Daresbury Laboratory



From its inception in 1962, Daresbury Laboratory has pushed the boundaries of modern science. Over 60 years on, it is internationally recognised for world-leading scientific excellence in a diverse variety of fields ranging from nuclear physics to supercomputing. Daresbury’s achievements consistently deliver impact on a human scale and have inspired scientists, adults and children alike.

We employ over 650 staff, and scientists and engineers, from both the university research community and industrial research base, use our facilities.

Daresbury Laboratory is part of Sci-Tech Daresbury campus.

Read the Daresbury campus impact study on the UK Government Web archive.

There is a vibrant passion to drive world leading science and innovation evident throughout the laboratory and the whole campus with start-ups flourishing in our own business incubation facilities alongside the many businesses that have chosen to locate around the campus.

How to find us

Get directions to Daresbury Laboratory.

Key activities

Staff work in a range of departments and facilities at Daresbury. Here are some of the key activities.

Accelerator science

Daresbury Laboratory is home to the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) and the Cockcroft Institute, which houses teams of scientists from STFC and the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster and Strathclyde carrying out research in accelerator science with applications across a range of disciplines. One of the 21st century’s most exciting frontiers of science, accelerator science has secured a key niche in fields such as the fight against cancer, the search for cleaner, greener energy options and our understanding of the universe.

Hartree Centre

The Hartree Centre helps UK businesses and organisations of any size to explore and adopt supercomputing, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for enhanced productivity, smarter innovation and economic growth. Backed by significant UK government funding and strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as IBM, Atos and the University of Liverpool, the Hartree Centre is home to some of the most advanced digital technologies and experts in the UK.

Our experts collaborate with industry and the research community to explore the latest technologies, upskill teams, and apply practical digital solutions to individual and industry-wide challenges for societal and economic benefit.

Scientific computing

With a team of nearly 200 based across Daresbury and our sister campus at Harwell in Oxfordshire, STFC’s Scientific Computing Department has a long history in delivering computing support to science.

Computing is helping us to understand and use big data to learn more about the Universe we live in, and this requires constant innovation in computing and communications.

Advances in computing have been fundamental to delivering breakthroughs and innovations in fields ranging from medicine and materials to weather prediction and climate change, all of which improve lives and boost prosperity.


Technology underpins all our science and research and here at Daresbury we have a range of projects and facilities in our Technology Department.

Engineering Technology Centre – providing integrated engineering solutions for STFC programmes and facilities, campus tenants and other stakeholders.

There is no point doing science unless you can measure and observe experimental outcomes and results. Sensors and instrumentation technologies are crucial to every field of science and are increasingly required by industry in application areas such as security, healthcare, the environment and clean energy. The Detector Systems Group provides world-class instrumentation, detector systems and technologies in support of STFC’s research programme in the UK and overseas, as well as for many industrial partners on Sci-Tech Daresbury Campus and in academia, supporting projects from proof-of-principle, feasibility demonstration to engineering prototype.

Nuclear physics

The Nuclear Physics group sits within the technology department and the team is a key member of the UK nuclear physics community. Working with universities across the country, it is heavily involved in developing new technology for major international experiments, which continue to provide answers to our fundamental questions and keep the UK skills in nuclear physics at the forefront internationally.

The Medical Training and Research Laboratory (MTRL) is a unique medical training facility. The MTRL provides trainee medical physicists with vital experience with state-of-the-art medical scanners, away from the daily pressures of the hospital environment, as part of their MSc. A joint initiative between the University of Liverpool, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals and the Nuclear Physics team at Daresbury, this facility will help secure even better diagnostic services to patients in the future.

Ask a question about using the MTRL

Email: ian.lazarus@stfc.ac.uk

Telephone: 01925 603433

Business and innovations

Our business and innovations team offer a suite of facilities that complement the campus helping business overcome the many hurdles in getting a product to market or taking the next step in building on an idea.

Public engagement

Daresbury Laboratory has an active outreach programme, which informs people of all ages about how science impacts their everyday lives and inspires the next generation of researchers – to get involved. Visit the Daresbury Laboratory.


Daresbury Laboratory is home to SuperSTEM and SuperSTEM3 – two of the world’s highest resolution electron microscopes. SuperSTEM is a highly sensitive microscope facility. Its newest microscope, SuperSTEM3, is one of only three of its kind in the world. It can image objects a million times smaller than a human hair and analyse materials atom by single atom.

Managed by a consortium from the Universities of Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Oxford, the SuperSTEM facility has not only contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning research on graphene, it has carried out many other valuable projects, including research aiming to double the battery life in electric vehicles and helping industrial researchers understand how to refine cleaner oil, to name just a few of its projects. It is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Virtual Engineering Centre

The University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) at Daresbury delivers innovative virtual engineering solutions to industry.

It aims to enhance capability and improve business performance and competitiveness through the evaluation, application and adoption of virtual engineering tools and techniques and to support the development of skills and expertise throughout the advanced manufacturing supply chain.

Last updated: 4 March 2024

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