Innovation UK > News > Innovation UK Vol6-1 > The University of Surrey - A blend of the best

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The University of Surrey - A blend of the best

As a global university with a world-class research profile, the University of Surrey offers a fusion of academic knowledge, professional insight and can-do confidence

We are a global university with a world-class research profile and an enterprising spirit. Inventive and forward-thinking, at the University of Surrey we have a track record of doing things differently and achieving outstanding results. The University of Surrey is a community of 2,500 staff and 14,500 students who together make discoveries that change the world, and ensure future generations have the knowledge and skills to use them well.

Our distinctive blend of academic capability, professional insight, and can-do confidence is what underpins our remarkable success in becoming a world-class centre for excellence in research and innovation:

Two world-class Industrial Doctoral Training Centres

University of Surrey established two new multi-million-pound Industrial Doctoral Training Centres in 2009 to train over 100 researchers at doctoral level (EngD) over the next five years. They are two of 17 industrial doctoral centres, announced nationally, that will equip doctoral research engineers with ?state-of-the-art? research expertise and the necessary business skills to turn pioneering ideas into products and services, thereby boosting the impact of the University of Surrey on the UK?s economy. The centres offer an exciting focus for companies to work in partnership with the University of Surrey in addressing established areas of national need by transcending the boundaries of traditional subject disciplines.

The first centre, Sustainability for Engineering and Energy Systems, led by Dr Lucia Elghali (E-mail: ) of our Centre for Environmental Strategy, builds upon the highly successful Engineering Doctorate in Environmental Technology at the University of Surrey, which has been described by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as ?an excellent EngD Centre that should act as an exemplar to others?.

Working to meet the growing challenges in increasing the sustainability of industrial practices in the UK and its energy systems in particular, the Doctoral Centre takes research to the next level, offering a multi-disciplinary programme that capitalises upon research expertise drawn from across the University of Surrey.

The second centre at the University of Surrey, Micro and NanoMaterials and Technologies, led by Professor Julie Yeomans (E-mail: ) of our Surrey Materials Institute, offers solutions to academically challenging and industrially relevant processing-microstructure-property relationship problems, keystones of the discipline. Research engineers within the new centre work with internationally leading academics and have access to a suite of state-of-the-art characterisation instrumentation, enabling them to experience valuable hands-on experience that allows them to translate their research back into the industrial environment.

Relevant, world-leading research

The University of Surrey is bringing the benefits of its research to many spheres of life ? helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which rates the research quality of all UK universities, demonstrated that the University of Surrey continues to consolidate its strength as a world-class research-intensive institution. Eighty-eight per cent of the research activity at the University of Surrey is rated as either ?world class? or ?internationally recognised?, with four areas of research activity in the top 10 and a further nine areas ranked in the top 20. The activities of 425 researchers from across all four faculties were submitted in 14 subject areas. Results show that almost half of the assessed research staff at the University of Surrey work in areas that have been ranked in the top 10.

Work-Ready graduates

The University of Surrey attracts high-quality students who, whilst with us, work alongside academics who are amongst the very best in their field. Exposure to the top-flight academic scholars, built-in innovation and enterprise coaching and time spent working in industry through our distinctive Professional Training year, enable University of Surrey students to develop the work-readiness that has been giving them an edge in the jobs market for over a decade and making the University of Surrey top university for jobs in England.

Sector leading knowledge exchange

The University of Surrey and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have a £10m agreement to collaborate in translating the results of research into innovation that makes a real-world difference. The initiative is supported by a £4m Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) from the EPSRC and an additional £6m funding from industrial partners and the University of Surrey. The joint Surrey/NPL team focuses upon three specific areas of technology, each with the potential to create transformational benefits for the UK economy and society:

  • Communications and Signal Processing ? including advances in mobile communications and internet connectivity.
  • Next Generation Materials and Characterisation ? with applications in automotive, aerospace and the growing sector of space and satellite engineering.
  • Nanotechnology and Photonics ? covering the latest in high-speed optical communications and the next phase of miniaturisation in the semiconductor industry.

Covering the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2012, the Knowledge Transfer Account will provide matched funding to accelerate the exploitation of Surrey?s EPSRC-funded research by industry. For more information contact us at

Creating new industry and new jobs

The University of Surrey has an exceptional track record in commercialising its research and bears the record for delivering the largest cash spin-out from any UK university.

Internationally renowned Research Park

A major centre of excellence in technology, science and engineering, the Surrey Research Park, owned and developed by the University of Surrey as a 70 acre (28.33 ha) low-density development close to its campus in Guildford, is widely regarded as the best of its kind. Large landscaped areas and water features provide a serene and tranquil backdrop for over 130 companies engaged in a broad spectrum of research, development and design activities. The Park is located in the thriving knowledge-based economy of the UK?s South East, close to London with access to a well-qualified work force and exceptional communications and travel networks.

Work with us

The agenda at the University of Surrey is ambitious and exciting. The University of Surrey is committed to developments that are environmentally sustainable, financially robust and that increase our international impact. We are looking for partners with whom we can do business and we hope you?ll consider collaborating with us. ?Surrey conducts the most efficient research of any UK university.? The Times Higher Educational Supplement

Enterprise recruits top graduates from the University of Surrey

?Enterprise Rent-A-Car is one of the largest recruiters in the UK and recruits from a wide range of degree disciplines. Over the years we have built a close working relationship with the University of Surrey. Services that the Faculties, Students? Union and Careers Centre provide along with the academic tradition of the university have allowed Enterprise Rent-A-Car to recruit top-quality graduates with proven academic ability tied in with the necessary soft skills that are required to be successful in business.?
Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Case Study: EADS Astrium acquires Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

In 2008, Astrium, Europe?s leading space company, acquired Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), the innovative University of Surrey spin-out company that specialises in the design and manufacture of small satellites and subsystems. In January 2010, SSTL won a £212m contract to produce satellites for the Galileo Satellite programme. Lord Drayson, Science & Innovation Minister, said: ?This is great news for SSTL and the British space industry. The contract for 14 satellites will provide approximately ?236m (£212m) of work for SSTL and cement their position as key player in this booming industry.?

SSTL built its global reputation in small satellites through the development of innovative technologies which have lowered the cost of operational space missions with real-world applications, such as GIOVE-A, providing in-orbit validation for the Galileo programme, and the RapidEye and DMC constellations providing commercial Earth observation services. The deal has enabled SSTL to retain its independence whilst benefiting from access to the resources it needs tosupport its growth.

Astrium is a world leader in space transportation, spacecraft and satellite services, working on Ariane 5, the Columbus space laboratory and the International Space Station. It develops leading-edge geostationary telecommunications satellites, and the Skynet 5 secure communications system for the UK Ministry of Defence. SSTL will complement Astrium?s existing space capabilities that include space transportation, satellites and services. Through their purchase of SSTL, Astrium benefits from collaboration over increased levels of research into space technology and systems, and also support from the University of Surrey in staff training and development.

The deal has also launched a long-term research collaboration between the parties which supports the already strong representation that Guildford and the South-East have in the aeronautical and space industries. This centre of excellence will now be further developed to help the region to benefit from the commitments to space made by industry and the government.

?Surrey is the number one UK University for Space.?
François Auque, President and CEO of EADS Astrium

University of Surrey
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
Research & Innovation
Tel: 01483 689321

Added the 27 April 2010 in category Innovation UK Vol6-1

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