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UOA15 – General Engineering

This Unit is underpinned by research in Engineering, Interactive Media, Security and Modelling & Simulation to deliver engineered solutions to real-world problems. It is coupled to the larger interdisciplinary groups of SIMBIOS and CCSB (environmental and biological systems modelling and simulation), UWTC (engineering research and consultancy), WhiteSpace (interactive media, computer arts & games, psychology, sociology) and I-SPI (Investigation, Security, Policing and Intelligence).


For Engineering our strategy is to link with areas where we have expertise, especially in environmental sciences and systems biology, and deploy that expertise in these areas to maximize impact. This includes environmental sustainability modelling linked to interactive visualisation for engineering sustainable urban systems.

In Interactive Media our strategy is to integrate the disciplines of computer arts, interactive computer graphics and psychology to design (arts, psychology), develop (arts, graphics) and evaluate (psychology) computer-based solutions to industry problems.

In Security, in collaboration with the Home Office, we translate our expertise in materials sciences to develop novel screening processes to recover forensic evidence such as fingermarks and shoe prints from surfaces that are difficult to work with such as soil and fabric. We also have a nascent cyber-security group with expertise in digital forensics and penetration testing.

In Modelling & Simulation we develop data- and process-driven mathematical and computational approaches to model a wide range of systems and align these to the larger interdisciplinary groups.

Exemplar case studies

Case Study 1: Virtual agent design for self-service transactions

In partnership with NCR, a world leader in consumer transaction technologies, the University worked on the development and evaluation of self-service checkouts (SSCO).  NCR has more than 100,000 SSCO units enabling 14 million transactions every day.

Case Study 2: Interactive Visualisation of Sustainability Indicators for Urban Planning

The University partnered Dundee City Council to develop an interactive computational modelling and visualisation tool to support the planning process of the Dundee Waterfront project, a 30-year £1B investment into Dundee. This development includes Dundee attracting the Victoria and Albert Museum as an international centre for Design (Abertay is a partner in the V&A project).