Vital to many modern technologies yet mined in few places, the ‘rare earth elements’ are in fact not that rare – they are just difficult to find in concentrations that make them economic to mine. Researchers from Cambridge University and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are investigating whether the remarkable properties of these materials can be used to track them down from the air.
Cities exist in a state of constant flux: not always ‘smart’ and successful, they can be vulnerable, chaotic and seem on the edge of failure. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the shanty towns and slums. How can these informal settlements, and the wider city, be helped to succeed?
The cities of today are built with concrete and steel – but some Cambridge researchers think that the cities of the future need to go back to nature if they are to support an ever-expanding population, while keeping carbon emissions under control.
The Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction is building on advances in sensing technology to learn everything possible about a city’s infrastructure – its tunnels, roads, bridges, sewers and power supplies – in order to maintain it and optimise its use for the future.
Since its launch last year, the Clinical School's Wellbeing Programme has heralded a culture change in attitudes to mental health and illness. Senior HR Adviser Caroline Newman explains how the programme is helping to dispel enduring myths about mental health.
From wind turbines and solar photovoltaics to grey water recycling and electric vehicles, technology is making it ever easier for us to be green – yet many of us are not. Now, Cambridge researchers are discovering that our personalities and communities have a major impact on our environmental decisions, opening up new ways to ‘nudge’ us into saving energy and carbon.
A smart material that switches back and forth between transparent and opaque could be installed in buildings or automobiles, potentially reducing energy bills by avoiding the need for costly air conditioning.
Why is Milton Keynes one of the most successful cities in the UK, and Dundee one of the least? What gives Leeds its economic edge over Liverpool? How did London survive the 1990s recession, going from boom to bust and boom again? Researchers are asking these questions and many more in the largest ever analysis of what makes cities thrive.