Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering

Work with us and gain access to our knowledge and expertise, as well as the very latest technological resources, including machinery and equipment. These resources are available to help you test new products or processes and to drive innovation.

What we do at IISE

The Institute focuses on sustainable engineering solutions across various business sectors. We aim to stimulate regional innovation in design, manufacturing, product lifecycle management and the application of new and smart materials. We also  support skills development and industrial growth in the region. We are part of the College of Science and Engineering within the University of Derby.

Over the past five years, we have built a successful track record of delivering projects to businesses — both regionally and nationally. We have also established a number of strategic partnerships with institutions across Europe, the USA and Asia.

Industrial collaboration is at the heart of the Institute. We collaborate with organisations of many different sizes - from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large multi-national corporations, original equipment manufacturers, charities and public bodies.

We are a place where you can access knowledge, funding, expertise and technology to help you research, develop products and processes, and drive innovation in your business - always with sustainability in mind.

state-of-the-art machinery in use at IISE
Railway track

Sustainable fuels for rail freight

The ground-breaking HyDEX project is responding to calls from the rail freight industry to accelerate the transition to net zero.

Find out more about the collaboration with the University of NottinghamFind out more about the collaboration with the University of Nottingham

Why work with us?

We pride ourselves on delivering a flexible, responsive and affordable service that can help businesses to:

What we offer

We offer research, innovation, technical expertise and project support in key areas:

We work with various regulated or safety critical business sectors, including automotive, rail, aerospace, nuclear, oil and gas, energy, medical devices and sports.

equipment at IISE
checking manufactured products at IISE

Our support

Our support takes many forms, including:

Man attaching padlock to a Love Lock Tree while woman hugs him from behind

Love Lock Trees

We worked with a small Derby firm to develop 3D models of its new invention: the Love Lock Tree.

Find out how we helped engage clientsFind out how we helped engage clients

Our latest developments

Rail Research and Innovation Centre

Building on our expertise and past successes, we have secured new funding to support SMEs in adopting sustainable engineering practices. We have recently opened the doors to a new Rail Research and Innovation Centre (RRIC) at our base in Lonsdale House, Derby. This will support collaborative research and innovation projects with the local rail supply chains. The Centre includes three ‘technology demonstrators’, with equipment showcasing our capabilities in these three areas:

If you have an idea for a collaborative project that falls into one of these three areas, then please get in touch.

The Centre has been made possible thanks to Local Growth Funding from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. 

DE-Carbonise Project

The DE-Carbonise project offers comprehensive support to SMEs who want to reduce their carbon emissions in operations, production and supply chain. You could benefit from a carbon reduction audit and report, grant funding, technical support and consultancy, as well as learning and development. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is a collaboration between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council.

the front of a train

Rail Research and Innovation Centre

The Rail Research and Innovation Centre (RRIC) has been created to support collaborative research and innovation projects with rail supply chains.

Find out more about the RRIC Find out more about the RRIC

Our facilities and equipment

When you work with us, you get access to state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This includes:

CNC machining

Mechanical testing and metrology

Additive manufacturing

Design for manufacture software

Specialist technology in the Rail Research and Innovation Centre

using equipment at IISE

Contact us

To find out how we can work together, call us on +44 (0)1332 593535 or email

a sketch of a train, in blue with heads around the train highlight

Innovate 4 Rail

The Innovate 4 Rail project has been created to stimulate and support innovation and drive productivity among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Rail Sector Supply Chains.

Find out more about the projectFind out more about the project
a representation of a decarbonised city sitting within a green leaf

DE-Carbonise Project

DE-Carbonise offers a comprehensive programme of assistance for SMEs seeking to reduce their carbon emissions in operations, production and supply chain.

Find out more about DE-Carbonise Project Find out more about DE-Carbonise Project

Advanced Composites Research Centre

A man in a white coat wearing a black plastic glove reaching.