scientific and technical website design

Research group websites
to engage the wider community

Research centre websites have a challenging role to perform, bringing research scientists together from different disciplines, often from different organisations, and not un-commonly from different countries. Sites commonly need to privide a focus for research activities, information for grant awarding bodies, the parent organisation, the general public, and offer a shop window to potential investors!

We work with our clients to develop and maintain a focus on the core objectives of the group, and can assist in preparing copy and background prospectuses for the research work being undertaken.

Over the years we have been at the forefront of developing tools for engaging visitors in the scientific content of our sites, with interactive experiments, molecular structures and research features. Typically these would be developed directly from you published work, making it easy to develop attractive and unique content for your site.

We can build in fully featured content management systems, add bespoke components as required, and offer an ongoing maintenance and support service.

Screenshot of mobile version of DARE alloys site, 2015.

Designing Alloys for Resource Efficiency (DARE), 2015

DARE is an ambitious project to invigorate UK based metallurgy based industries, drawing academic partners from Cambridge, Imperial, Kings and Sheffield. Industrial partners include pretty much all of the UK's metals industry.

The website was designed in two phases, an initial 'quick-build' site provided the project with an online presence pretty much instantly. Subsequently we worked up a more refined design to include a logo prepared by Sebastian Conran Associates.

The final design includes a 'splash page' with a simplified menu to help visitors find what they want quickly. For this page we had a full page scaling background image of metal turnings ('swarf'). Interior pages have feature images, many of which are derived from the project members. Initial content was based on the grant proposal, permitting us to assemble a rich website quickly, without taking up the time of lead researchers while they were working on getting the project started.

The screenshot above left is taken from the mobile version of the site. More about the DARE site design in our news pages.


Screenshot from the Organic Materials Innovation Centre website.


The Organic Materials Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester carried out about 70 projects for over 30 companies for a project value approaching £2M between 2003 and 2007. The website was, however, broken...

We developed a new OMIC site with a simple design to assist future management. The new site takes newsfeeds from the OMEC website, and includes a number of stock graphics selected at random to provide visual interest on each page.



The Electronic and photonic molecular materials research group is a leading research group working on these advanced materials.

Our client wanted a site that reflected the University of Sheffield style, but needed assistance updating copy and developing artwork to make the site stand out.


Sheffield Centre for Electron Beam Lithography

The Sheffield Centre for Electron Beam Lithography enables research groups and small companies to build nanostructures, nanoelectronic devices and optical gratings.

Design work included the site, with a characteristic banner which appears to be cut by a lithography tool and the logo, which is based on a diffraction grating. All site pages feature a full screen background image, an electron micrograph of one of the Centre's nanostructures (requires HTML5 - older Internet Explorer browsers will see a plain grey background).

The home page has a simple Javascripted marquee looping through the main offerings of the Centre to bring content to the visitor. This is driven by a custom plugin, so that all parts of the site cna be readily updated by the client.

The site design is flexible, with elements being re-ordered on the narrow screens of smart-phones to make it more accessible on these platforms.


Screenshot from the Organic Materials in Electronics Consortium website.


The Organic Materials in Electronics Consortium represents a number of Universities around the UK engaged in the development of the next generation of optical and electronic materials.

First designed in 2002, the site is still very effective, so in 2009 only some small layout changes were required. Behind the scenes, however, we rebuilt the site in WordPress, which will allow our client to easily update and manage the site in future.

The WordPress installation also feeds news items to two other sites our client is engaged with, helping to disseminate research news quickly and effectively.


Screenshot of the Functional materials by design website.

Functional materials by design

Functional materials by design, Prof. Mike Turner's Research Group's website at the University of Manchester. The group's research covers a broad range of functional polymeric materials, and encompasses the synthesis, optimisation and development of these materials for new applications in industry.

The site carries a research profile, and biographies of current and past group members.


Screen shot of the new CBTE website

The Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (CBTE) 2002

The Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (CBTE) draws on expertise in Engineering, Science and Medical faculties at the University of Sheffield to tackle problems in this complex area of applied science. We were active in researching content for the site, as well as in the final design.

The basic design remained unchanged between 2002 and 2010. We have researched and developed a number of new sections since that time, however, including an extended research section (with a major update in 2006).

In 2010 we re-built the site in the popular WordPress content management system. The new site gives CBTE staff the ability to edit content and easily add news and seminar information.


Prof Mark Geoghegan's Research Group

We developed a new style for Mark based on his existing site, which had a lot of great ideas, but gone a bit out of control. The new design is unusual for us, with links ranged to the left of the page featuring little graphic details activated by mouse overs. The interactivity adds a bit of fun to an otherwise very clean design. The design is intended to permit the art work, that is an integral part of Mark's site, to stand out.

Link: Prof Mark Geoghegan's Research Group


Macro Group (2005)

The Macro Group UK is a joint special interest group of the joint interest group between the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Chemical Industry. It brings industrialists and researchers with an interest in polymers together.

It was maintained by the Macro Group using 'Contribute', an early content management system that allowed the client to keep the site up to date.


RASSE (2004)

The Rapid Archaeological Site Survey and Evaluation research project was funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund administered by English Heritage to evaluate underwater archaeological sites. The project was led by reaserchers at the University of St Andrews School of Geography and Geosciences, but brought in experts from around the country to collaborate on the development and evaluation of new underwater monitoring systems for archaeology.

As a part of this project we were able to develop features explaining the new techniques and the results obtained from them. This included (for the time) ground breaking virtual 3D environments rendered on the then commonly available FLASH platform.


An archive of all websites by cookandkaye is available in our endorsements section.

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