In your cover story What would you do with £1,000,000? (NCE 6 January), the writer of the article adopted a rather pessimistic view of potential funding.
It is, in fact, possible to obtain funding for civil engineering research projects, even for those with long-term returns. The EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, www.epsrc.ac.uk) provides funding for university based research in which industrial collaboration is encouraged. The European Commission (www.cordis.lu) provides substantial financial support for a range of activities including Europe-wide consortia. Smaller- scale funding is available from a variety of sources, for example the Leverhulme Trust (www.leverhulme.org.uk) and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (www. royalcommission1851.org.uk)
Successful research can be achieved by establishing suitable collaborations between universities, companies and research establishments and by exploiting the available funding opportunities.
Harvey Burd (G), University of Oxford Department of Engineering Service, Civil Engineering Research Group, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PJ