News and events

Lyell Centre 'Research Connect' event

Lyell Research Connect participants at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

More than 70 research leaders from Heriot-Watt University and the British Geological Survey have taken part in a 'Research Connect' event as part of the research and innovation activities of the Lyell Centre.

€1 million award to assess risks of leakage from carbon storage sites

Porous rock

Researchers at the Lyell Centre and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering have been awarded €1M to analyse and quantify CO2 leakage risks during carbon capture and storage (CCS). The DETECT project, in partnership with Shell, RWTH Aachen University and Risktec Solutions, will integrate laboratory, field, model and reservoir scale understanding of these risks with a total funding volume of €2.7M. This project is part of the growing Geoenergy initiative in collaboration with the British Geological Survey and the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology, where we are mapping our existing petroleum engineering and geoscience expertise to new subsurface energy production and storage challenges, to support the transition to a sustainable low-carbon energy society.

57th British Sedimentological Research Group AGM

BSRG logo

The 57th BSRG Annual General Meeting will be held in the city of Edinburgh from 16–19 December 2018. This is a joint invitation from Heriot-Watt University (HWU), the British Geological Survey (BGS Edinburgh) and the newly-formed Lyell Centre. In addition to the complete range of sedimentary topics, we will offer a special focus on 'Applied Sedimentology for the 21st Century'.

UnEarthed. Explore the world at your feet


BGS as part of NERC, will be exhibiting at UnEarthed, which is a free interactive science showcase for everyone.

Can we make the air we breathe better for us? Can we make natural disasters less disastrous? What can we do to get more food out of the same soil? How can we generate energy for the future?

Come to our free event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and meet people on a daily quest to answer the biggest questions on Earth.

We'll have loads of exhibits, people to meet and things to do. Find out how the sea makes a wave, see if you can stop a flood and have a check to see who else is living in your clothes...

Environmental science isn't just about the planet. It's about your world.

Doors Open Day at The Lyell Centre

Doors Open Days

Saturday 23 September: Heriot-Watt and the British Geological Survey are taking part in Edinburgh Doors Open Day!

We will be opening up the doors to the Lyell Centre, the new home of the British Geological Survey and Heriot-Watt University scientists and engineers.

Come along and find out about the cool research our scientists do, and get hands-on with robots, sea creatures, microscopes and more! There will also be tours of our underwater exploration workshops and a chance to visit our new robotic assisted living lab!

Stimulating exploration in frontier areas of the UKCS: a collaborative project on the Palaeozoic

AAPG meeting

8 May 2017: Students and staff members from Heriot-Watt Institutes of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) and Life & Earth Sciences (ILES) joined members of the British Geological Survey (BGS) to attend an AAPG Student Chapter Chapter Distinguished Lecture Series presentation delivered by BGS Geologist, Dr Alison Monaghan on 24 April. Find out more about the 21st Century Exploration Roadmap (21CXRM) Palaeozoic Project.

Deep ocean research from Heriot Watt

The deep ocean floor, earth’s largest habitat, will be starved of food by the end of this century, scientists have warned.

23 February 2017: Deep oceans face starvation by end of century. The deep ocean floor, earth’s largest habitat, will be starved of food by the end of this century, scientists have warned.

Dr Andrew Sweetman says:

"The rate of change underway in our oceans is faster than at any point we know of in geological history."

Lord Lyell – Obituary

Lord Lyell at the Official Opening of the Lyell Centre in October 2016

Lord Charles Lyell, third Baron Lyell of Kinnordy, has passed away following a period of illness, aged 77.

A long standing member of the House of Lords, Lord Lyell served as a House of Lords Whip and then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Northern Ireland Office from 1979–89.

Lord Lyell and the Gifford family loaned Heriot-Watt University the bust of Charles Lyell, his microscope and geological specimen cabinet, all of which are on display in the Lyell Centre for Marine and Earth Science and Technology.

A lover of football, Lord Lyell was a keen supporter of his local football team, Forfar Athletic.

A hereditary peer, Lord Lyell took the title aged four when his father was killed in action during World War 2; the Barony becomes extinct after Lord Lyell’s passing. His funeral will be in Kirriemuir on Tuesday 24 January at 11.00 am.

We extend our condolences to the Lord's family and friends.

Chancellor of the Exchequer visits The British Geological Survey in Scotland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, visited The British Geological Survey (BGS) at The Lyell Centre in Edinburgh on 01/12/2016 as part of his visit to Scotland. The visit, which followed an extra £800 million infrastructure funding for the Scottish Government, took part in the brand new George Bruce Building which houses the state of the art Rock Drill 2 (RD2).

Read more about the Chancellor's visit

Official opening | 18 October 2016

The Lyell Centre was officially opened on 18 October 2016 by John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland.

Here are the posters created for The Lyell Centre opening event that show some of the research areas the centre will be focusing on.

Vision and strategy

Technology facilitating innovation

Climate, life and surface environments

Water and life in subsurface environments

Energy from the earth

Risk, hazards and uncertainties

Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney opens The Lyell Centre