I was delighted to speak to Professor Michael Short recently about how Teesside University and their partners are making a real impact through research. 

Michael is a Professor of Control Engineering and System Informatics and has an outstanding record of international research, having published over 150 papers and articles on related subjects, including smart energy systems. He is the academic lead for The Centre for Sustainable Engineering where he co-ordinates the research activities for Teesside University’s engineering department.

Born locally in Stockton, he left school and served an apprenticeship as a multi-skilled technician in the manufacturing industry then studied for a part time-degree in electronic engineering. At this stage Michael become more and more interested in academia and research, and after graduation he was asked to read for a PhD which he accepted. His PhD was in robotics and digital control and after time teaching and researching in Leicester, he returned to Teesside in 2010 gaining his Associate Professorship (Readership) in 2015 and full Professorship in 2020.

The exciting new Centre for Sustainable Engineering is helping Teesside and beyond forge a smarter, greener industrial economy. Topics covered of course include decarbonisation and alternative fuels, but it is also looking beyond that into the changing nature of work through digitalisation. Research includes Artificial Intelligence, informatics, sustainable materials, civil engineering, power systems and renewable energy, all of which will work towards a better future for industry and society.

The Centre keeps in mind that we need to create industries that are not just green but also economically sustainable allowing Teesside to level up with other parts of the country in terms of jobs and prospects.

Teesside has taken the areas of research they are good at and aligned them with regional and national goals. Their expertise in digital technologies and engineering sustainability align with and work towards achieving Climate Change Act and Net Zero goals.

This Centre is part of several new developments and buildings being created to house Teesside’s research excellence.  The University has seen an increase of research-active engineering staff from roughly 14 in 2014 to 70 in 2021. It is now more research focused than ever, and the University is publishing research which is considered internationally excellent.

The Centre for Sustainable Engineering is also very interested to work with local companies – large and small – who are interested in industrial applications of digital technologies for sustainability.  Centre staff can talk through potential research projects that can be taken forward by their researchers working alongside the industrial partners.

Teesside University are quite rightly proud and excited of what they have achieved and for the future of research in Middlesbrough and the wider North East.  With their help Teesside businesses can work to create a society of inclusive industries, leaving no one behind whilst we work towards a truly sustainable economy.

Do you have a process you wish to optimise or advance technologically? Do you have an idea to save energy or resources or an idea for an innovative project? 

Professor Short (m.short@tees.ac.uk) wants to hear from you as the University can help. There is no initial cost and the initial discussion may lead to consultancy, in many cases there is funding available for SMEs (Small/Medium Enterprises). Where new funding is needed, they can help to prepare industrial research and innovation bids through several newly formed innovation centres.


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