Research Priorities

Our engineers shape the future. From developing life-saving medical appliances to combating the effects of climate change, UNSW engineers are innovative and always ready to take on the most challenging issues of our time. Our multidisciplinary approach draws on experts from across the university and is supported by internal and external partners, as well as industry in Australia and abroad.

Biomedical and health
Civil environment
Enabling technology
Research Centres, Institutes and Initiatives
Key research areas by schools
Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering

Bionics, biomonitoring and modelling

  • Biostable implantable bionics
  • Ambulatory monitoring
  • Telehealth management of chronic disease
  • Image processing
  • Computational modelling

Biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

  • Biosynthetic polymers
  • Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • Cell and tissue responses to medical devices
  • Nanomolecular medicine

Find out more by visiting the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering’s website.

Chemical Sciences and Engineering

Polymers & colloids/ health

  • Advanced light-controlled polymerisation
  • Biofilm control and pathogen detection
  • Immunotherapy and analysis for food allergens

Environmental technology

  • Carbon dioxide capture
  • Water treatment, resource recovery and reuse


  • Conversion of carbon dioxide/photocatalysis
  • Energy storage
  • Materials modelling and design

Find out more by visiting the School of Chemical Engineering's website.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Infrastructure and construction

  • Concrete and steel standards
  • Soil condition management
  • Sustainable construction modelling

Water and sustainability

  • Clean water in developing nations
  • Managing water as a resource
  • Coastal erosion and climate change


  • Network congestion minimisation
  • Ubiquitous positioning

Find out more by visiting the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s website.

Computer Science and Engineering

Data analytics and digital services

  • Analytics of services and internet of things
  • Declarative orchestration of cloud services
  • Scalable processing for big data

Intelligent and autonomous systems

  • Machine learning and reasoning in robotics
  • Intelligent agents in robotics
  • Medical image understanding

Software and systems

  • Formally verified L4 microkernel
  • Program analysis tools and compilers
  • High-level language for GPU programming

Security and trustworthy system

  • Energy-efficient sensing and communication
  • Nano-scale wireless networking
  • Network security hardware design
  • Security mechanisms for Internet of things

Find out more by visiting the School of Computer Science and Engineering’s website.

Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications

Energy systems

  • Power electronics & drive systems
  • Australian Energy Research Institute (AERI)
  • Energy & environmental markets


  • 5G mobile and wireless networks
  • Optoelectronic transducers and fibre devices
  • Satellite systems

Nano/micro systems

  • Quantum computing
  • Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Nano and micro-fabrication and integrated circuits

Signal processing, systems and control

  • Highly scalable media compression, neuroimaging
  • Paralinguistic and behaviour
  • Automatic control systems

Find out more by visiting the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications’s website.

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Combustion and solar thermal energy

  • Engine combustion modelling
  • Laser diagnostics in engines
  • Concentrated solar thermal power

Advanced manufacturing

  • Precision and nanotechnologies
  • Multi-scale fabrication
  • Sustainable manufacturing

Vibration and aero-acoustics

  • Acoustic-structure interaction
  • Noise control solutions

Find out more by visiting the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’s website.

Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering

Mine geomechanics

  • Ground support technologies
  • Ground control – rockburst and coal burst
  • Mine subsidence behaviour and prediction

Sustainable mining practices

  • Mine site water, groundwater, seepage barriers
  • Remote sensing
  • Climate change - adaptation and mining, carbon management

Mining systems and mineral processing

  • Froth flotation
  • Longwall top coal caving
  • Off earth mining

Next generation reservoir engineering

  • Multiphysics (THMC) modelling
  • Multiscale data assimilation
  • Unconventional reservoir engineering

Unconventional geomechanics

  • Instabilities across scales
  • High temperature/pressure experiments
  • Drilling and stimulation for extreme conditions

Integrated digital and conventional core analysis

  • Micro-CT assisted petrophysical interpretation
  • Multi-scale multi-phase flow
  • Geodynamic pore-scale rock-typing

Find out more by visiting the School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering’s website.

Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

Advanced photovoltaic concepts

  • High-efficiency tandem-on-silicon PV devices
  • New PV materials (kesterites and perovskites)
  • Third-generation PV concepts

Commercial photovoltaics

  • High-efficiency silicon devices
  • Defect imaging and passivation
  • Commercial PV manufacturing

Distributed energy systems and policy

  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy resource modelling
  • Energy policy

Find out more by visiting the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering’s website.