Research Collaborations

Research collaborations

The University’s Texas Strategic Partnership emerged from research relationships developed through the Government sponsored Texas-UK Collaborative, and research collaborations remain at the heart of the partnership.

As the Texas partnership has grown, long-established research relationships in Medicine, Life Sciences and Engineering have been joined by collaborations in English, History, Business, Politics, Law, Biological Sciences, Health Science, Social Work, Physics, Computer Science, and Heritage Languages.

Fostered and supported by dedicated funding and an intensive programme of researcher interactions, these collaborations bring together world-leading academics whose research synergies and complementary expertise have combined to deliver new research projects, joint grant applications, new academic networks, joint conferences and conference papers and co-authored journal submissions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Read some of our research case studies below.

Energy Safety

A team of researchers led by Professor Andrew Barron from Swansea University's Energy Safety Research Institute is working on a number of research collaborations which are helping to minimize the environmental impact of fossil fuels.

Working with colleagues at Rice University, Houston, the group has discovered a more environmentally friendly method of carbon-capture using Buckminsterfullerene (also known as “Buckyballs”) that could help to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases by drawing carbon dioxide emissions from industrial flue gases and natural gas wells. Read more.

In other research with academics from Rice University, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, the group has also developed a new class of water-repelling nanomaterials, inspired by the lotus leaf, which could be a "green" replacement for costly, hazardous fluorocarbons commonly used for superhydrophobic applications such as waterproofing ships and other marine vessels. Read more.



Fulbright Commission Logo

Academi Hywel Teifi 

In 2016 Prof Tudur Hallam from the University’s Academi Hywel Teifi was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to allow him to spend seven months at the University of Houston.

His Fulbright-funded project will explore the ways in which minority languages, cultures and literatures are suppressed and revitalised.

Working with the University of Houston’s Professor Nicolas Kanellos, his research will explore the similarities between the Welsh/English dynamic in Wales and the Spanish/English dynamic in Texas, as well as the similarities between Prof Kanellos’ work in recovering the US Hispanic Literary heritage and that of Welsh scholars such as Swansea University’s Saunders Lewis.

David Britton

Creative Writing

Professor David Britton is an award-winning dramatist, director and dramaturge, and the Director of Creative Writing at Swansea University.

Supported by a College of Arts and Humanities Texas Fellowship, he is working on a multidisciplinary collaborative research project on St Francis of Assisi and Middle-East reconciliation with colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

As part of the University’s 2014 Texas Research Excellence Showcase he directed a group of students at Texas A&M University in the performance of an excerpt of his Dylan Thomas inspired play, Chelsea Dreaming. Performed in the week of the Dylan Thomas centenary, this was one of a number of Showcase events focusing on the Swansea born poet.

Energy Safety Research Institute


Part of a global energy safety network with strong links to Texas, Swansea University’s Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) is the UK's first dedicated centre for research into energy safety.

A £38million collaboration with BP, ESRI is a constituent member of the Global Energy Safety Institute  (founded in Houston, Texas in 2011), a sister Institute of the Energy and Environmental Systems Institute  at Rice University in Houston, and an associate of the National Corrosion Research Centre at Texas A&M University.

Housed in state-of-the-art premises on the University’s new Bay CampusESRI will concentrate elements of the University’s energy research, in particular its long-term strengths in petroleum and chemical processing – particularly in computational science (rock fracture modelling and hydraulic fracturing) and corrosion. 

UT Austin

College of Human and Health Science

Professor Sue Jordan from the College of Human and Health Science received a Texas Collaboration Funding Award to develop a collaborative research project with colleagues at UT Austin.

The project will examine the feasibility, reliability and validity of innovative multiparametric epidermal sensor systems developed by engineers at UT Austin.

These state-of-the-art sensors can be used to monitor temperature, respiratory rate, hydration status and sweating, electrical activity in the heart, brain and muscles (normally measured through EEG, ECG and EMG tests), and blood glucose concentrations (which are currently measured by finger pricks and blood samples).

Prof Jordan leads Swansea University’s Medicines Management group which will work with colleagues from UT’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics to test the devices in an audit of interest, with a view to nurse-led clinical trials in Wales and South Africa. If successful, these patches could transform patient care by allowing tests normally carried out in a clinical environment to take place in patients’ homes, communities and other settings.

Dr Luca Trenta

Politics and International Relations

A Swansea University Texas Collaboration Funding Award supported Dr Luca Trenta from the Department of Politics and International Relations to undertake collaborative research with colleagues at Texas A&M University.

The collaboration, in conjunction with colleagues from Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, focuses on the military effectiveness of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones).

To date the collaboration has so far resulted in the establishment of a research network of international experts from the UK, Europe and the USA and a joint workshop held at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). A series of joint grant proposals are in development to facilitate further joint research on the topic.



Professor Paul Rees and Professor Huw Summers from Swansea University’s Multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre have long-established research relationships in Texas.

Together with colleagues located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, the world's largest medical center, they are working on the development of innovative new techniques for treating cancer tumors.

Their extensive research network encompasses world-leading nanomedicine and bioengineering researchers from both Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) and Baylor College of Medicine, with whom they have co-authored over ten research papers.

In collaboration with colleagues at HMRI’, Profs Summers and Rees are investigating the use of nanoparticles as delivery vectors to deliver therapeutic drugs specifically to tumor sites. Such delivery could significantly minimise drug side effects, while the design of the nanoparticles with material properties will enable a delayed release of the therapeutic, allowing for the transit to the tissue requiring treatment.

Also in the Texas Medical Center, a research collaboration with Swansea alumnus Dr Matthew Ware and Professor Stephen Curley at Baylor College of Medicine is assessing the effect of radio frequency radiation induced hyperthermia in cancer cells. This can alter the cancer cell's state, making it more susceptible to therapeutic intervention.  

If successful, these research collaborations will provide a breakthrough in the way that cancer tumors are treated, saving patient lives and extending life expectancy for cancer suffers.