Review praises impact of ‘world leading’ BRE Trust funded research

BRE greenAn independent review has vindicated the BRE Trust’s investment in its four UK based University Centres of Excellence.

Results from the Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranking, which measures the quality of a university’s research output, found that BRE Trust funded research is world leading and has an impact.

The BRE Trust, the largest UK charity dedicated specifically to research and education in the built environment, funds four UK University Centres: BRE Centre for Energy Utilisation, University of Strathclyde; BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, University of Edinburgh; BRE Centre for Computational Analysis, Cardiff University and BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, University of Bath.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranking is based on three elements which are combined to produce an overall profile - these are quality of research outputs, the research environment and the social, economic and cultural impact of research.

The ranking reveals that:

  • Cardiff University’s Civil & Construction Engineering faculty where the BRE Centre is located is ranked number one in the UK. 97 per cent of its research is of world-leading or internationally excellent quality. Its research received a 100 per cent score in terms of impact (social, economic, cultural).
  • The University of Bath’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering department, where the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials is based, also achieved first place in the ranking for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning with its impact cited as a key factor

  • 94 per cent of the overall research activity in Edinburgh University’s Research Partnership in Engineering (ERPE) where the BRE Centre is located is world-leading or internationally excellent
  • Strathclyde University’s joint research which includes Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (where the BRE Trust’s Centre is based) ; Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management; Chemical and Process Engineering; and Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering has been rated fourth in the UK
  • CEO of BRE Dr Peter Bonfield said: “We created the BRE Trust Centres of Excellence with the goal of developing a world leading programme of research that supports and better built environment and infrastructure. The excellent rankings of our Centres following the tough and rigorous REF process unequivocally demonstrate the outstanding leadership and work conducted by them.

    “We are very proud of our professors, academic staff and PhD students and offer them and their universities our sincere congratulations on these performances. We look forward to continuing our most constructive work together.”

    Since the BRE Trust research programme was created in 2006, it has funded over 140 PhD studentships, 75 staff and a portfolio of more than £40m research which has been completed or is currently underway.

    Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, vice-chancellor of the University of Bath, added: “The University has performed outstandingly well. It is clear that our research is very strong in delivering real-world impact - making a real difference to our world whether that is economic, social or cultural.

    “Overall our scores for the reach and significance of the impact of our research show this to be a particular area of strength for Bath. We are very grateful to the ongoing support we receive from the BRE Trust in helping us to deliver such outstanding research impact.”

    Set up in 2002 to advance knowledge, innovation and communication for public benefit, the BRE Trust uses all profits made by the BRE Group to fund new research and education programmes that will help to meet its goal of building a better world together.

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