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We undertake research into a wide range of engineering subjects, from materials engineering and energy to acoustics, built environment, manufacturing, electronics and nanotechnology. We take an interdisciplinary approach to our research and have close collaborations between staff in different groups. Our research underpins our teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

This prospectus page focusses on research in Built Environment, Manufacturing, Electronics & Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and there are separate prospectus pages for the Materials Engineering, Energy, Environment, Acoustics and Design groups.

The Built Environment group has a particular interest in environmental and social sustainability in the design and construction of the built environment. The group members are from diverse backgrounds including architecture, engineering, social science, planning and design.

In the area of Manufacturing we undertake research at the interface between design and manufacturing, for example in product development processes and design margins. We also undertake research in additive manufacturing, and diffusion bonding.

The Electronics and BioEngineering group spans diverse areas and includes broad themes of telecommunications, nanoelectronics and microsystems, bioelectronics and bio-inspired technologies.

The Nanotechnology group focusses on the revolutionary opportunities associated with nanomaterials and nanoscale engineering and works closely with the School of Life, Health, and Chemical Sciences.

Members of the Engineering group contribute extensively to the Open University’s teaching on a large range of undergraduate and post graduate modules. We make extensive use of the Open Engineering Laboratory to allow our distance learning students. More details about our work is given under the groupings listed on the right. Find out more about current PhD studentships opportunities:

Key facts

  • We undertake research in a range of engineering subjects relevant to the interests of our academic staff
  • Sustainability is a key theme underpinning much of our research
  • We work with professional institutions and standards bodies to influence future standards in engineering We welcome applications from practicing engineers working in industry.


  • Fablab for rapid prototyping, laser cutting, CNC machining and 3D scanning
  • Laboratory facilities for diffusion bonding
  • Open Digital, Design and Engineering Studio
  • Open Engineering Laboratory.

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Helen Lockett
+44 (0)1908 653040

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.