Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC)

Robotics in our School of Computing, Science and Engineering

The multi-disciplinary Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) aims to build on its world class research to provide the know-how and expertise in the advancement of the 21st century technology with the resultant impact on business success and economic growth at national and international level.

Based in the School of Science, Engineering and Environment, the centre is a dynamic and collaborative unit that currently comprises six internationally-recognised applied and pure research groups.  The centre supports businesses and enterprise in the fields of physics, materials, robotics, engineering, informatics, acoustics and spray and petroleum technology.

Our research groups in engineering, informatics and materials and physics are world-renowned for producing cutting-edge research. Notable highlights include:

  • The Acoustics group is home to the most specialist acoustic facilities under one roof anywhere in the world. The facilities regularly engage government, military and the construction, motor and audio industries.
  • The Petroleum and Spray Research group won the THE 2014 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology for our ground-breaking research into new aerosol spray technology.
  • The Autonomous Systems and Robotics group is leading in developing technology for the food industry and assisting people with dementia. Our research groups in engineering, informatics and materials and physics are world-renowned for producing cutting-edge research.


Salford Innovation Research Centre
University of Salford
Newton Building
M5 4NT
United Kingdom

Research Centre Director

Ghasem Nasr
0161 295 5213

Research Groups


Acoustics and audio research has been conducted at Salford since before 1965. Research is funded by research councils, national and international government bodies, and industry. Our research has fed into products that companies make and sell worldwide, as well as regulations and standards used in the UK, Europe and internationally.

We currently have 12 research active staff, 7 post-doctoral research fellows and a lively community of PhD students who have authored many prizewinning publications including two major texts on acoustics.

The acoustics laboratories are world class having been completely rebuilt in 2005 at a cost of £2.5M. They include a listening room, reverberation rooms, three anechoic chambers, an accredited calibration laboratory and state of the art equipment and instrumentation. Through the laboratories we are able to bring much of our fundamental research into real life applications.

The Acoustics Research Centre is the primary partner for Acoustics research in the BBC Audio Research Partnership

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), our acoustics research was singled out by the panel for Architecture and Built Environment. Outputs showed ‘particular strengths in acoustics’ and there was ‘outstanding impact in acoustics for the built environment.’ Our REF impact case study on Acoustics was used by EPSRC and the Royal Academy of Engineering to highlight the economic benefits of research.

More information about Acoustics research at the University of Salford.


Head of Research Group (Acoustics)
Prof Trevor Cox
Tel: (0044) 0161 295 5474

Enquiries for specific areas of Acoustics research

Acoustics Measurements: Andy Elliott at

Architectural and Building Acoustics: Trevor Cox at

Audio Engineering: Ben Shirley at

Computer Modelling of Sound: John Hargreaves at

Environmental Noise and Vibration: David Waddington at

Materials for Acoustics: Olga Umnova at

Psychoacoustics: Bill Davies at

Public Engagement:  Trevor Cox at

Vibro-acoustics: Andy Elliott at

Autonomous Systems and Robotics

ASAR has internationally recognised research excellence in Robotics & Artificial Intelligence (RAI). It was appointed the home of the National Advanced Robotics Research Centre in 1987 and was the founding member of the Northern Robotics Network, which became the National Robotics Network (NRN). ASAR is a spoke of the EPSRC Future AI & Robotics for Space Hub, a UK national centre of research excellence in space robots and AI funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

ASAR is at the forefront of strategic research initiatives funded by the EPSRC, the EU Framework Programmes for R&I, UK Government Departments (BEIS and Defra) and industry.

Our research has been applied in a range of sectors including automotive and aerospace manufacturing, nuclear decommissioning, space exploration, food production, agriculture and in health and social care.

More information about Autonomous Systems and Robotics research at the University of Salford.


The research in Engineering at Salford is diverse and covers a wide range of engineering subjects. We excel in a number of strategic areas of leading edge research in mechanical, electrical, civil and aeronautical engineering. Core members of the group are well known experts in their areas of research both nationally and internationally. Many of the academic members were returned in the REF2014 (research excellence framework) and their research output and impact on society were ranked highly in the assessment.

The Control and Systems Engineering (CASE) brings together a wealth of expertise that covers broad areas of advanced control and system engineering, and the core academic members of staff are internationally recognized researchers. Our philosophy for research is to seek not only theoretical advances in the related subjects, but also to explore innovative concepts and novel ideas for practical applications. Research is well funded, with support from EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission, as well as excellent links with and direct funding from industry.

Our research excellence means that we have not only the highest calibre academics but also the first class facilities to support the leading edge research projects for both post-graduate studies and post-doctoral research.

More information about Engineering research at the University of Salford.


Head of Research Group (Engineering)
Professor TX Mei
Tel: (0044)  0161 295 3715


The Informatics Research Centre in the School of Computing, Science and Engineering at the University of Salford builds on the history, success and achievements of the research in Computer Science and Information Systems developed at the University of Salford over the last thirty years.

Evolving around Data and Information in all their types and usages, the Centre covers all phases and processes from data pre-processing to engineering and visualisation. The Centre is developing novel methods and systems for the analysis and recognition of various data sets, learning behaviours and causal models. The techniques and systems developed have a wide range of potential applications including digitisation of historical documents, medical diagnosis, semantic tagging, segmentation of types of viewers and their behaviours, text mining and retrieval and data visualisation.

Forensic computing, digital investigation and Cyber security is another area of expertise supported by the centre both at the theoretical and application levels.

More information about Informatics research at the University of Salford.


Head of Research Group (Informatics)
Dr Julian Bass
Tel: (0044) 0161 295 2883

Materials and Physics

Members of this large and prestigious Research Group are drawn from experimental, computational and theoretical areas of physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics. Our research focuses on applied optics, complexity and nonlinear photonics, hydrogen storage, photovoltaics, functionalization of graphene, semiconductor materials and thin films. Our well-equipped laboratories include various spectroscopy facilities (e.g. Raman, photoluminescence, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, spectrophotometry), chemical vapour deposition, high performance computing facilities, high pressure facilities (up to 2 Kbar high pressure gas facility and diamond anvil cells for experiments up to 1 Mbar), X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy.  We are regular users at national and international facilities such as Diamond Light Source (, ISIS ( and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (

More information about Materials and Physics research at the University of Salford.


Head of Research Group (Materials & Physics)
Dr John Proctor
Tel: (0044) 0161 295 0176

Spray and Petroleum

The Spray Research Group (SRG) with its long-standing international reputation was formed by Professor Ghasem Nasr in mid 1990’s. The Group has collaborated with over 120 multi-national companies on fundamental, applied research, innovation management and enterprise . New domestic aerosol valve spray using inert gases developed with a number of granted patents commercialized. The invention helps to reduce the harmful omissions to the environment that are currently produced through conventional butane led domestic aerosol cans, The Group won in November 2014 the Times Higher Education (THE) Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology”.

More information about Spray and Petroleum research at the University of Salford.


Head of Research Group (Spray and Petroleum)
Prof Ghasem Nasr
Tel: (0044) 0161 295 5213