The Faculty of Natural Sciences is committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching, both internally across the College and in partnership with external academic and industrial collaborators. We aim to educate the scientists of the future, to make fundamental discoveries in the physical, mathematical and life sciences, to integrate research across these areas in a multidisciplinary manner and to apply these discoveries to the benefit of humanity. Explore our Grand Challenges: Discovery and the natural world; Engineering novel solutions; Health and well-being; Leading the data revolution.

How does our research impact the real world?

Discovery and the natural world

We look to study, conserve and optimise the environment around us, from understanding the evolution and structure of ecosystems, to exploring unknown parts of the universe; from reducing the negative impact of climate change to influencing policy on the future of food production and travel. Find out more below, and view the research highlights archive.

Research highlights

Industrial chimney spouting plumes of thick smoke

Mitigating climate change

In the context of climate change, mitigation refers to actions or policies that either reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, or that enhance the climate system’s capacity to absorb such gases from the atmosphere (e.g. reforestation).

Atmosphere between the planet Earth and space

Understanding our universe

Members of Imperial's Space and Atmospheric group are working to understand the complex processes which drive the upper atmospheres of planets, the boundary layer between a planet's atmosphere and outer Space.

Insect

Protecting the world's endangered species

Understanding biodiversity is crucial in helping us deal effectively with related issues such as species extinction, habitat change, invasive species and the consequences of the loss of biodiversity on agriculture and human health.
Photo: Chien C. Lee.

Engineering novel solutions

Far-reaching, innovative research in engineering and science that will help us to advance our understanding and develop new technologies to create a more sustainable world for future generations. Find out more below, and view the research highlights archive.

Research highlights

Scientist holding car battery

Making car batteries more reliable and calculable

Researchers from Imperial's Energy Futures Lab are working to decarbonise the UK transport system; monitoring batteries once installed in electric vehicles can be difficult, but our scientists and engineers may have a solution.

Photovoltaic solar cells

Converting light into electricity

Photovoltaic systems generate electricity from light. QuantaSol, a company spun-out from Imperial research, developed unique technology in the area of solar photovoltaics, delivering greater conversion efficiency, along with better spectral performance than competing cells.

Uncloaked

The Invisibility Cloak

Researchers from Plasmonics and Metamaterials have developed the Invisibility Cloak, which completely hides objects from electromagnetic probes; light is guided around the object to emerge travelling in the same direction on the other side, giving the illusion of perfect transparency.

Health and well-being

We aim to advance cutting-edge medical treatments and improve insight into prevention strategies, developing high quality, low cost, sustainable and accessible healthcare for every stage of life, worldwide. Find out more below, and view the research highlights archive.

Health and well-being

Gloved hands holding syringe and vaccine

EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare

Europe has been named the most sceptical region on vaccine safety in the world; researchers surveyed nearly 66,000 people from 67 countries to explore their views on whether vaccines are important, safe, effective, and compatible with their religious beliefs.

Dr Pardo in the lab with CRUK PhD Student Stelios Chrysostomou

Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre

Dr Olivier Pardo and his research team are unravelling the mechanisms of drug resistance and metastasis (where cancer cells spread from the primary site to other parts of the body) in cancer:

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Anaesthesia, sleep and pain

Our researchers are interested in diverse neuroscientific themes, such as exploring how and why we sleep and the mechanics involved in the loss of consciousness after general anaestheic.

Leading the data revolution

How can we utilise the vast, and ever increasing, amount of data generated by modern society, and what difficulties and risks must we be aware of when producing, analysing and sharing this powerful information? Find out more below, and view the research highlights archive.

Health and well-being

Construction worker talking into walkie-talkie looking up at a bridge under construction

Collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute

How can data can ensure that vital infrastructures remain resilient and robust from improving airplane safety to stabilising bridges? Professor Mark Girolami: "The main vision is for engineering to enhance the safety of people and of property".

Collecting data from regional water systems in the Himalayas

Facilitating sustainable development activities

Rivers, and the fresh water they produce, can be integral for local communities worldwide. In the Himalayan uplands water security can be compromised by the effects of natural disasters and climate change, and these challenges are compounded by lack of useful data about the regional water systems. Find out how Grantham Institute research is involving local communities in monitoring water and land resources, creating new data and knowledge, improving conventional decision making and optimising water resource benefits.

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Statistics in retail banking

Credit is an important, driving mechanism in the economy. The Consumer Credit Research Group focus their research on retail credit - that is, financial services for individual people, not corporations, investors, etc. Advances made by the group benefit consumers and the economy by helping to ensure that credit is given only when the applicant qualifies.