Research clusters

Nanomaterials, Material Sciences and Biotechnology

The research cluster comprises wide range of interrelated disciplines based on chemical, physical, physico-chemical, and biological methods, and techniques, including experimental approaches and computer modelling. Specific research areas include development, characterization and testing of different materials, e.g., chemically modified nanofibrous materials, variable nanocomposites for environmental, technical and bio-applications, study of the interactions of nanomaterials with biological models, targeted drug delivery and the development of microfluidic devices for biotechnology and medical diagnostics. Within the material sciences, the research areas cover research on alloys and their applications and focuses on a broad range of measurement and monitoring techniques in engineering technologies.

Environmental Sciences and Regional Studies

The research cluster addresses multiple linkages between societal and environmental processes, specifically, but not exclusively focusing on regions, areas and sites affected by industry and mining and being prone to various environmental risks and facing fundamental societal challenges. Employing interdisciplinary approaches, the cluster conducts research on climate change and climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, water resources management, waste management and circular economy, regional policy and economies, path creation and agency of change in social and economic transitions.

Health Sciences, Cognitive and Behavioural Sciences

Health sciences encompass a wide range of disciplines focusing on health, health and social care and social work and its organisation and management. In combination with cognitive and behavioural research, this cluster also focuses on economic, psychological and behavioural aspects of human behaviour using experimental approaches with laboratory instruments such as eye-tracking, biofeedback with Xsens or NeXus, neuro-training incl. Batak. Motor or psychomotor therapy using experimental approaches with laboratory devices such as BalanceTutor, Imoove, etc. Collaboration between faculties gives scope for coverage of holistic approaches across different age groups.

Heritage Studies, Cultural and Creative Industries

The research cluster comprises areas of heritage identification, mapping, preservation, and restoration, including approaches of digital humanities. Within the heritage research, specific attention is devoted to architecture, minor monuments, and furnishings, but also other cultural artefacts and intangible heritage. Aside of legally preserved heritage, the cluster also seeks to define new paths for reuse of old industrial heritage. Appreciation of cultural heritage is closely linked to research on enhancing local and regional social identities, and development and validation of novel paths for creative industries and their management. This research cluster also includes the study of language and its structure, grammar, syntax, and phonetics.

Education Research

Education research involves the study of education and learning processes at different levels of the educational system and includes the research of human behaviour, its attributes, and interactions, but also organizations, and institutions that influence educational outcomes. Education research uses different rigorous and innovative methods (qualitative, and quantitative) to better understand the learning process, its efficiency, and effectiveness. Furthermore, behavioural labs are used to analyse aspects of human behaviour (e.g., EEG Biofeedback). The education research combines sociology, psychology, and other social sciences to answer research questions. The focus lies in visual arts, sports, primary education, special education, or social work.

Environmental Engineering, Energy Research and Natural Sciences

Environmental engineering combines natural sciences and technology enhancing our knowledge in environmental chemistry, environmental protection, ecology, remediation, but also about earth, or socio-economic consequences of environmental degradation. Environmental engineering provides methods and broader understanding of the operation of facilities for wastewater treatment, water and air purification, or waste disposal and recycling. Energy research explores innovative approaches in energy generation, incl. renewable energy sources, and consumption that diminishes the environmental impacts and guarantees the sustainable use. The cluster also includes fundamental and applied natural sciences, namely biology, chemistry, physical geography, physics, mathematics, and informatics, employing both field, experimental and theoretical research approaches relevant to these disciplines.

Media, Communications, Political Science and Artistic Research

Media and communication research is based on interdisciplinary approaches devoted to the study of the interplay between politics, media, communication, and society. The research combines theoretical, methodological, and applied approaches that enhance competencies needed to assess the digital devices, platforms, and systems that people use to communicate. The research includes art, philosophy, ethics, and education related to these research areas. As the study of politics, political sciences entail understanding political ideas, ideologies, institutions, policies, processes, and behavior, as well as groups, classes, government, diplomacy, law, strategy, and war. Artistic research involves two perspectives: defines art as its object, or art is supposed to offer a premise and an aim for research: a motive, a terrain, a context and a whole range of methods.