Grand challenges in research

Our research grand challenges combine expertise from across the University to address key global challenges.

Our challenges build upon the priority areas identified by our faculties and drive forward the development of cross-cutting interdisciplinary research themes.

Science delivering global wellbeing

Scientific discoveries have impacted on our lives in a dramatic way.

At Surrey, we are contributing to this grand challenge through our research on the management of complex diseases, understanding the genetic make-up of species through whole genome analysis and tackling issues such as antimicrobial resistance and climate change.

Equally, our research on renewable energy, satellite surveillance, smart electronics, new ways of living in a digital age and understanding sleep and circadian processes provide new ways to change our global lifestyle and impact on the future of mankind. 

Sustainable cities, communities and economies

The world will need to be able to support a population of nearly 10 billion by 2050, with more than 60 per cent of people living in cities or urban areas.

In order to sustain this growth, cities have to become more energy and resource efficient, communities more interactive, economies able to respond to global economic pressures more effectively and security of food and water supply becomes imperative.

At Surrey, our multidisciplinary approaches are addressing these challenges through a broad range of activities in our priority research areas. These include:

  • Sustainable tourism and enterprise
  • 'Water-related activities', such as water quality and health, sustainable water, wastewater and desalination treatment processes
  • The sustainability and resilience of environments
  • Earth observation and understanding climate change impacts
  • Nuclear science
  • Innovations in health
  • Disease mechanisms and management
  • Made-to-measure materials

Ultimately, the socio-political agenda needed to deliver this grand challenge will rely on appropriate leadership and this area is being developed more fully through our research priority in leadership and decision making.

Connecting societies and cultures

During the last 20 years, we have experienced a revolution in the way individuals and societies communicate with each other.

The pace of technical innovation will revolutionise the ways in which societies function at all levels, through the Internet of Things and next-generation network technologies like 5G.

Surrey is a pioneer in communication technologies and is applying its technological flair through its innovations in health, connected systems and innovative methodologies priority areas.

The influence and opportunity of greater connectivity on cultures is being realised through our priorities in performance, visual and audio analysis and languages and culture, all of which will impact on new ways of living in the digital age.

Explore our research

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