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The research within the School of Applied Science, Computing and Engineering brings together several strands of inter-related study which is of national and international standing. Key themes are materials and manufacturing (including advanced composites, large scale precision optics, water soluble polymers and photovoltaics), internet technologies and communication, and engineering (fluid dynamics).

The Centre’s focus is on applied research producing results which relate actively to a wide range of industry sectors. Staff and research students are based at the University’s main Plas Coch Campus in Wrexham, and at the specialist facilities in St Asaph (hosting large scale precision optics and photovoltaics research) and Broughton (hosting the advanced composite materials research).

Their work has also been published in a number of books and book chapters including “Ultra-Realistic Imaging – Advanced Techniques in Analogue and Digital Colour Holography”, “Holography and Philately: Postage Stamps with Holograms”, “Practical Holography”, and “Expanding the Frontiers of Visual Analytics and Visualization”. They are also published in a number of chapters within the Royal Society of Chemistry book entitled ‘Materials Challenges: inorganic photovoltaic solar energy’.

The School has published research papers, journal articles and presented at conferences on many areas including holography and medical holography, internet based communication in healthcare, solar cells, reflectance imaging, imaging use in healthcare, polymeric composites, chemical vapour deposition, film photovoltaics, post-mortem science, product design and manufacturing, and solar energy systems.

The research team have presented talks all over the world including at the European Workshop of Metal Organic Vapour Phase Epitaxy in Sweden, the 29th EU-PVSEC conference in Amsterdam, the European Materials Research Society in Warsaw, the 11th Photovoltaic Science, Applications and Technology Conference in the UK, the Materials Research Society in Boston, the SOLARTR-3 SolarTR-3 Solar Electricity Conference in Turkey, and the EcoBuild Conference in London.

The school has also attracted a number of commercial contracts in the areas of composites, photovoltaics, industrial coatings, solar energy, sustainable manufacturing, and low carbon energy.

The area of built environment has been involved with preserving properties with the help of their research in speculative housing of Richard Owen, (a Welsh architect who was instrumental in the development of homes in Liverpool in late nineteenth century).


Research groups which have a focus on specific issues include:

Advanced Composite Training and Development Centre - Located on the Hawarden Industrial Park in Broughton, the Centre was formed as a partnership between Glyndŵr University, Airbus, Coleg Cambria and the Welsh Government. The Centre trains Airbus employees in composite manufacturing skills vital to the aerospace industry and leads research around developing faster manufacturing and processing techniques to optimise the weight and design of aircraft, thereby improving efficiency and performance.

Projects can vary from short term consultancy to more long term collaborations through schemes such as the Technology Strategy Board Collaborative R&D, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Research Council funded collaborations, European Union funding and contract research.

Analytical Decision Making Research Group (ADM) - This inter-disciplinary research group combines the expertise within the University’s North Wales Business School and its School of Applied Science, Computing and Engineering. Their focus is on improving business decision making using mathematical decision and ranking methods and their interests span a wide range of computational engineering topics from business performance and economic impact through to sustainability and lean construction processes.

Centre for Water Soluble Polymers (CWSP) - The Centre for Water Soluble Polymers has well-equipped research laboratories where it is possible to practise a number of specialist techniques including gel permeation chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, isotherrmal titration calorimetry, controlled stress and controlled strain rheometry, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, photon correlation spectroscopy, doppler velocimetry, and laser diffraction

Computational Mechanics, Manufacturing simulation, Design and Optimisation Group (CoMManDO)
This group’s interest covers a large scope of computational engineering areas including simulation and analysis, computer aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM), computational Intelligence and algorithm development and application.

ARCLab (Applied Research in Computing Laboratory) is the latest evolutionary development in Computing research. ARCLab is focused on specific Computing and Computer Science research and they host the biennial ITA conference series.

Research areas covered include Networking and Security, Computer-aided Design and Engineering Software, Human Computer Interaction and Affective Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and other future technologies. As well as research focused on one area, many projects are collaborations.

The Centre for Ultra-realistic Imaging (CURI) opened in June 2015 and is based at Glyndwr University, St. Asaph as a new cross-disciplinary facility. Its main function is to develop research and education in holographic and interferometric imaging, using a range of innovative teaching and learning techniques.

The Centre’s industrial laboratories include fine-optics and laser labs, processing dark rooms, a metrology centre, and state-of-the-art facilities for both digital and conventional full-colour holographic imaging. Emerging technology capabilities include: three-dimensional video displays for real-time imaging applications, eco lighting and flat screen displays, design and manufacture of RGB laser based digital holographic printing, computer modelling, design and the manufacture of holographic optical elements and photonic devices (e.g. gratings for measuring vibrations).

Ultra-realistic imaging is a term used to signify a type of imaging which is so accurate that the unaided human observer is not able to distinguish the reproduced image from an original object. The most successful technique of accomplishing ultra-realistic imaging to date has been shown to be holography. High quality replication of full-colour holograms is very important in the commercialisation of display holography. The team are currently well advanced with the construction of a CW replication system using state-of-the-art solid-state lasers.

The Centre has been involved in the development of colour holographic optical element screens for an autostereoscopic visualisation system for surgeons. The medical imaging system was primarily intended for endoscopic surgery and developed with the US Company, Absolute Imaging Inc.

In partnership with Glyndŵr University’s Advanced Composite Training and Development Centre, Glyndŵr University, St Asaph also offers design and prototyping capability for optics and associated components in advanced composite materials. These are suitable for a range of applications requiring high strength-to-mass ratio, including space instrumentation, astronomy, defence systems and particular commercial applications.

All the Research Centres have regular seminar programmes throughout the year, see our events for further details.