Research Complex at Harwell

What is Research Complex?

Research Complex is the centre of multidisciplinary cutting-edge scientific research at the heart of Harwell’s thriving science and technology campus. Building on synergies with large scale facilities at Harwell, such as Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, Central Laser Facility and the Rosalind Franklin Institute, our mission is to accelerate research collaboration and generate internationally leading science. Research Complex brings together research teams from universities and industry under one roof and we train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

What do we do?

As well as offering state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment for research and development, Research Complex houses a number of key facilities including the Central Laser Facility’s (CLF) powerful tools ULTRA, Artemis and Octopus, and HarwellXPS (for photoelectron spectroscopy). Our five key themes are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing – from the production of electric cars and aircraft, to robotics and 3D printing of replacement body parts, Research Complex is home to two of the UK’s Future Manufacturing Hubs (MAPP and CMAC).
  • Catalysis – The UK Catalysis Hub at Research Complex is driving the use of catalysis in a number of fields including biology, green hydrogen production and sustainable manufacturing.
  • Energy Materials – one of our fastest growth areas, especially in lithium battery materials. Current projects include smart windows that generate electricity from sunlight.
  • Structural & Molecular Biology – our strengths include structural genomics for infectious diseases, electron microscopy, biophysics, ultrafast spectroscopy and molecular dynamics.
  • Imaging – We host a suite of imaging facilities across Research Complex and the Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC), including the Central Laser Facility, which is the UK’s national laser facility with access to advanced laser technologies.

Who Can Use it?

Research Complex supports more than 400 scientists from over 25 UK universities and companies, performing leading edge science and providing highly specialised facilities for users from across the UK, assisted by a core team of expert staff.