Research & Graduate Programs
The University of Kansas is a major research university with a long and successful record of research collaboration promoted through independent and NSF multidisciplinary research centers that focus on common themes. KU is a Carnegie Doctoral/Research Extensive University and has been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1909. Each department and program in the KU School of Engineering has access to modern, fully equipped facilities and laboratories.
Undergraduate students interested in research or graduate study are encouraged to get involved in a research lab in their focus area. This may be developed through a specific faculty member or through the KU Center for Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate researchers may be voluntary (minimal responsibilities) or paid positions (with expectations and responsibilities defined). Students should contact the Center for Undergraduate Research or individual faculty to inquire.
At the University of Kansas, the School of Engineering offers ample opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research, even as underclassmen. Participating in research as an undergraduate can provide you with insight and experiences not found in the classroom and can help prepare you to be successful in whichever direction your career takes you. Learn more about undergraduate research!
Composite Materials Research
Humanoid Robotics Research
KU Carbon Capture Research
Designated Research Centers
The Institute for Bioengineering Research Center strives to create solutions for problems centered in bioengineering, medicine and biology. The Center provides the mechanisms to facilitate and promote the introduction of new technologies to the clinic. It opens the door to the fastest growing field in engineering and to the discipline that is attracting the best and brightest young engineers. The multidisciplinary center — led by Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Paulette Spencer, Ph.D., D.D.S. — works to design solutions for problems affecting the health and well being of society as well as advance discovery and turn ideas into materials, devices and technologies for the diagnosis and management of human disease. Click here to see Dr. Stehno-Bittel's TED Talk-style presentation of her research. Visit site
The vision of the CEBC is to make available to industry "sustainable" manufacturing processes - improved processes that minimize their "environmental footprint" while remaining profitable. This NSF-funded Engineering Research Center established in 2003 has laboratories, offices and conference rooms at KU's Life Sciences Research Laboratory at 1501 Wakarusa Dr., Building A in Lawrence. The center is led by Bala Subramaniam, Dan F. Servey distinguished professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at KU. Click here to see Dr. Bala Subramaniam's TED Talk-style presentation of his research. Visit site
Established in summer of 2005, this NSF-funded Science and Technology Center has office and laboratory space in Nichols Hall on KU's West Campus. The multidisciplinary, multi-institutional center is developing new sensors, methods of collecting data, communication tools and modeling to better understand the mass balance of the world's polar ice sheets and their contribution to global sea-level change. The center is led by Prasad Gogineni, Deane E. Ackers distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science at KU. Visit site
Located in Nichols Hall on KU's West Campus, ITTC provides additional laboratory space for over 30 engineering faculty. The center conducts fundamental research and develops technologies in the areas of computing, communications, bioinformatics, signal processing, cyber security, and sensors. The center's eight research laboratories cover a wide range of projects, from increasing the speed and efficiency of the Internet to developing advanced radar capabilities for national defense. The center is led by Perry Alexander, professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Visit site
Additional Centers and Research Groups
Located at the Lawrence Municipal Airport, north of Lawrence, the 18,000 square-foot hangar offers recently renovated laboratory and office space for aerospace engineering faculty, as well as classrooms and meeting and collaboration rooms for graduate students and undergraduates. The facility, named for Walt Garrison, who earned both a bachelor's and master's in aerospace in 1947 and 1948, also offers design and construction space for student projects. Faculty, students and staff conduct research in computational fluid dynamics, fluid physics and turbulence, applied aerodynamics, aero-acoustics, structural mechanics and materials, flight dynamics, and flight-testing. Visit site
The Infrastructure Research Institute performs research and develops methods, structures and products to enhance infrastructure around the world. Research areas include structural engineering and materials, architectural engineering, water resources, transportation and geotechnical engineering. The IRI is led by David Darwin, Deane E. Ackers distinguished professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering. Its office is at 2142C Learned Hall. Visit site
The KU Transportation Center (KUTC) conducts, coordinates, and promotes transportation research, training and technology transfer to the State of Kansas and the surrounding region. It's a multidisciplinary center that encompasses several research and technology transfer programs. Primary areas of interest are highway engineering and maintenance, traffic engineering and safety, workforce development and community transit. Visit site
The Tertiary Oil Recovery Program (TORP) was established in 1974 by the State of Kansas to acquaint Kansas petroleum producers with the technical and economic potential of enhanced recovery methods for Kansas oil and gas fields. TORP, which is headquartered at 4146 Learned Hall, conducts research and development of processes that are applicable to Kansas reservoirs. The center also investigates the application of reservoir engineering and geology for characterization of Kansas reservoirs. Interim director of the the program is Russ Ostermann, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering. Visit site