Our research specialties include Energy, Environment and Bio-sensing (EEBG); Marine; Solar; Environmental sensing; Biosensing; Nuclear Futures Institute. Expertise from these areas are incorporated into our teaching activities, giving students direct access to the latest Renewables research.
Energy, Environment and Bio-sensing (EEBG)
Research in EEBG focuses on developing new low carbon energy sources (solar, marine and nuclear) and sensing of biological and environmental effects. The group develops Internet of Things (IoT) wireless sensor networks for real work problems such as monitoring the effects of climate change. Bangor University has seen success in the award of a number of major grants, including via the European Commission (e.g. H2020 funded SUMCASTEC project (www.sumcastec.eu)), Welsh Government (e.g. SPARC II) and the UK government (e.g. the EPSRC CDT in Nuclear Energy Futures. The group works closely with the School of Natural Sciences in Bangor University and students often work on inter-disciplinary research activities and themes. Research collaborators in the UK include the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Cardiff, Swansea and Manchester Universities. The group also has international links in the USA, Israel, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, China and Portugal. A number of our students have also participated in research exchanges to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. EEBG comprises of four laboratories and one institute: the solar, marine, biosensing, and environmental sensing laboratories, and the nuclear futures institute.
Whilst new generations of PV technologies offer promises of lower energy production and possibilities to integrate into building integrated applications, or for energy harvesting such as for phone charging, the stability remains a critical issue for commercialisation as they must survive for 20+ years outdoors, without maintenance. Bangor University uses material analysis techniques to study causes of failure and use accelerated testing to predict stability in the future. To undertake such work, Bangor University has a suite of testing equipment and reliability software dedicated for studying reliability and performance of solar cells.
Bangor University is a member of the SPARC II consortium, a £7m WEFO funded project to develop new themes in solar/photovoltaic (PV) energy research. Bangor University also works closely with UK industry, in particular in the area of concentrated PV (CPV). Funding from UKRI is being used to study how large concentrator optics can be used to focus light up to 1000 times onto a small semiconductor solar cell (typically less than 1 cm²).
We conduct a wide range of research activities in marine renewable energy, and are world leaders in specific areas:
- Wave/current interaction in resource assessment and characterization.
- The impacts of tidal energy conversion on sediment dynamics and morphodynamics.
- The opportunities and challenges associated with developing less energetic tidal energy resources.
We specialise in the engineering aspects of low carbon energy generation, the Energy Environment and Bio-sensing group focuses on developing low carbon energy sources as well as sensors that help understand the biological and environmental effects of solar and marine energy production.
Our research excellence is evidenced by many peer-reviewed international journal publications, involvement in many European and UKRI research projects, and leadership in many international organizations and conferences that explore ocean renewable energy, such as the AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting and the EGU General Assembly.
We develop laboratory-on-chip technologies for diagnostics and biological cell treatment. Notably, our groups pursue the integration of high frequency microelectronics (Bi-CMOS), microfluidics and microimaging technologies onto a single chip. This is being applied to sorting and neutralization of cancer stems cells. The idea is to integrate the technology into electrosurgical probes for cancer and regenerative medicine in collaboration with an industry leader in endoscopy surgery technology, such as Creo Medical Ltd. (http://investors.creomedical.com).
We are working on bespoke real-time sensors for the monitoring of pollution levels, environmental conditions and manufacturing processors. Our research group has introduced the world’s first self-sustained radio-tracking device that can be attached to a honey bee (http://www.thebangoraye.com/bbc-countryfile-visits-north-wales/). Such devices harness the wing power generated by honey and bumblebees, which can be converted into a suitable signal for detection by drones flying above the target insect. Researchers are also working with the agritech sector to develop solutions to support the integration of Internet of Things wireless sensor networks in smart hives, farms or greenhouses. Low Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) boards will be deployed in conjunction with self-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors to autonomously monitor temperature, light level, humidity, CO2, hive infrared imaging and vibroacoustic signals.
Nuclear Futures Institute
We are also home to the Nuclear Futures Institute. We have nuclear decommissioning and nuclear new-build projects on our doorstep, and an increasing number of businesses from the nuclear supply chain becoming active locally, we are focusing on existing and emerging nuclear power generation technologies, including Pressurised Water Reactors (PWR), (Advanced) Boiling Water Reactors ((A)BWR) and Small Modular Reactors (SMR). Our academics are helping to develop future generations of Boiling Water Reactor technology.
Nuclear expertise and academic capacity at Bangor University is expanding rapidly with the appointment of international research ‘stars’, plus their supporting research teams, funded by the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru programme and the European Regional Development Fund. More…