Developing the building blocks for resilient structures
Humans continue to push the boundaries of what is possible — longer bridges in harsher environments, lighter aircraft that take us farther with less fuel, impenetrable military equipment. Designing under routine conditions has been done. We are interested in what is new. The infrastructure for future generations will require us to break new ground in structural mechanics, material design, superalloys, colloid engineering, corrosion protection, and adhesives.
Envisioning a sustainable future
We are at a crossroads. Climate change is beginning to impact the prosperity, security, and well-being of our communities. At URI, we see a sustainable future where we can harness energy from our sun, oceans, and even highways to meet the nation’s growing needs. We need bold ideas and engineers with vision to imagine new possibilities and make them a reality. Our engineers are at the forefront of clean energy technology.
Finding solutions that improve lives
We believe in improving lives. Engineers at URI are developing new ways to treat human disease that far surpass what doctors could have ever imagined. Our researchers are studying how complex nerves work in the human brain, crafting new medical diagnostic methods for sleep apnea, cardiac disease, and Parkinson’s, and discovering new ways to deliver drug therapies.
Ensuring access for every person the world
Clean water is essential to life. Yet water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population and is projected to rise. Billions are faced with daily challenges getting clean water to drink. At URI, we are working to help by designing portable filtration systems, assessing the effectiveness of water filters, and partnering with communities around the world to ensure that every man, woman, and child can access this basic human right.
Safegarding our nation’s information systems
The internet reaches into our lives every day. Computer networks control the nation’s power grid, air traffic, stock markets, voting machines, commerce, and social interactions, and this exposes us to cyber threats. URI researchers are working to protect our communities in the digital age by building computer models to see where we’re vulnerable, by developing better secure network protocols, and helping to identify information, video, and images we can trust.
Tapping into the power of small particles
The next big technological revolution is happening on a microscopic level. Imagine a vessel that could identify an infected human cell and deliver medicine without harming healthy cells nearby. What if it could also seek could seek spilled oil particles in the ocean and disperse them safely? Our research into these small, smart particles holds enormous potential for application in the medical and environmental fields.
Creating technology to help us go further
The field of robotics holds the potential to help us go beyond what we can do on our own. Imagine aerial robots able to respond to simple instructions and assist us in our work, wearable soft robotic systems that help people with mobility loss, or teams of robots that can predict and mitigate algae blooms. We are developing robotic technology designed to complement a broad range of human activity, enabling us to explore the far reaches of our planet, work more efficiently, and keep ourselves safe.
Expanding what we can detect in the world
The ability to gather information helps us stay safe and healthy, and sometimes we need more than what our senses alone can detect. URI has long been on the forefront of sensors and instrumentation technology. Our researchers are developing systems that will alert us to the presence of explosives and monitor conditions inside jet engines. Other teams are focusing on new ways to detect changes in the human body or chemicals in our environment that may impact our health.