Research Priorities

The college is expanding upon its 50-year legacy as a collaborator across disciplines and further contributing to the thinking economy through five overarching, use-inspired research priorities (these are select examples of each area; our research reach is far greater, but this provides an overview of the types of work our professors focus on):

Bio-Inspired Sustainability

  • The Air Transport Institute for Environmental Sustainability (AirTIES) supports the development, testing and implementation of new aviation fuels. Partners range from small biofuel companies to the FAA and the U.S. Navy, all working to address the nation’s reliance on traditional carbon-based fuel sources.
  • The Grid Efficiency Lab and Integrated Smart Energy Technology Lab are improving energy efficiency and technologies that promote sustainable energy generation and consumption. Researchers are especially interested in distributed energy networks and emerging behaviors and technologies associated with them that will lead to new approaches to efficiency and sustainability.
  • The Applied Energy Lab provides teaching and applied research opportunities related to energy systems. Research conducted in the lab revolves around high-performance building efficiency, solar energy and the development of energy scavenging technologies.

Robotics, Manufacturing and Autonomy

  • The Purdue Robotics Accelerator focuses on the use of co-robots for healthcare, manufacturing, safety, and agriculture. It leverages the strengths of several colleges at Purdue that foster robotics expertise to achieve greater international acclaim, greater scholarly success, greater student achievement, and greater commercial impact.
  • The Product Lifecycle Management Center promotes the advancement and implementation of PLM through research and education in partnership with industry. The center will play an instrumental role in the recently established Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute in Chicago. Focused on the advanced manufacturing enterprise, the PLM Center will lead Purdue’s efforts to introduce 3D product data and interoperability standards to companies within the U.S. Department of Defense supply chain.
  • The Adaptive Computing Systems and M2M labs are developing ways to understand the interactions that affect the performance of distributed computing systems. Their research also explores cyber-physical systems, embedded intelligence, autonomous robots, wireless networking, multi-agent systems and agent organizations. Researchers in these labs recently became part of an NSF I/UCRC to explore robots and sensors for the human well-being.
  • The Purdue Center for Materials Processing and Metal Castings Lab work closely with industry to advance commercial materials processing technologies and develop new commercial material processing processes, including casting and solidification processing of metals and alloys. Additionally, research in fatigue and fracture and computational modeling are also a strength.

Closed-Loop Healthcare

  • Over half of our faculty have decisive research strength in data fusion, analytics and visualization. These strengths are key to mobile healthcare, which is the future of healthcare. Technology can help manage patients’ health outside of traditional care settings. Additionally, in today’s social media era, technology research can help drug and device companies better understand consumer behavior and satisfaction.
  • The Telecare Discovery Lab works to ensure that individuals with disabilities and the elderly are able to receive the care and treatment that they deserve.

Innovative STEM Education

  • We are researching and changing the way we teach to match the way students learn best. Through the Purdue Polytechnic Initiative, we are radically transforming the college through renewed undergraduate programs and a state-of-the-art approach to how learning occurs. This approach incorporates applied research that will affect the world in a greater way and a renewed focus on workforce development to help the state of Indiana prosper.
  • A significant portion of our faculty are engaged in STEM education research at both the K-16 and workforce levels. In addition to our commitment to promoting STEM careers, our research focuses on how the use of technology affects the learning environment both intentionally and unintentionally.

Human Scale Computing

  • The International Center for Biometric Research provides new and innovative solutions for improving biometric sensor and algorithm performance.
  • The Cyber Forensics Lab is a national leader in education and training, applied and basic research, and investigative support of digital forensic science and cyber forensics.
  • The Games Innovation Laboratory and IDEALab conduct research on animation, interactive media, serious games, visualization and simulations as well as their varied uses across several industries.
  • Faculty are attempting to identify and mitigate the negative implications of the next generation of mobile devices, including the Internet of Things. This research is being applied to the development new vehicle-to-vehicle communication technologies.