The OSU College of Engineering is among the nation's largest and most productive engineering programs. Since 1999, the college has more than tripled its research expenditures by emphasizing highly collaborative research and innovation that solve global problems. It’s a leader in signature research areas, including precision health, clean energy, resilient infrastructure, and advanced manufacturing; and targeted strategic areas, including robotics, materials research, and clean water.
In fiscal year 2014-2015, the College of Engineering received $38.8 million in sponsored research awards. Most of the funding came from federal funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Examples of notable College of Engineering grants received during this past fiscal year include:
- A three-year, $4 million Integrated Research Project Award from the U.S. Department of Energy, through which Wade Marcum will head a multidisciplinary team of researchers from academics, government, and industry in an effort to help restart the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) at the Idaho National Laboratory. As part of this effort, a new experimental facility will be built at Oregon State University’s School of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
- With a five-year, $2 million National Science Foundation grant, one of only six of its type in the nation, the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering plans to substantially change its curriculum to make courses more realistic, consequential, and relevant to the lives of students and embracing of different cultures. Researchers will explore education that better incorporates both curricular and real-world experiences. Problem-based learning, cultural inclusion, and consequential work will hopefully improve the student experience and aid retention, recruitment, and graduate numbers.
- In another NSF-sponsored initiative, the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering will be one of just five engineering programs in the nation to participate in a new program to increase diversity and foster an inclusive culture for underrepresented minorities and women in mechanical engineering. The project aims to advance understanding and the experiences of mechanical engineering faculty, staff, and students who have been underrepresented in the past. It will study the impact of stereotypes and the process of change-planning and goal-setting in an academic environment.
- A team of Oregon State University researchers that includes Dan Cox, Andre Barbosa, and Michael Scott in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering will help lead the Community Resilience Center of Excellence, a five-year, $20 million initiative funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to help communities improve resilience to natural disasters. The center will be based at Colorado State University, and is a partnership of 10 institutions. It will develop computer tools to help local governments create resiliency in buildings and critical infrastructure, lessen the impact of extreme weather and other hazards, and recover rapidly in their aftermath.
- A collaboration of five universities in the Pacific Northwest has received a five-year, $3.44 million grant renewal from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of minority students who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
- Oregon State University has received a $648,000 “major research instrumentation” grant from the National Science Foundation, part of a $1.4 million package to allow the university to acquire a near-ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The near-ambient XPS system will be the foundation of the surface characterization laboratory in Johnson Hall, a state-of-the-art engineering building and the future home of the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering.