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  1. University research
About City

University research

Cutting-edge research and enterprise takes place throughout City University London's seven Schools. Here we take a brief look at some of the ground-breaking work being undertaken.

Corrosion sensors for concrete coastal structures

School: School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Academics: Professor Tong Sun and Professor Ken Grattan

The corrosion of steel in reinforced concrete is a serious problem, with over £550 million spent each year on the maintenance and repair of concrete structures in the UK alone. The sensors developed by Professor Tong Sun and her team as part of a research project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are more resistant to highly alkaline coastal environments than traditional sensors. This means that they can be installed semi-permanently in a structure, constantly monitor levels of corrosion and ensure that remedial work is simpler, cheaper and more effective.

Electronic rostering for nurses and junior doctors

School: Sir John Cass Business School

Academics: Professor Celia Glass and Dr Roger Knight

Poor staff rosters contribute to wasted resources, increased reliance on agency staff and an unmotivated, unproductive workforce. The electronic rostering method developed by Professor Celia Glass and Dr Roger Knight uses sophisticated mathematical programs and an understanding of personnel issues, from flexible contracts to work-life balance, to help hospitals meet their needs and legal requirements more quickly and efficiently than conventional roster systems.

HIV infection and urban poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

School: School of Social Sciences

Academic: Dr Monica Magadi

A study funded by the Medical Research Council analysed data from the Demographic and Health Surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa and revealed that the urban poor have a significantly higher probability of HIV positivity than wealthier urban counterparts. Using multilevel logistic regression models in her analysis, Dr Magadi also revealed that the gender disparity in HIV infection is greater among the urban poor, with women having a higher risk of infection.

Connecting communities to the creative economy

School: School of Arts

Academic: Dr Dave O'Brien

A year of development work, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and completed at the beginning of 2012, has led to a grant for a four-year research project into the work of cultural intermediaries in connecting communities in Manchester and Birmingham. The 2011 research focused on urban cultural policy issues and built on Dr O'Brien's research into measuring the value of culture, which was presented to the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2010.

Transparent food: quality and integrity in food

School: School of Health Sciences

Academic: Dr David Barling

Greater transparency within the food sector is critical to ensuring sustainable development, food safety and quality, adequate consumer information and environmental, social and ethical integrity. Academics from 10 European universities, including City University London, completed at the end of 2011, a two-year study funded by the European Union, which explored information flows and communication in food chains. Their findings form the basis of a Strategic Research Agenda presented to the European Commission.

Leading the software services revolution

School: School of Informatics

Academics: Professor Neil Maiden and Professor George Spanoudakis

The Software Services and Systems network (S-Cube) is a consortium of 16 universities dedicated to excellence in service and software architectures, infrastructures and engineering. In March 2012 it was ranked as one of the top 5 European Union projects for its socio-economic impact. Professor Maiden and Professor Spanoudakis worked with collaborators on human-computer interaction and contributed to the considerable research output of the network over four years.

Initiative on impunity and the rule of law

Schools: The City Law School and School of Arts

Academics: Professor Lorna Woods and Professor Howard Tumber

The Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law is a collaborative venture between the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University London and the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the University of Sheffield. At an international working conference hosted by City in June 2011, delegates from UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the UK Foreign Office discussed the threats that journalists face around the world and sought to establish effective measures to improve protection for media workers. The conference marked the end of the first phase of the Impunity Initiative.