Our internationally acclaimed research is helping to make a real impact in the real world.

Founded in 1838 by the celebrated Victorian engineer Sir George Cayley to promote innovation in science and the arts, today we continue our long-standing heritage of encouraging public engagement with, and public benefit of, our research and innovation activities.

Research excellence

We are proud of our world-leading and internationally excellent research, underlined by our performance in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 assessment, the five-yearly national assessment of research quality and impact of research in UK universities.

Submitting in 13 subject areas, we achieved ratings of international recognition, excellence or world-leading leading quality for some 90% of our submitted work. The results affirm our world-leading position in Art and Design, and Media and Communications, as well as internationally excellent and world-leading performances in English, Architecture and the Built Environment, and Allied Health.

Global themes

Our research addresses truly global themes, contributing to the solution of real-world problems and enhancing and enriching economic, health, social and cultural life.

Areas where our work has had significant impact include: depression; Sickle Cell Disease awareness; management of aviation delay costs; motion sickness in the space and defence industries; internet fraud; policy and international relations in the global context; development of a portable device to diagnose the Ebola virus and a BAFTA-winning film which explored the impact of genocide in Indonesia.

Global collaboration

Every college of the University is actively involved in collaborations with both academic institutions and businesses overseas.

The International Eco-Cities Initiative is a research network exploring contemporary urban sustainability, governance and innovation involving collaboration across 5 national research teams: China, France, Germany, Netherlands and the UK. The transnational comparative analysis covers Ningbo, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Wuhan (China) and Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Hamburg & Manchester (Europe) and is part of an EU-China collaborative research programme on the green economy supported by €1.1 million in funding.

SESAR is the technological pillar of Europe’s ambitious Single European Sky initiative, coordinating most European R&D activities in air traffic management (ATM). It is one of the most innovative infrastructure projects launched by the EU, developing and deploying new technologies to meet the expected growth of aviation by 2035 and beyond, building Europe’s intelligent transport system, and connecting cities and citizens, while increasing safety and reducing the climate change impact of aviation. The University of Westminster’s ATM Group, led by Professor Andrew Cook, has won the €4m contract to run the European Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) for SESAR for the next four years. A key focus is better integration of industrial and exploratory research, as a ‘push-pull’ process. The KTN will develop a long-term concepts roadmap, devise a new ‘one-stop’ European knowledge hub, support the main annual European ATM conference, run twenty innovation workshops, host a series of summer schools, and fund a range of PhDs and new teaching/training initiatives supporting student mobility. Visit Engage to read more about this interdisciplinary network, its activities, consortium members and 50+ industry partners.

Newton Funded Project – Innovative Technology for Wastewater Treatment is a collaborative research project between the University of Westminster and Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (AEA), to develop a novel microbial fuel cell (MFC) system for industrial wastewater treatment. The project addresses the challenge of water scarcity and water quality in Egypt, and has the potential to positively impact the economy and social welfare of both countries by mitigating the pollution of water bodies from contaminated wastewater while providing water for reuse.

The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) has won a £600,000 funding bid from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a three-year project ‘Documentary of the Imagination’, with Professor Joshua Oppenheimer as Principal Investigator and Professor Rosie Thomas as Co-Investigator.

Processing Memory: Heritage, Industry, and Environmental Racism in the American Gulf States is a British Academy/Leverhulme funded project led by Jessica Rapson at King’s College London. The research team, including Dr Lucy Bond of Westminster, will untangle the how and why of heritage industry attempts to mask the connection between racial inequality and environmental destruction in the American Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas).

Community-led Upgrading for Self-Reliance in South Africa (ESRC) is a project led by Dr Maria Christina Georgiadou (University of Westminster) and Dr Claudia Loggia (University of KwaZulu-Natal). The project will focus on the processes and techniques involved in ‘upgrading’ slums in and around Durban. The overarching aim is to investigate current practices of community involvement in improving their homes and neighbourhoods in order to formulate integrated and collaborative strategies that suit local needs.

The University of Westminster will be leading a project in collaboration with the Jharkhand State Urban Planning and Management Institute (JUPMI), as part of the programme Smart Urban Development in Indian States – funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID). The JUPMI was recently established to strengthen institutional capacity in pursuit of Jharkhand’s urban growth and smart city development strategy. Ranchi, the state capital city, is part of the government of India’s Smart City Mission. The University, together with external partners, will provide expertise and technical training on institutional governance, urban planning, infrastructure management and financing, and sustainable development. Simon Joss will contribute academic input on smart cities, drawing on a comparative case study of UK smart city initiatives as well as a recent global smart city survey.

Film Censorship in India and Britain: Colonial Convergences and Contemporary Cleavages (British Academy). This research will, through comparative method, make a timely intervention in terms of policy making for film classification in India and Britain.This comparative study led by Guy Osbourn (University of Westminster) and Arpan Banerjee (O.P. Jindal Global University), will initially comprise doctrinal legal research and analysis of legal materials to establish a legal history of film classification and censorship in the two jurisdictions. It will then focus upon case studies in the two jurisdictions, a comparison that has hitherto not been made, using underused archival sources and interviews, to offer proposals for reform.

EU funded projects

The University has won many prestigious research and collaboration grants from the EU under schemes including Horizon 2020, Framework Programme 7 (FP7), European Research Council, Marie Curie Actions, Erasmus+, Lifelong Learning Programme, and TEMPUS. For further information visit our EU-funded projects page.