Research Themes


We are devising innovative approaches and tools that will help us better process, analyze, use, manage, and access data in ways that protect and enhance individual safety and privacy.


Society needs more engineers. We are focused on how we educate our engineering students using new learning methods, cognitive theory and best teaching practices, as well as integration of engineering concepts in K-12 educational outreach programs.

We believe in engaging students early and educating our community about the impact that engineering has on everyday life. An NSF supported project, for example, seeks to promote entry and persistence of first-generation engineering students, while another is investigating the role of students’ social and ethical responsibility in professional conduct.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Science and Technology Centers (STCs)

STCs nurture local industries and lay the foundation for Arizona to compete for nationally and internationally significant economic development opportunities that create high-paying jobs.