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Research Themes

Education: Society needs more engineers. We are engaged in advancing the ways we educate engineering students. Our research  focuses on learning methods, cognitive theory and best teaching practices, as well as integration of engineering concepts in K-12 educational programs to engage students early and educate our community about the impact that engineering has on everyday life.

Energy: The urgency to discover and deploy new forms of carbon-reducing energy technologies has become an indispensable part of our economic and environmental landscape. Our research in renewable and alternative energy sources is multifaceted with efforts in solar and photovoltaic energy, biotechnology, low/high-power energy storage, power electronics, electric power systems, batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

Health: Our efforts range from understanding the causes behind Alzheimer’s disease and improving methods for predicting epileptic seizures to developing advanced biosensors, bioassays and lab-on-a-chip devices for clinical diagnostics. Additional areas of research exist in novel biological materials, neural engineering, biomedical informatics, drug-delivery systems, healthcare systems analysis and modeling, health monitoring devices and human rehabilitation technologies.

Security: As technology develops at a faster rate, there is a growing need to develop engineering systems to keep people and   infrastructure secure, including securing cyberspace, developing secure communications, identifying, monitoring and  reducing threats and developing self-healing systems that are resilient to attack. Our researchers are addressing issues of  national defense, homeland security, border security, cyber warfare and more—devising technology solutions as well as legal, policy and social implications.

Sustainability: The central thrust behind sustainability is the capacity of metropolitan areas to grow and prosper without destroying or depleting natural resources. Our research focuses on the dynamics of sustainable systems, including restoring and improving urban infrastructure, access to clean water and clean air, advanced construction techniques and management, environmental fluid dynamics, transportation planning, as well as geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering.