Division of Engineering and Food Science

Teaching in food and nutrition, consumer science, civil engineering, and environmental management.

About us

The Division of Engineering and Food Science delivers innovative teaching in the natural and built environment, and food science disciplines. This includes subjects such civil engineering, consumer science, environmental engineering and management, as well as food and nutrition. 

Our degrees are designed to challenge you, as well as being industrially relevant. Our undergraduate degrees include work placements.  Our staff actively research their field, and are sought-after to consult for major companies in the UK and internationally.

In addition to work placements, we give our students an excellent practical grounding through laboratory projects, and field visits. Plus we have relevant input from people in the business. This gives you real-world experience, all of which leads towards your employability.

Our focus on blending scientific principles and practical techniques means you gain the key skills you need. This ensures that our highly qualified graduates leave us with a clear understanding of the theory and practice in their chosen field.

Whatever you study with us, we aim to prepare you for challenges of the future, and to help you develop fulfilling and rewarding careers. 

Head of Division

Dr Cornelia Doerich-Stavridis

Study with us

Postgraduate Taught Degrees

MSc Construction Management

We currently do not offer any postgraduate taught degrees in Food Science.

If you are interested in postgraduate study in that area, why not review the areas of Postgraduate Research? 

Postgraduate Research Areas

  • Design and Environmental Impact  Engineering and Food Science
  • Energy Policy and Governance
  • Food Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Pro-Environmental Consumer Behaviour
  • Structural Analysis and Design
  • Sustainable development


All our students make extensive use of the Division's well-equipped laboratories, which provide practical experience to all our students.

The Consumer Experience Laboratory is unique in Scotland and comprises of 12 climatically controlled booths designed for the sensory analysis of food and drink products.

The Process Lab is used for pilot-scale food manufacture and is unique in Scotland.  It has been designed to industry standards, and has a controlled entry system (to simulate the food industry) and features a range of equipment:

  • Our UHT pilot scale equipment, our cheese vat and homogenisers, the pilot brewing facility, spray dryer, oven and other equipment.
  • We also have a Rheometer, Texture Analyser and Particle Size analyser, and teaching / industrial kitchens for training students who want to pursue careers in Home Economics and New Product Development.

Our chemical science laboratories are equipped with AAS, GCMS’s, LCMSMS, HPLC’s and other chemical sciences mainly dealing with the extraction and purification of compounds regularly found within food and drink products.

Those students studying Fitness, Nutrition and Health have access to the facilities provided by the Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences.


Three taste testing windows with a person behind each window offering food tasting

More Facilities

Our geotechnical engineering laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art triaxial, direct shear, consolidation and permeability equipment which offers a wide range of sample preparation support tools suitable for aggregates ranging from clay to gravel. Our laboratory is also equipped with tools suitable for geo-environmental studies such as carbon sequestration in soil. The laboratory is equipped with in-situ soil sampling tools providing support for successful soil sampling field campaigns. 

Our unique geology laboratory contains a wide range of minerals and rock types present in the UK and internationally. Detailed bedrock and sediments geological description available in the lab facilitates detailed and precise geological studies in national and international scales. 

Our structural engineering laboratory covers an extensive material testing laboratory that demonstrates experiments with structural steel, concrete, timber and engineered wood products (EWPs), road materials, etc. It is also equipped with state-of-the-art experimental apparatus that demonstrates engineering principles though structural elements’ small-scale testing. Structural Engineering analysis software, such as Robot (Autodesk), and Finite Analysis software, such as Abaqus (Simulia), are also available to our students in our modern computer labs, installed with high-spec computers.     

The highway materials lab is well equipped with industry standard testing apparatus. This allows students to carry out experiments to British Standards (BSI) requirements as well as undertake other project and research work involving various highway materials.

The GIS computer lab offers specialist software such as AutoDesk Building Design Suite including Civil3D, Robot structural analysis and Revit to support graphic and engineering drawing portfolios. N4Ce Lite software for processing Land Surveying projects and the US EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) to predict the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. Additionally, Matlab is provided to support student project work.

The Public Health laboratory and associated workshops are staffed by experienced well-qualified technicians working in unison with a dedicated research team. The laboratory is a fully equipped environmental chemistry and bioenergy production research facility containing a wide range of analytical and field equipment with a focus on treatment processes and resource recovery technologies for waste, wastewaters (including surface water) and green infrastructure.

Abertay's Civil Engineering Workshop.

Our Research

The research work in the Division is a significant contributor to the University’s research strategy areas of Environment and Society.

Our Engineering research aims to provide technological and sustainable solutions to contemporary problems. The Urban Water Technology Centre (UTWC) is one of the most active areas in the University. Focusing on knowledge transfer and applied research, UTWC also provides services to the environment, water and manufacturing industries.  Other areas include sustainable urban drainage systems, anaerobic digestion technologies, sustainability assessment and decision support tools, geotechnical and structural engineering. 

We run Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s) both within the Civil Engineering, Urban Water and Food Technology side of our division.  KTP’s are a great way for Academics to work in tandem with Industry. 

Our research and consultancy work relates directly to the construction and civil engineering industry, waste management companies, environmental managers and regulators and the food/drinks industry. Our staff are highly regarded by industry professionals, and collaborate with major companies in the UK and internationally. We have a formidable track record in combining academic skills with commercial expertise. 

Food Science has a research profile that is inter-disciplinary which supports the research themes of Environment and Society. Expertise spans the areas of Food Science & Technology, Sensory & Consumer Science, Public Health & Human Nutrition and Zymology & Alcoholic Fermentations.

