The challenge to combat climate change and maximise the use of limited resources is one which we all share, but research undertaken through the four universities has enabled a better understanding of our world, its climate and natural cycles.

Combining innovative techniques and advanced scientific exploration, they have produced robust, reliable and sustainable ways to track changes, and share evidence with those we count on to build policies and find solutions.

Many of the projects featured at Changing Worlds have enabled those of us in the wealthier Western World to use resources more efficiently and create less pollution: for example work in engineering and communications. But there are still many people who have to survive in harsh environments, suffering extreme poverty, and this section also looks at how research can provide practical and accessible solutions in situations of chronic severity, or help aid workers to rapidly respond in times of crisis. 

Research projects at the five universities of the SETsquared partnership have:

  • Climate Change - Explored the ocean’s role in the whole earth system, and tackled some of the most difficult scientific questions about global warming, including the causes of coastal flooding and why the glaciers are melting.
  • Cutting Landslide Risk - Reduced the risk of landslide disasters in disadvantaged regions where infrastructure investment is low and development is often unplanned.
  • Fresh Water from Sea Water - Created a low energy, low cost process for the desalination of seawater to produce vitally needed drinking water for countries with few fresh supplies.
  • Hormone Disruption - The effects of pollution upon species residing in UK rivers.
  • Rice Blast Fungus - A study into the rice blast fungus which destroyes enough rice to feed 60 million people a year.
  • Safe Water - Spent 25 years providing a quick and reliable way to test water safety, so local communities can enjoy good drinking water without disease.