The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London is one of the largest and most advanced departments in mechanical engineering in the UK, comprising of about 45 members of academic staff, 60 research staff and 100 research students working towards an MPhil or PhD.
In the most recent (2008) Research Assessment Exercise, the department was awarded 5*, the highest possible rating.
In recent " The Times Good University Guide" the department was ranked second in the UK mechanical engineering departments. The department was also ranked second or third in the most recent "Guardian" league tables for mechanical engineering and second in the "Independent" league table.
The mission of the department is to conduct world-class research and to respond to changing global requirements by developing new technologies and their application to the solution of practical problems. Our research activities stem from a strong base of fundamental engineering research that provides the foundation for practical applications in energy, transport, defence and health care sectors. The department also seeks to ensure that the resulting research developments impact upon undergraduate teaching so that taught courses remain stimulating and relevant.
The research activities in Mechanical Engineering are split into three divisions:
The Applied Mechanics division does analytical, experimental and numerically based research across a wide range of problems. Much of the research in the division is focused on applications and research groups within the division have been formed to concentrate on specific areas:
Dynamics of Machines and Structures
MECHANICS OF MATERIALS
The Mechanics of Materials division is one of the largest university research teams of its kind. A main theme of its research activities is the development of an understanding of how materials behave and how failures occur in materials, components and structures which are subjected to a variety of loading conditions. An underlying theme to our work is to undertake novel experimental measurements, especially using the concepts of continuum fracture mechanics, and then to use these results to develop and validate analytical and numerical models of the failure process. The division is concerned with investigating the behaviour of a wide range of materials, including metals, polymers, fibre- and nano-composites, adhesives, and even foods. Most of the research is of direct practical relevance and appreciable industrial support is provided for specific projects.
The thermofluids research in the department contributes to the development and application of computational and experimental techniques. Technological developments include novel computational methods and models to represent turbulent flows, in single phase and multi phase flows, combustion and the chemistry of practical fuels. Measurement techniques are being developed with an emphasis on non-intrusive optical methods and imaging techniques. Current practical application areas include reciprocating internal combustion engines, turbochargers and gas turbines as well as physiological flows, multiphase and chemically reacting flows and catalytic systems.