We focus strongly on knowledge exchange and interact extensively with Industry, mainly through Food Innovation @ Abertay. Over the years, we have developed award-winning collaborations with stakeholders such as Innovate UK, Interface, and Food & Drink Federation Scotland. We pride ourselves on working on real projects that have an impact in the real world.

Overall, the Division has an exemplary track record in combining academic skills with commercial expertise. This cutting-edge knowledge enhances our undergraduate teaching, and enables us to offer research-led Masters Programmes.

Environmental Technologies

The focus here is on treatment and resources recovery technologies for water, wastes and wastewaters and green infrastructure (including sustainable urban drainage systems). Research includes development of innovative technical solutions that improve sustainable management of natural resources, for example, gaining multiple benefits from the control of storm water runoff, organic waste treatment for bioenergy recovery and production of organic soil conditioner, and water and wastewater treatment for the removal of common and emerging pollutants.

Sustainable Assessment and Enhancement

This area develops and applies methods for the assessment, visualisation and enhancement of the sustainability of policies and technologies, and to address institutional and societal barriers to their uptake. Research focuses on understanding the decision-making process, knowledge requirements and development of indicators to enhance governance, decision support and public participation in decision making.  Projects support sustainable service provision for water service providers, national and local government, health services, city development and companies across the built and natural environment.

Structural and Geotechnical Engineering

Research in this area is focused on modelling the performance and environmental impacts of structural and geotechnical engineering systems. This includes research into the analysis of the behaviour of thin-walled structures, analysis of structures under extreme loads (blast and impact), the use of recycled construction material to improve soil properties and to maximise the sequestration of atmospheric carbon as well as the study of offshore oil and gas asset decommissioning.

Food Innovation @ Abertay

Food Innovation @Abertay (FIA) is the commercial arm of the Division and is a practical innovation support service to food and drink businesses. FIA offers creative solutions to business challenges by the use of specialist staff, equipment and facilities. These solutions are tailored to specifically meet business needs and are delivered on schedule and in a cost-effective way. Through FIA, our academics and researchers have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with more than 100 industrial partners, addressing real-world problems and offering technically sound, and commercially viable solutions.

Food Science and Technology

Of particular interest for our researchers are the fields of (i) acrylamide formation during food processing and developing strategies to mitigate this, (ii) developing novel, environmentally friendly extraction and processing methods, (iii) food industry waste utilisation, aiming to contribute to a more sustainable, circular economy and (iv) New Product Development and Reformulation studies.

Nutrition and Public Health

Our researchers explore links between eating habits and health, as well as the role-specific bioactive compounds play in the prevention of diseases and the promotion of health of consumers.

Sensory and Consumer Science

We examine in depth the factors that affect consumer perception and acceptability of food and drink products. Any New Product Development and reformulation study can be validated in our Consumer Experience Laboratory. Our facilities are often in demand by the food industry in order to gauge consumer acceptability of potential products prior to market release.

Yeast & Fermentation Alcohol Research

Yeast-derived ethanol has a major benefit to the UK and global economies. Abertay research is focused on enhancement of yeast fermentation performance by gaining greater understanding of yeast physiology and raw material bioconversions to ethanol.

Related areas of current research include: the adoption of novel starch sources (from legumes) as sustainable feedstocks for brewing and distilling; chemistry of spirit maturation in oakwood; accuracy of alcohol declarations for alcoholic beverages. The research group, led by Professor Graeme Walker, comprises PhD students co-supervised by colleagues from Abertay’s Divisions of Engineering & Food Science and Psychology and Forensic Science and projects are undertaken in close collaboration with industry and research institutes (e.g. The James Hutton Institute, The Scotch Whisky Research Institute). Further information is available from Prof. Walker

Job Opportunities

For Job Openings, including Research Fellowships, in our School view job search section on our website.

For PhD Studentships in any of our Subject areas check our Funded research projects and Postgraduate Research Funding sections on our website.

Female using knife and chopping board to prepare food
ABERTAY NEWS17/02/2021

Abertay to lead on low carbon food and drink innovation

Transform Net-Zero project is funded through the Low Carbon Challenge Fund

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An ultrasound device used in the project
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Ultrasound used to improve shelf-life of fresh fruit and vegetables

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ABERTAY NEWS07/12/2020

Big-hearted Food students donate grad ball money to charity

The students donated £900 to the Dudhope Multicultural Centre

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Alberto Fiore at work in Abertay's food labs
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Insect-based porridge to tackle malnutrition

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ABERTAY NEWS10/11/2020

Innovative project to use games technology to develop perfect potato

Artificial intelligence will be used in an innovative project

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ABERTAY NEWS08/10/2020

Food giants Macphie expands Abertay scholarship offering

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Kirsty Black and Graeme Walker holding a bottle of Nadar Gin and a glass of peas
ABERTAY NEWS28/08/2020

Second climate-positive spirit launched with pea-based vodka

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Eva Gatti an Abertay University Graduate in Food and Consumer Science
ABERTAY NEWS14/08/2020

BLOG: Food Science takes Eva around the world

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ABERTAY NEWS23/06/2020

BLOG: International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Dr Rebecca Wade blogs on work to get more women into engineering

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Alberto Fiore at work in Abertay's food labs
ABERTAY NEWS16/06/2020

E-cigarette liquid breakthrough set to reduce toxic health impact

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ABERTAY NEWS28/02/2020

Research project to tackle poor nutrition through videogames

Food Gaming For Active aGeing aims to improve the nutrition of people over 55

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Kirsty Black and Graeme Walker holding a bottle of Nadar Gin and a glass of peas
ABERTAY NEWS19/02/2020

World’s first ‘climate positive’ gin produced from peas

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