The project will address problems as varied as controlling epileptic fits, making robots walk like humans, understanding why things rattle and the full-scale testing of airplane components.
All such questions will be addressed using new mathematics to be developed by researchers based in the university's recently opened Center for Applied Nonlinear Mathematics, said Professor John Hogan, the lead investigator of the project.
"This funding is a huge endorsement of our approach to applying mathematics to practical problems," said Hogan. "More importantly, it will allow us to attract the world's top researchers in the field to come and work with us in Bristol on some very challenging real-world problems."
The four-year project will involve a number of research assistants and post-graduate students working on specific real-world challenges.
Britain's Engineering and Physical Research Council provided 80 percent of the funding, with the University of Bristol providing the remaining 20 percent.