Research Strategy

research strengths infographicResearch Strengths infographic (PDF)

In August of 2013, John English, Dean of the College of Engineering, appointed a task force consisting of one representative from each of the eight departments and the Vice-Provost for Research and Economic Development, Jim Rankin, to analyze the research activities of the college with the central goal being to identify existing strengths and emerging areas. Existing strengths are those areas where the college is already nationally recognized.



Five existing strengths were identified in the college (listed alphabetically):

  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Healthcare Systems Engineering
  • Nanomaterials Science & Engineering
  • Transportation & Logistics.

Ten emerging research areas were also identified (listed alphabetically). The expectation is that these areas, with additional investment in terms of faculty, staff, labs, and leadership, will emerge into strengths that the U of A can leverage in accomplishing its Top 50 institutional goal.

  • Aerospace
  • Big Data
  • Cybersecurity
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Materials & Manufacturing
  • Optoelectronics
  • Sustainability
  • Systems Integration
  • Water

This document summarizes the findings of the Research Task Force and presents several recommendations that are derived from extensive conversations with the college faculty. The report is to be viewed as an overview as to how the College of Engineering faculty currently perceives itself and how it might change in the next five to ten years. As with any such strategic activity, the expectation is that the vision gained from this introspective exercise will evolve as the college moves forward toward achieving greater research achievement.

Download the full report (pdf)