Research areas

The extent of our industry and business links at Heriot-Watt is well-known and we have established a significant number of partnerships and collaborations. We play a major role in addressing critical global challenges and delivering leading-edge business solutions to organisations throughout the world.

Find out more about our specialist research areas:


The Centre for Translating & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) provides a focus for research expertise in translation studies, interpreting and applied linguistics. It also offers one of the few specialised centres in the UK for research and development of sign language studies, particularly British Sign Language (BSL). Our expertise in public service interpreting and translation is applied to provide customised services to government, industry and public bodies including the UN, European institutions, the legal system and the NHS.


Our long-established Logistics Research Centre (LRC) is a major centre for excellence in Logistics research in Europe. It provides expert insight in areas as diverse as low carbon and green logistics, freight transport policy, shipping and port development, supply chain issues and e-commerce and logistics. It works with a wide range of public and private organisations, including the European Commission, UK government departments, trade associations, rail operators and transport companies.

Project management

Project management delivers change to achieve business objectives in a time and resource constrained, and politically sensitive environment. The School is a centre of excellence for strategic project management encompassing both ‘project management’ as a process to deliver end products, and ‘strategic management’ as a method of formulating and implementing strategy. We provide consultancy services and training, including industry recognised PRINCE2® foundation and practitioner courses, to organisations requiring leadership and team development competencies to manage complex organizational and interpersonal relationships.


The George Davies Centre for Retail Excellence is based in the School and combines both research and teaching to support the needs of modern retail. A unique partnership between Heriot-Watt and leading fashion visionary George Davies. The Centre provides research-led practical solutions combined with sharp commercial focus and is an influential policy advisor to trade bodies, private companies and government departments. It works directly with companies on a consultancy basis to provide bespoke solutions to company-specific problems, and also provides CPD training.

Work & wellbeing

The Centre for Research on Work & Wellbeing (CRoWW) focuses on best practice in the world of work and employment with a distinctive focus on employee wellbeing in the workplace. The Centre is actively involved in the exchange of information between the research conducted in academia and the practice enacted within industry. The work of the Centre covers, topics as diverse as accounting for health and wellbeing; equality and diversity; employment relations; and work-life balance.

Business management

The Creativity, Enterprise & Sustainability (CREST) research group provides consultation to companies as to how they can remain competitive in a knowledge-driven economy. Consultancy to address advertising, business services, consumer behaviour, and social marketing as well as managing resources more efficiently, enhancing existing relationships with key stakeholders, stimulating trust, inspiring innovation, and nurturing corporate social responsibility, can be provided to help companies add value in a crowded marketplace.


Addressing industry-relevant issues that interface between accounting and management, and issues surrounding corporate reporting and disclosure, the Accountancy Research Group has a focus on the impact of the “Knowledge Economy” where skilled staff is of vital importance and have a specific expertise in the impact of wellbeing on the success of industry.


The Centre for Economic Reform & Transformation (CERT) is the leading centre for the study of economic transition from emerging economies to market economies. It provides expertise and guidance to policymakers world-wide including government and international bodies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as private sector companies such as BP. In addition, Heriot-Watt is a leader on the economics of public utilities and provides focused solutions in the fields of public infrastructure inputs, privatisation and labour costs.

Energy economics

Our expertise in energy economics is particularly relevant in today’s business arena: developing solutions to problems in fields as diverse as petroleum engineering, construction, and marine biology helps us face the challenges of climate change, rising CO2 concentrations, falling fossil fuel reserves, unstable energy supply and security, and fluctuating pricing and policy.


The Centre for Finance & Investment (CFI) is a venture that brings together academic and industry expertise in the area of finance and investment. Collaborations with the financial services industry and with the University’s Actuarial Science experts provide applied solutions for industry generated problems.