Research

Research STRENGTHS

Electronics

The electronics research area involves faculty from electrical, computer, mechanical, chemical, industrial and civil engineering as well as some from chemistry and physics. Five centers also support research in this area. Research in this field has spanned device and circuit modeling and simulation, electronic packaging, thermal management, materials development, manufacturing, analog and digital integrated circuit design, power electronics, design automation algorithms and computer-aided design, and material and device characterization, reliability and test. 

Energy

Energy research is an established strength in the college based on its foundation within electronics. This research is expanding and growing beyond the electronics borders to include biofuels and traditional oil and gas research, as supported by geosciences.  As the nation’s electricity supply is evolving to include renewable sources of power combined with the motivation to manage electricity supplies as efficiently as possible, smart grid innovation must occur, and energy researchers in the College of Engineering are working toward this.  

Healthcare Systems Engineering

Researchers in this area improve the way our healthcare system functions. They conduct objective engineering analysis of challenges and innovations, promotes scalable projects with system‐wide impact, and widely disseminates its finds to the healthcare community. Ongoing research activities include patient flow, healthcare logistics, healthcare supply chain cost, medical decision making, patient scheduling, therapy optimization and scheduling, inventory management applied to healthcare, tracking and tracing medical supplies, statistical monitoring and detection of epidemics. 

Nanomaterials Science and Engineering

Nanomaterials research activities include atomistic and multiscale modeling of nanomaterials and their integration, synthesis of nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing processes, nanomaterials integrated device fabrication, packaging of and using nanoscale materials for packaging, control analysis, advanced high resolution materials and device characterization, advanced coatings and surface engineering, photovoltaic materials, thermoelectric materials, nanotribology, bioinspired functional surfaces and materials (rapidly emerging), and hierarchical integration of nanomaterials.

Transportation and Logistics

Faculty who conduct research in this area can capitalize on the U of A's geographic access to river, road, and rail corridors and industry access to global logistics leaders (including Walmart Stores, J.B. Hunt Transport, and ABF Freight Systems) to lead nationally relevant multimodal research to carry people and freight to their destinations efficiently and effectively.

EMERGING  research areas

Aerospace

This emerging area supports the single largest export market from the state of Arkansas, the aerospace field. Ongoing areas of research include materials and coatings, design, processes, modeling, manufacturing, electronics, and logistics. 

Big Data/Analytics

These researchers find ways to collect and use the huge amount of data that we produce and every day, specifically in the areas of risk and reliability, data analytics, real-time data collection and assessment, parallel data processing, machine learning, intelligent search, sensor network architecture and design flow, electronics packaging, and information transmission and processing.

Cybersecurity

This emerging area has arisen as one of the grandest challenges of our time, and it is extremely important to key infrastructural industries such as transportation and the electric power grid. Current cybersecurity work includes adversary risk analysis, sensitive file storage, network interdiction, data security, hardware security, mobile security and privacy, and smart grid security. 

Healthcare

This emerging area encompasses both technological and biological investigations in biomedical and healthcare engineering. Ongoing research activities include electronics, biomaterials, developmental therapeutics, medical imaging, logistics, and others.

Infrastructure

As a land-grant institution, the U of A is tasked with creating, designing, and maintaining the infrastructure of the nation, including water resources, energy resources, communications, or transportation. This research area includes risk and reliability, geotechnical, structures, resource allocation, economic design, advanced materials, and electric grid modernization. 

Materials and Manufacturing

Growth in materials and manufacturing demands innovations in areas such as materials, manufacturing processes, assembly and control technologies and design and modeling of systems. U of A  faculty are involved in the innovation of nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, lubricants, semiconductors, process dynamics, control, membranes, pavement materials, to name a few. 

Optoelectronics

This emerging research area has spun off of the electronics strength area. Currently, work in this emerging area involves new semiconductor materials, biophotonics, and photovoltaics.

Sustainability

Several faculty members are working in this emerging research area, investigating sustainable practices, design, and technologies including life cycle analysis, environmental design, performance measurement, heat, ventilation and air-conditioning, advanced materials, and renewable energy. 

Systems Integration

This area encompasses research in automation, robotics and systems and process control, and inspires keen interest in our students.

Water

This emerging research area is one of the grandest challenges of our time. Faculty are currently focused on water quality, wastewater treatment, and watershed management activities.