Research

Oregon State Engineers are bold and relentless in our pursuit of the better idea.

We strive to develop technology that is more reliable, more efficient, more sustainable, more accessible, and more equitable. If we can imagine it, we can create it.

Whether it’s improving basic technology like designing cleaner burning biomass cookstoves for low- resource and tribal communities, innovating vital industries like using advanced catalysts to create hydrogen for renewable energy, or inventing futuristic marvels like a bipedal robot to explore difficult terrain: Life takes engineering. And engineering takes research.

Research is where good ideas go to school, to be rigorously tested, revised, refined, and tested again. Many promising ideas are transformed entirely along the way. Today’s research is how the things we could only dream of yesterday become the things the world will depend upon tomorrow.

Within this crucible of research are forged new materials, new machines, and new methods. These are the tools we use to create a better future.

Land, Sea, Space and Sun

Oregon State University stands out as one of only two universities in the country with land, sea, sun, and space grant designations.

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Award-winning Research and Partnerships

In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the College of Engineering received more than $75.8 million in sponsored research awards, its highest total ever, with funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the Oregon Health Authority.

   

33

Career/Young Investigator Awardees

  

84

Research Personnel

     

$75.8M

Research Funding

   

10,465

Total Enrollment

Signature Research Areas

Clean Water

Water is the foundation of life. But across the globe, water quality is being compromised as communities struggle with population growth, climate change, industrial and agricultural pollution, and other pressures. With expertise in wastewater treatment, water resources management, environmental monitoring, sustainable infrastructure, and more, College of Engineering researchers are working to develop the solutions associated with water availability and quality.

Robotics

The College of Engineering is the home of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute (CoRIS). Our robotics program is recognized as one of the country’s best, where more than 25 faculty and 180 top-notch graduate students conduct cutting-edge robotics research or apply robotics applications. Reaching beyond technological development, they explore robotics and intelligent systems holistically, considering their impact on people and the potential for robots to shape the future. Faculty labs focus on more than a dozen subspecialties, including legged locomotion, human-robot interactions, and social robots. 

Artificial Intelligence

Oregon State University has a long history of excellence in AI dating back to the early days of computer science. Comprising nearly two dozen faculty, the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (AIR) group studies theory, algorithms, and systems for making intelligent decisions in complex and uncertain environments. 

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing research in the College of Engineering is highly interdisciplinary in nature, spanning the fields of mechanical design, engineering mechanics, fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, and materials science and involving both experimental and computational efforts. Our faculty work closely with state-level collaboratives such as VertueLab and ONAMI. (Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute).

Materials Science

Whether the goal is improving existing processes or creating something entirely new, materials science brings together expertise in mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic, and chemical properties to build things smarter, safer, and stronger. From transparent electronics and fiber composites to superconductors and optical thin films, College of Engineering researchers are leading the development of a new generation of materials.

Clean Energy

Clean energy is one of the most effective tools in the fight against climate change. The College of Engineeringis pursuing several kinds of clean energy technologies, including both renewables and nuclear power. Our research groups are developing a variety of novel solar energy technologies, harnessing the power of ocean waves off the Oregon coast, improving processes for creating biomass, and making wind turbines more efficient and safer for animal life. We are also the birthplace of the world’s most advanced small modular reactor and continue to pioneer novel nuclear power technologies.

Computer Science

Computer science represents the largest research sector within the College of Engineering, with more than 50 faculty working on a highly diverse set of topics, ranging from cybersecurity and computer graphics to software engineering and human-computer interactions. The College of Engineering is also a leader in computer science education, annually conferring the most computer science degrees in the nation.

Resilient Infrastructure

Natural hazards such as wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and floods are a fact of life for all of us, and climate change is increasing the potential frequency and magnitude of many of these types of events. Although we may not be able to do much about their occurrence, we can work to lessen their impact on the human environment and bolster the ability of natural resources to bounce back in their wake. Researchers at the College of Engineering are working collaboratively and globally across scientific disciplines to develop solutions that will help us achieve this type of community resilience in the face of natural hazards.

Health-related Engineering

Health-related engineering research in the College of Engineering focuses on systems, devices, and data analysis for enhancing our understanding of health and disease. Collaborating with biology, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and public health faculty across the university, our researchers develop new biosensors, imaging techniques, wireless medical devices, and biomaterials via state-of-the-art research in advanced fabrication, nanomaterials, electronics, and magnetics.