The Carbon Enlightenment
The University of Heriot-Watt has been described as “the leading university in the UK for climate change research in the built environment,” and is home to several major research groups, including the UK's top Flood and Drainage Research Groups.…
The University of Heriot-Watt has been described as “the leading university in the UK for climate change research in the built environment,” and is home to several major research groups, including the UK's top Flood and Drainage Research Groups. The department of architectural engineering, for example, provides a range of services across the whole spectrum, advising developers, testing new materials and products, modelling high-tech systems, assessing renewable energy systems and researching different aspects of design like thermal comfort, drainage, materials and acoustics. It also works with many other departments including Petroleum Engineering and Life Sciences, which is developing solutions for reducing greenhouse gasses using algae.
Professor Patrick Corbett, head of the Energy Group at the university, also coined the phrase the 'Carbon Enlightenment'. “This provides a common vision for researchers to work effectively as a multi-disciplinary community,” says Roaf. “We are working to establish ourselves as a centre of excellence for everything which helps to reduce greenhouse gasses, from carbon capture and storage to solar technology research.” Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh are collaborating to build a centre for climate change research via their Joint Research Institutes in Energy (www.erp.ac.uk/enegy) and Subsurface Science and Engineering, ECOSSE, (www.erp.ac.uk/ecosse).
“The Enlightenment paved the way for the industrial revolution which accelerated carbon dioxide emissions,” says Roaf, “so now we are trying to do the reverse – for the new and post-industrial revolution, built on similar ‘connected’ thinking.”