UA Engineering Research | University of Arizona College of Engineering
University of Arizona
University of Arizona Engineering Research

Solutions for Doing Good

Taking on today’s pressing challenges – intractable and emerging diseases, cybersecurity, aging infrastructures, big data management, and natural resources conservation, for example – requires expertise from many disciplines. So we focus our research on far-reaching, interdisciplinary team projects and connect our capabilities to the issues that most need our attention.

UA College of Engineering faculty and graduate students, and many undergraduates, are collaborating with researchers across the University of Arizona and around the globe on projects that improve quality of life.

Our research portfolio includes 100 projects with an annual expenditure of $28 million. Major sources of funding include NASA, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Among funders from private industry are Raytheon, Honeywell, Boeing, Texas Instruments, Edmund Optics, Ventana Medical Systems and Tucson Electric Power.


Solutions for doing good.

Focus Areas

  • Sustainability and Infrastructure – water treatment and reuse, bioremediation, biofuels and renewables, energy efficiency and storage, autonomous systems, traffic and transit systems, cost estimation, data management, infrastructure networks
  • Biomedical Systems and Devices – sensors, imaging, biomaterials, wearable devices, mobile diagnostics and testing
  • Defense and Homeland Security – explosives detection, active flow control for air and space flight, robotics, cybersecurity, wireless communication, space object behavioral sciences
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Materials – materials testing in extreme environments, nanotechnology and metamaterials design, computational modeling to predict properties and build stronger materials, mining logistics
Focus areas and featured projects

Collaboration Highlight

Connecting capabilities to the most pressing needs on Earth, and beyond

infinite possibilities
Research Magazine

See the College’s Arizona Engineering Research magazine for more information on these and other projects

Research Centers and Institutes

Arizona Materials Laboratory
The AML hosts a large array of equipment needed for research in materials science and engineering. This equipment is also available to the scientific community and industry.

Director: Pierre Deymier

Advanced Traffic and Logistics Algorithms and Systems
The ATLAS lab, which addresses problems in traffic congestion and transportation, is a good place to take a peek at what traffic and smart cars will be like in the future. Among other things, cars will drive themselves and electronic traffic cops will use blocks-long vision to direct traffic.

Director: Larry Head

Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy
AzRISE is a response to the challenge of planning for large-scale, affordable solar energy power generation and training the workforce that will make the transition possible. Research goals include identifying, funding and coordinating Arizona-specific solar energy research opportunities, developing intellectual property and promoting development and widespread adoption of solar energy.

Director: Kelly Simmons Potter

Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center
BWAC researchers are developing technology and standards to overcome challenges associated with user access and spectrum ability to support the tremendous growth in wireless data traffic.

Director: Tamal Bose

Co-director: Marwan Krunz

Nano Fabrication and Processing Center
Several advanced research projects are underway in the Nano Fabrication and Processing laboratory, including research projects supported by the National Science Foundation, Sematech, and private sponsors. The Center for Micro Contamination Control and the Center for Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing also conduct major research in the laboratory.

Director: Omid Mahdavi

Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources
Recognizing that the sustainable development of mineral resources is fundamental to the prosperity of the United States in the next century, the IMR fosters and expands the USGS-university-private partnerships to undertake mineral resource scientific research and inventories.

Director: Mary Poulton

NSF/UA Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center
CAC’s research is focused on cloud computing systems and applications and the use of autonomic computing methods for the management of these and other IT systems.

Director: Salim Hariri

Co-director: Youssif Al Nashif

Space Object Behavioral Sciences Initiative
Launched in 2016 and led by a Mars spacecraft navigator, the Space Object Behavioral Sciences initiative – part of the UA’s Defense and Security Research Institute – involves locating satellites and spacecraft debris, studying the movement of objects and managing traffic in outer space to prevent collisions and protect space capabilities..

Director: Moriba Jah

SRC Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing
Work in the SRC Engineering Research Center focuses on studies in the areas of ultrapure water, water recycling, plasma processes, wet chemicals, chemical-mechanical polishing and risk assessment to reduce the environmental impact of semiconductor manufacturing.

Director: Farhang Shadman

University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities
USIF is dedicated to the acquisition and analysis of images for life and physical science research and commercial applications. It provides access to multiuser equipment and the knowledge and skills necessary to assist investigators in academia, industry and at public and private institutions as well as students in use of the technology. 

Director: Brooke Beam Massani

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