Watt University, Selex ES and University of Edinburgh, which leads to a winning project suggesting innovative ways to make electronic devices both lighter and more energy efficient by pooling the collective knowledge of chemists, physicists, engineers and manufacturing specialists.

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Dr. Chen delivered an invited seminar at University of Stirling

Dr. Yuhang Chen gave an invited seminar (Tissue Mechanics: From Microstructure to Function) at the department of computer science, University of Stirling on 14th March 2014. The host institute (organised by Dr. Carron Shankland) has research interests at the interface between maths, computer science and bioengineering, particularly in cognitive computation and computational analysis of complex biological systems.

Prof. Ocone leads Finland visit

Professor Raffaella Ocone has recently led the first Engineering Education visit in Finland on behalf of the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC). FINHEEC is an independent expert body assisting higher education institutions and the Ministry of Education and Culture in matters related to evaluation, thus promoting the quality of higher education. Professor Ocone chaired a group of experts assessing for the first time the degree programme in Logistics Engineering, at JAMK University of Applied Sciences, in Jyväskylä, Finland.

IMPEE Researcher Awarded Royal Society Grant

Dr Nick Bennett from IMPEE has been awarded an International Exchanges grant from the Royal Society. The project will run jointly with Dr Aidan Cowley of Dublin City University and will study novel Cu-X based materials for transparent electronics (X: halide/delafossite). The project will run for two years and will fund experiments and the exchange of researchers between the UK and Ireland.

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Heriot-Watt partnership awarded EPSRC fellowship

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer of the Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS) at IMPEE and Professor Adam Lee from the University of Warwick were recently awarded the EPSRC Challenging Engineering Fellowship to focus on increasing the efficiency of photocatalytic reduction of CO2 - a process that uses solar energy to convert CO2 into fuels, such as methane and methanol.

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Public lecture delivered by Prof. Ocone

On 16 January 2014 Prof. Raffaella Ocone was invited by the IET Scotland South West Network todeliver a lecture entitled ”Biochar Applications” . The lecture explored many applications of biochar and how its production can help in tacking the reduction of CO2 emissions.

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SCCS partners in £1.5m research collaboration

A £1.5 million research collaboration, involving Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer's group in our institute, is under way to investigate the fundamental processes involved in carbon dioxide injection and storage in sub-surface geological formations, and develop methodologies to support deployment of the climate change technology.

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Heriot-Watt Researchers Win Prestigious ASME Engineering Conference Prize

A paper presented by the Digital Engineering Research Group in the Institute of Mechanical, Energy and Process Engineering has won a prestigious best paper award at the ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences’ (IDETC) Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (CIE) in Portland, Oregon, USA. 

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Professor Ocone gives keynote speech

Heriot-Watt's Professor Raffaella Ocone was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the second European Network for the Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE) Conference which took place in the Leuven, Belgium, in September 2013. Professor Ocone's speech was entitled 'Ethical Reasoning in the Engineering Curriculum'.

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Double lecture schedule for Heriot-Watt Professor

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Holder of the Robert Buchan Chair at Heriot-Watt University, has given a series of lectures in Hong Kong and also participated at the International Standards meeting ISO/TC 265 CO2 Capture, Transportation and Geological Storage at China University of Petroleum in Beijing.

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UK universities develop tissue diagnostic tool to look inside patients’ bones

A hip fracture after the age of 65 could lead to death for one out of four people, but UK scientists are working on a method that will help diagnose weakened bones before they break and provide more effective treatment should a break happen.

Dr. Yuhang Chen leads the team at HWU in collaboration with scientists from three universities across the UK who are developing a framework that helps determine the quality and strength of an individual patient’s bone tissue. The research will gather clinical data using advanced imaging techniques that look inside bone on a microscopic level, compared with conventional radiography that simply measures bone mineral density (BMD).

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